How to Prepare My Pittsburgh Home for Spring

Posted by Helene McQuaide on 3rd March 2020

After months of snow, ice and freezing rain in the forecast, you’re probably eager to put cold weather behind you. Luckily, it won’t take much time to prepare your Pittsburgh home for spring. These home care tips may help you streamline the process.

Start with an Exterior Inspection

Howling winds, ice, rain and snow can take a toll on your home’s exterior. Look for signs of damage, such as loose or damaged siding, façade or shingles. One cracked shingle can leads to leaks that cause thousands of dollars of damage if you don’t notice and fix the problem as soon as possible.

Winter weather can loosen caulk around your windows and doors. Once the caulk is gone, moisture enters your home and may cause mildew or rotting frames. Air leaks also increase your utility bill by letting both warmed and cooled air escape. Fortunately, fixing missing or damaged caulk is an easy fix.

Add dead trees and shrubs, damaged branches, loose deck railings, cracked windows, missing or damaged flashing around your roof, and broken pavers in your patio or front walk to your checklist. How does your driveway look once the snow is gone? Are there are cracks in the concrete or asphalt? Repairing the cracks while they’re small can help you avoid large potholes in the future.

While you’re outside, set up your outdoor furniture and grill. Clean cushions if necessary and check your grill for webs and nests before you use it for the first time.

Take It Inside

A quick tour of the interior of your home will help you prioritize your spring preparation projects. Look for signs of leaks, including stains or mold on walls and ceilings, dripping taps, moisture on the floor under sinks, or puddles under your water heater, toilet, refrigerator or washer.

Make a list of the areas of your home that will benefit from repairs or touchups, such as scratches or stains on flooring, peeling paint, doors that don’t hang correctly, loose screws or nails, non-functioning outlets or light fixtures, and holes in window and door screens.

Carry batteries with you when you examine each room and replace the batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Test both battery-operated and hard-wired detectors to ensure that they function properly.

After you finish your spring cleaning, replace filters in your heating and air-conditioning system, stove vent, and water and air purifiers.

Don’t forget to give your dryer vent system its annual cleaning. Lint can build up inside your dryer and also clog the vent that leads from your dryer to the outside outlet. Use a dryer cleaning kit or call a cleaning company to reduce your risk of a dryer fire.

Even small nests can clog propane lines, increasing the risk of a fire or explosion when you turn on your grill for your first spring barbecue. The same problem can occur if an animal happens to chew through the line. Unfortunately, bugs and animals can still set up housekeeping in these areas even if you keep your grill covered. No matter where you store your grill, it’s a good idea to conduct a quick inspection before your turn on it for the first time or after it hasn’t been used for a few weeks.

Spring is the perfect time to evaluate your outdoor spaces and make some changes if you’re unhappy with your backyard. Improving your outdoor area may be as simple as buying new patio or deck furniture or adding a few colorful plants and shrubs.

If you barely spend time outdoors during the spring and summer because your yard just isn’t comfortable or private, it may be time to upgrade your outdoor living space. Adding a large deck or patio or expanding your current deck, patio or porch will multiply your outdoor space and make spending time outdoors much more enticing. Comfortable seating areas, a fireplace or fire pit, a projection or waterproof TV, and outdoor sound system can turn your backyard into the ultimate home retreat.

Don’t forget to give your dryer and vent an annual cleaning. Lint can build up inside your dryer and clog the vent that leads from your dryer to the outside outlet. Every year, $35 million in property losses occur due to dryer fires, according to the U.S. Fire Administration. Forgetting to take care of this important task could damage your home and put your family’s health in jeopardy. Use a dryer cleaning attachment that attaches to your vacuum cleaner, or hire a professional to thoroughly clean your dryer and vent.

Get Ready for Warm Weather

You may be ready for soaring temperatures but is your air-conditioning system? Testing your system before you actually need will ensure that it’s functioning properly and will be able to handle the hottest summer days. If there is a problem with your unit, you’ll have plenty of time to repair or replace it before the first Pittsburgh heat wave.

Try your windows too. Do they open fully or are there any cracks in the glass? Windows are often smaller in older homes to minimize heat loss during the winter. Unfortunately, that also means that you can’t take advantage of the abundant sunlight once spring arrives.

Larger windows that complement the architectural style of your home will make your house feel bright and airy. If you have an impressive view from your backyard, you may even want to add a wall of windows to your family room or kitchen. If either of those rooms adjoins your patio or deck, consider installing folding doors that can be opened to create a gigantic indoor/outdoor space on warm days.

Make a Few Calls

Although you can certainly tighten a screw or fix a small hole in a screen yourself, other repairs may require a little help from the experts. Spring and summer tend to be busy times for repairmen, gutter cleaners, plumbers, electricians and contractors. Making the calls in early spring will help you ensure that you don’t have to wait weeks to resolve the issue.

Is your home looking a little rundown this spring? Master Remodelers can help you upgrade your living areas, add a new room or two, or create the ultimate outdoor space for your home. Contact us and let us know how we can help.

Sources:

Family Handyman: Find and Repair Leaks

https://www.familyhandyman.com/plumbing/plumbing-repair/find-and-repair-hidden-plumbing-leaks/view-all/

Energy.gov: Savings Project

https://www.energy.gov/energysaver/services/do-it-yourself-energy-savings-projects/savings-project-how-seal-air-leaks-caulk