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Spring Maintenance (for Houston Homes)

While spring in Houston might not be the celebration of new life experienced by other parts of the country, it does bring its share of change. Severe storms and warmer weather help stimulate a 10 month “growing season,” which can wreak havoc on homes. It’s always a good rule to prepare for the spring weather in anticipation of the electrical storms, flooding and extreme temperature fluctuation that inevitably come with the season. Even for areas that aren’t directly affected by weather, it’s always good to have a spring maintenance plan for entire home.

The following tips are from our skilled technicians who know the essentials of seasonal home maintenance.

Exterior Home Maintenance

  • Clean the winter debris from the gutters and check them for damage. The spring rains can be torrential and it is imperative the gutters are free from any obstructions. You might install gutter screens or protectors to help keep debris out of the gutters.
  • Be sure the gutters slope properly toward the down-spouts.
  • To prevent foundation erosion, build up soil around the house and slope it away from the foundation.
  • During the winter, however short, chemical changes altering the soil’s PH may have left your lawn vulnerable to weeds and other issues. To prevent weeds from germinating, an organic herbicide is best for spring.
  • Do a thorough inspection of your deck and clean away all of the debris. Check for warped or loose boards and make sure that there isn’t anything blocking the space between the boards.

HVAC Maintenance

  • Always replace your HVAC filter at the beginning of spring. During months of heavy usage it should be replaced every month.
  • If your yard contains an abundance of trees or bushes, foliage, branches and other detritus may have blown into or against the coil. AC coils are designed to transfer heat and anything obstructing it can affect the performance. Remove any obstruction and also make sure to clean away any yard debris in the vicinity.
  • The best way to ensure your HVAC is running properly is to turn it on. Make sure that you can feel cold air coming through the air vents inside. If the air isn’t cool, or hasn’t cooled within a couple of minutes, something is wrong. Never leave a unit running if it is not working properly. This will only cause more damage. Call a professional HVAC technician and have them give the system a full assessment.
  • Dust and dirt can collect on the indoor air vents during the winter. Remove them and clean with a damp cloth.

Interior Home Maintenance

  • Replace the batteries in smoke and carbon-monoxide detectors twice a year; spring and fall are good markers. You should also dust the units to keep them functioning at peak performance.
  • Check the windows for leaks or weak areas that might benefit from extra caulking. Doors should also be checked annually for cracks and leaks. Securing the both will save you quite a bit of money on your utility bills year round.
  • Inspect and, if necessary, caulk around your home’s windows and doors annually. That will help keep out heat and humidity in the summer—and save money on your utility bills all year round.
  • Check the flappers on your toilets at least once a year. If they are showing their age, replace them before they start leaking and wasting water.
  • Examine the water pressure. Typical water pressure in a home should be between 35 and 80 psi. Water pressure that is too high can damage pipes and if it’s too low it could make appliances work overtime to clean, generating high utility bills. Use a water gauge (easily found at the local hardware store) to find the true amount and call a plumbing professional if it’s not within the accepted range.
  • Check under your kitchen and bathroom sinks for moisture or plumbing leaks.
  • Remove all faucet handles and clean their insides to keep the screws from corroding. Use a rust remover if necessary. Remember to clean your faucet aerators annually to ensure an even flow of water.
  • Drain about a gallon of water from your water heater tank to help remove the sediment that has accumulated on the bottom. You should do this every season (about every three months).

Annual spring maintenance on your home will ensure those unpredictable storms don’t get the best of you – and keep service emergencies down to a minimum. Following these simple procedures will also give you peace of mind throughout the rainy season (which reaches its peak in June).

Remember to contact us if you need professional HVAC, plumbing or electrical service.

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