There are a multitude of weekly and monthly chores for homeowners to worry about, but there are also seasonal chores. These are jobs that don’t have to be done more than once or twice a year, but because they aren’t done as frequently, they take on more importance. Skipping or missing them just once can lead to expensive or time consuming repairs farther down the road. Now that Spring is here in the Ellwood City, PA area, you should try to mark off all or most of this list in April
1. Check & Repair Your Gutters
Water damage is one of the most expensive problems you can deal with as a homeowner, so be sure your gutters are free of any debris before those “April showers” set in. Use a garden hose to flush water down through your gutters to make sure they are flowing freely. If they aren’t, take the time to carefully clear out the leaves and other debris. Also test them to make sure they are securely fastened and don’t have any unexpected holes in them. Finally, make sure that the downspouts are pushing any water away from your foundation and adjust them as necessary.
If you have some extra cash to invest in your gutters, it might be time to have gutter guards installed. These are mesh or vented metal covers that go over your gutters so that rain can get through but dirt and debris can’t. They can prolong the life of your gutters and can mean fewer trips up a ladder to clean them out.
2. Check & Clean Your Roof
You’ve probably seen houses in your neighborhood that seem to have long, dark streaks on the roof. These streaks aren’t actually dirt. They are a type of algae that develops on some shingles because they feed off of the limestone in the shingles. Your best bet for this it to hire a professional for safety reasons. If you try to clean your roofing yourself, be sure to have a partner to hold and steady your ladder. Replace any loose or curled shingles as well to prevent water seeping in under them and causing more problems.
3. Walk Around Your Home’s Exterior to Check Wiring
There are several things you need to do on the outside of your home before warmer weather hits. First, check all outside wiring (such as telephone, Internet, cable…) to make sure they are properly grounded. Check for signs that they have been chewed on or destroyed by animals who may have been gnawing on them. If they are damaged, have a professional come out and fix them.
4. Service the Air Conditioning System
This is also the time to check your air conditioning unit. Make sure that you trim back any shrubs or other plantings that could interfere with the performance of your AC unit. Install new filters and replace them monthly as long as you’ll be using it. You’ll also need to clean the coils and condenser unit so that the air conditioning runs smoothly and doesn’t get overheated. Changing the filter in your air conditioner monthly is also a good idea if you use it most days during hot weather.
5. Get A Jump On Your Lawn
Even if you haven’t mowed your lawn yet, you do need to start caring for it by mid-April. A pre-emergent weed control application and some fertilizer designed for this climate and type of soil is essential. This will kill off the weeds and encourage new grass growth so that by the time summer is here, your lawn will be a thing of beauty. If you aren’t sure what applications you’ll need, call PennTurf at 724-758-3647 to get a quote from professionals who have been doing this kind of work for years. They can suggest the right blend of ingredients for optimal lawn performance.
6. Check Your Appliances
When you’re doing the spring cleaning, check all smoke detectors and carbon monoxide monitors in the house to make sure they are still working properly and that no repairs are needed. It’s a good idea to change the batteries, even if they are functioning right now. It’s easy to forget when you last put new batteries in them, so changing them every April is a good way to make sure they will work when they have to. And be sure to replace all the batteries, not just one or two that you think might be bad. Mixing old and new batteries in the same appliance can shorten their life.
Also check your kitchen appliances such as the oven and refrigerator. Pull the refrigerator away from the wall and vacuum or dust off the coils. Dusty, dirty coils will make the fridge work harder to maintain the cold temperatures, costing you money and shortening the life of the appliance. Vacuum beneath all of your appliances and make sure you check the clothes dryer hose to see that it isn’t clogged with lint.
7. Clean & Seal Your Deck
Wood decks take a beating in the winter, particularly in colder climates where there is a lot of snow and ice that melt, refreeze and thaw. Do an inspection to see whether any nails or screws need to be tightened or replace, then brush loose dirt off. Renting a power washer is the best way to get a grimy deck really clean. After it has dried completely, either paint or stain it, then wait a few days for it to completely cure. After that, apply an all-weather sealant to prevent peeling, cracking or warping of the boards.
Now get a cold drink, kick back in a lawn chair and enjoy the beautiful weather!