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Spring Break Home Maintenance

It’s Spring Break once again in the Houston area, which also means it’s time to start thinking about spring maintenance. While not every homeowner will be taking off for the long holiday, those that will should consider using some of that time for DIY maintenance. Mid-March is an ideal time for early home maintenance – especially for our neighbors in Houston.

Spring weather has managed to arrive even earlier than usual, which means it won’t be long before the air conditioning is running continuously. Before the weather dictates closed windows and 24 hour HVAC use, going through a practical home maintenance list will help you save both money and electricity.

Outdoor Inspection

Though a Houston winter is mild compared to much of U.S., the cooler temperatures and various holidays tend to keep people inside. Your house has probably been neglected during this window and might need some attention.

  • Check the roof for potential damage incurred by storms or aging. Do any of the shingles appear to be shifting or cracked? Are there any “nail pops,” nails that have pushed a shingle out of place? Make sure that the roof is in good condition for the inevitable storms arriving in the next few months.
  • Check the windows to make sure that the caulking and weather stripping has not been compromised. Inspect the outer walls and surrounding paved areasfor potential foundation issues such as cracking or uneven surfaces. You might need to consult with a foundation specialist if you find signs of shifting.

Interior Inspection

  • Practical Dusting – Over the winter, your HVAC system was probably not used all that much. Dirt and dust can collect inside the ductwork and air vents. Before you turn on the air conditioning for the first time, clean the wall vents with a duster or a vacuum extension. You might need to unscrew the grille to clear away debris inside the ducts if they are particularly dirty.

The Better Way to Dust

  • HVAC Maintenance – The best (and easiest) maintenance that you can perform on your HVAC is the changing out of your air filter. It’s always a good practice to change your filter once in the spring and fall – before continuous usage. During the moths when your HVAC is on consistently (usually May through October), make sure that you change out the filter once a month. This will ensure that your system runs at peak performance – and keep the dust from cycling through; covering your home.
  • Look for Leaks – Check the attic, crawl spaces and areas with exposed plumbing for evidence of leaks that may have gone unnoticed. Leaks in the ceiling are easy enough to identify, but slow leaks in places that don’t get a lot of foot traffic can cause a lot of damage. Be aware of discoloration on the attic ceiling or walls that conceal plumbing. If the plumbing underneath a kitchen or bathroom sink is rusted – or there are signs of mold or water marks; you are dealing with a leak. Call a plumbing professional to have them assess the pipes immediately.
  • Airing Out – One of the main reasons a home’s indoor air quality (IAQ) can become so compromised in the spring are the allergens that are brought inside by our pets and family. Airing out area rugs, door mats and curtains is essential for keeping allergens, dirt and debris in check. Air them out by shaking them outside – as well as vacuuming them once they are returned. Consider replacing all of your door mats, especially if they are more than a few years old. They are key instruments in keeping allergens out of your home and worn fabric/material is not as effective in removing them from footwear.
  • Washing Down – While you are airing out all of the area rugs and door mats, washing floors thoroughly will also help contain all that accumulated dust and dirt. If you have the entire Spring Break week off, washing the windows would be a great project the entire family could rally around. Dust collects everywhere – including walls, pictures and windows. If you want to ensure a clean start to the summer season, washing your interior surfaces is a very thorough way to help get rid of that dust.

Universal is Houston’s first and best choice for all your home service needs – including indoor air quality (IAQ) solutions. If you need help preparing your home for the summer season, don’t hesitate to give us a call! We can help with annual HVAC maintenance, provide a full electrical inspection or asses your home for IAQ options. Call us at (713) 364-0226 to schedule an appointment today!