1. Test the Alarms
Smoke detectors have a lifespan of around ten years. However, they should be checked regularly, one at a time, in each home.
Test both fire and carbon monoxide detectors by pushing the small “test” button available on nearly all models. If the sensor begins to chirp, it’s operational. Change out the batteries at this time as well. Most detector’s batteries need to be replaced once per year, anyway. Adding this set battery swap into your overall spring maintenance routine is an easy way to ensure it gets done.
Spring is a great time to run a general security alarm test as well, if you have one on your property.
2. Check Thermostats
Thermostats relay vital information about the overall energy efficiency of your property. It’s important to have fully functioning and accurate thermostat readings for many reasons:
- Accurate utility billings: Some utility companies calculate electricity bills based on meter rates. If thermostats or meters are inaccurate, utility expenses will reflect that.
- Accurate building and room temperatures: Maintaining accurate and steady temperatures is essential to happy and satisfied residents in any season.
3. Do an Attic Sweep
Attics demand unique maintenance attention. Winter’s cold, damp climate outside and the dry, dehumidified air inside can create a perfect storm for cosmetic and structural issues within your property’s uppermost level.
During your building’s attic check, you’ll want to be on the lookout for:
- Wood or beam damage, especially from roof leaks
- Signs of infestations, as many insects and rodents nest into buildings during the winter, looking for places to escape the cold and lay their eggs
- Mold or mildew formations, which in many cases will appear as black stains or splotches on wooden beams or in attic corners
4. Consider a Chimney Cleaning
Chimney maintenance is essential for properties with working fireplaces. Every year, chimney components like its hearth, connecting pipes, chimney chute and air inlets should be cleaned by a certified chimney sweep. Chimney sweepers may also look for damaged or leaking areas before they become major structural concerns.
Adding inserts like chimney balloons can also help with energy efficiency, maintaining warm air inside and keeping cold air out — and vice versa in the summer.
5. Wipe the Windows
Warmer months mean the possibility of opening windows and letting fresh air into the home. It also means addressing the dirt, grime and debris that may have built up over the wintertime, especially inside window nooks and crannies.
Use a towel, squeegee or sponge to wipe down window panes and window ledges. No abrasive chemical cleaners or high-pressure washers are necessary, just soft cloths. Also consider removing and cleaning window screens with water and a mild detergent, then allowing each to air dry.
6. Spring Clean Those Carpets
Deep carpet cleaning is especially important if you allow pets in your properties.
A springtime professional carpet-cleaning treatment will remove the dust, allergens and mites that may have settled into carpet fibers, ensuring your property is a clean and healthy environment.
7. Conduct Pipe Maintenance
Winter temperatures are not known to be kind to water pipes. Similar to how the vulnerable components in an attic should be checked, pipes are more susceptible to damage during the changing seasons and also need to be inspected.
Keep an eye out for cracks, dents or bulges in pipes. Check pipe seams for any possible leaks or improperly sealed pipelines as well as well-connected pipes and hoses. Be wary of sweaty pipes, as this shows temperature disparities between pipes and the surrounding air that could be indicative of humidity or ventilation problems.
8. Inspect Furnaces
The system that kept your properties warm all winter long may need a little rest and recovery come Spring. Like alarms, furnaces should be inspected annually and even serviced by professionals, who can perform such maintenance tasks as cleaning the combustion chamber, checking the flue pipe and testing and adjusting the burner.
Other furnace basic maintenance may include:
- Lubricating the blower motor on the heat pump
- Lubricating the motor and circulating pump within the water heater
- Changing the air filters on the furnace
9. Request Feedback from Tenants
It’s always a good idea to hear feedback from actual residents. Tenants can provide first-hand feedback on how day-to-day living conditions were throughout winter. Asking tenants directly about their experience reminds them that you consider their opinions a priority. The extra attention shows you’re diligent and willing to go the extra mile to make the most comfortable home possible for residents.
Home Maintenance for Spring: Tips and To-Dos Outside the Property
Just as you have a spring cleaning checklist inside your home, the outside also needs some post-winter care. Use the following guidelines to stay on top of exterior home maintenance and have your apartment, condos or rental homes in peak condition.
1. Review the Roof
Well-maintained, high-quality roofs help regulate interior temperatures, maintain energy efficiency and keep a house or apartment cozy and dry. They also look great, enhancing the overall appearance of your property.
Roof inspections should start with surveying the shingles. Each should be intact and properly positioned, showing no signs of chips or dents. You’ll want to be on the lookout for nail pops, a common roofing issue where an individual nail begins to push a shingle’s tabs up. If unaddressed, nail pops can allow water to flow beneath shingles, which can lead to potential leaks and structural damage.
Also use your roof inspection to check for membrane splits, odd water pools or damage to roof counter flashes as well as areas near home fixtures such as chimneys and skylights.
2. Replace Damaged Screens
Torn or damaged window screens may have gone undetected during the winter months. After all, few people are opening their windows during the winter season.
If possible, remove each screen from its pane for an up-close inspection. Loose wires or minor fraying around the edges are common in screens nearing the end of their 10- to 15-year lifespan and indicate it’s almost time to replace them. Other more obvious problems, such as patches or actual holes, mean the screen needs to be replaced immediately to avoid issues like bug infiltration.