Home Tip Tuesday: Spring Home Maintenance

As weather warms up in spring, it's an ideal time to catch up with home maintenance tasks after the long winter. Add these 7 tasks to your spring maintenance checklist. 

1. Replace smoke alarm batteries - Traditional wisdom recommends replacing the batteries in your smoke alarm twice a year. Doing this task when time changes in the spring and fall makes it easy to remember. 

2. Clean your gutters - Even if you cleaned the gutters in the fall, it's a good idea to clean them again in spring. Over the winter, twigs, branches, leaves, and other debris can clog gutters. Clearing them out helps them work properly and protects shingles from water damage when it rains. Don't forget to check that downspouts point away from the house and are free of debris. 

3. Prune trees and shrubs - You'll have an easier time pruning trees and shrubs when you do it before they leaf out, since you can see the branch structure clearly. Prune away any dead, diseased, or damaged wood. Trim trees away from utility wires, and lastly prune for shape. 

4. Have the AC serviced - Central air conditioners require annual servicing to work efficiently. Spring is the perfect time to schedule your servicing, so you know the AC works well before summer arrives. A technician should clean the unit, replace the filter, and let you know of any upcoming repairs the central AC will need to keep working. 

5. Get your lawn and garden care equipment ready for the season - Lawn mowers, hedge trimmers, weed whackers, hand pruners -- all of these tools help you keep your lawn and garden looking their best throughout the spring, summer, and fall. Spring is the time to have tools sharpened, change the oil in your lawnmower, replace weed whacker string, or purchase any tools you don't have. 

6. Check the roof - It's always a smart idea to check the roof after winter, when snow and ice can cause major damage. Making roof repairs now keeps your roof intact, prevents leaks, and safeguards your home. 

7. Wash the windows and clean the screens - Opening the windows allows fresh air into your home, and can help you stay cool while curbing energy use. Before you open the windows for the season, give the panes and screens a good scrub with soapy water. You'll be able to see much better, and can safely open the windows without letting dirt into your home. If screens are ripped, this is the perfect time to patch them.

Spread these seven tasks out or accomplish them all in one weekend to get your home ready for the warm weather. 

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