Spring Checklist for your Calgary Alberta home.
The sun is peeking out, the snow is starting to melt, and it must be time for spring chores again. Here’s an annual spring checklist of important issues to tend to around your Calgary Alberta home.
1. Roofing repairs: If you suspect winter snow may have damaged your roof, inspect it. (If you’re not comfortable with the height or steepness of your roof, hire a licensed roofing contractor for the inspection.) Look for missing or loose shingles, including ridge-cap shingles. Examine the condition of the flashings around chimneys, flue pipes, vent caps, and anyplace where the roof and walls intersect. Look for overhanging trees that could damage the roof in a wind storm, as well as buildups of leaves and other debris. If you have roof damage, or if old shingles make patching impractical, consider having the entire roof redone. Also, remember that if the shingles have been damaged by wind or by impact from falling tree limbs, the damage may be covered by your homeowner’s insurance.
2. Check gutters and downspouts: Look for areas where the fasteners may have pulled loose, and for any sags in the gutter run. Also, check for water stains that may indicate joints that have worked loose and are leaking. Clean leaves and debris to be ready for spring and summer.
3. Fences and gates: Fence posts are especially susceptible to groundwater saturation and will loosen up and tilt if the soil around them gets too soaked. Check fence posts in various areas by wiggling them to see how solidly embedded they are. If any are loose, wait until the surrounding soil has dried out, then excavate around the bottom of the posts and pour additional concrete to stabilise them. Replace any posts that have rotted.
4. Clear yard debris: Inspect landscaping for damage, especially trees. If you see any cracked, leaning or otherwise dangerous conditions with any of your trees, have a licensed, insured tree company inspect and trim or remove them as needed. Clean up leaves, needles, small limbs and other material that has accumulated. Do any spring pruning that’s necessary. Remove and dispose of all dead plant material.
5. Fans and air conditioners: Clean and check the operation of cooling fans, air conditioners and furnace fans. Check outdoor central air conditioning units for damage or debris buildup, and clean or replace any filters. Check the roof or wall caps where the fan ducts terminate to make sure they are undamaged and well sealed. Check dampers for smooth operation.
6. Check and adjust sprinklers (after the ground thaws): Run each set of in-ground sprinklers through a cycle and watch how and where the water is hitting.
7. Winter weather can move soil and create buildups or grade problems that will allow groundwater to drain into the foundation, so regrade as necessary. Remove outdoor faucet covers. Turn on the water supply to outdoor faucets if it’s been shut off.
8. Prepare yard tools: Replace broken or damaged handles, and clean and condition metal parts. Tighten fittings and fasteners, sharpen cutting tools and mower blades, and service engines and belts in lawn mowers and other power equipment.
9. Change furnace filters: Now is the time to replace furnace filters that have become choked with dust from the winter heating season. It's essential if you have central air conditioning, or if you utilise your heating system’s fan to circulate air during the summer.
10. Check smoke detectors: Daylight Savings Time snuck up early again this year, and that’s usually the semi-annual reminder to check your smoke alarms. So, if you haven’t already done it, now’s the time. Replace the batteries, clean the covers, and test the detector’s operation before it’s too late.
If you have gas-fired appliances in the house, add a carbon monoxide detector as well (or check the operation of your existing one). CO2 sensors are inexpensive and easy to install and are available at most home centres and other retailers of electrical parts and supplies.