In Edmonton there are a few classic signs that winter is drawing to a close: the snow is disappearing, the geese are returning, and a few brave souls (or is it soles?) are already sporting flip flops and shorts. As Edmontonians enthusiastically embrace the warmer temperatures and gear up for our short-but-sweet summer, it's a great time to go through a spring maintenance checklist and ensure you're keeping up with seasonal items that will keep your house in good working order all year long.

Make sure your spring maintenance involves the following: 

  1. Check exterior walls. Walk around your house and examine walls looking for loose siding or cracks. Trouble spots tend to be under eaves and gutter downspouts. Water stains can be a sign that gutters are not effectively channeling roof runoff from rain or melting snow. 
  2. Inspect the foundation. If you notice cracks in the foundation of your home, it's best to call in the professionals to inspect things and take action if need be. Doing your own caulking isn't advisable — a foundation specialist can use a two-part epoxy injection system to chemically bond cracks. 
  3. Will your windows weather the storm? The days are getting longer and that means more glorious sunshine pouring through your windows all day long. Not only is this a great time to thoroughly clean windows inside and out so you have an unobstructed view, it's also a good opportunity to evaluate windows for leakage and ensure they are effectively keeping cool air inside and moisture outside. Did you have lots of condensation on your windows during the winter months? This is usually a sign that the weather seal is no longer intact and it may be time to consider resealing or replacing windows altogether.
  4. Tune up the air conditioner. If you have central air, don't forget that it needs much of the same seasonal maintenance as your furnace. Change the filter, check hose connections, inspect the drain pans and prep it now so it's prepared to tackle the summer heat when you'll need it most.
  5. Make the annual trek to the attic. Spring is an ideal time to venture up into the attic because it's no longer numbingly cold and it's not yet oppressively hot. Assessing the attic at least once a year for things like critters and mould is important —  minor, fixable issues can become major concerns if left unchecked.
  6. Cover all the basement bases. If you have an unfinished basement, check the base of poured-concrete walls for cracks starting from the bottom up. This is where cracks start, and if there's water penetration, it will show at the bottom. And if there's exposed framing, examine it closely for signs of tunnelling or any other pest activity.
  7. Prep for a luscious lawn. If need be, rake the grass to remove any debris you missed before the snow fell; leaving it can suffocate the grass underneath. Make sure all outdoor water sources such as faucets or sprinkler systems are functioning and start planning your garden or potted plants. It won't be long now before things are really blooming. 
  8. All hands on deck. Scan your deck for any loose, cracked, or splintered boards and replace as necessary. Spring is a good opportunity for re-sealing or staining the finish — it's the last thing you want to be worrying about at the height of BBQ season. 
  9. Speaking of BBQ... Get your grill in tip-top condition. We all know Edmontonians BBQ all year round, but chances are some regular cleaning and maintenance fell to the wayside when you were dashing in and out to BBQ in frigid temperatures. Check burners for obstructions and make sure flames are burning efficiently. 
  10. Make a clean sweep. Last but not least, it wouldn't be spring if you didn't embark on some traditional spring cleaning. There really is something refreshing and invigorating about tackling the clutter and mess that built up over the winter months and starting the season with a clean slate. It's a great chance to go through possessions like clothes, books, toys, and furniture and get rid of stuff you simply don't need. There are many local charities that will even come to your home to pick up these items for you. 

Wise, "seasoned" Edmontonians know we haven't seen the last of the snow yet, but the end is near; summer is in sight and the BBQ'd burgers are so close, you can almost smell them from here. Start checking off the items on your spring maintenance checklist now, so that when the snow is gone for good, you are ready to enjoy every summery moment, brief as they may be.  


Posted by Wally Fakhreddine on


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