Old man winter always seems to begin winding down in March and gets us excited for Spring time. Still, he may throw some more nasty snow or cold winds at us; however, we know the thaw will come and springtime will be here. When the warmer weather hits we need to take advantage of it and start our Spring home cleaning. That way when the beautiful weather is here to stay we can enjoy it!

Before you begin planting your gardens and pulling out the patio furniture, you might want to get a check list ready for your home and yard. Here are a few spring home cleaning tips to get you started:

1.     Examine your roof

The winter weather can cause some real damage to your roof especially as it ages. Snow and ice damning can cause shingles to lift or curl which can lead to problems down the road. It is recommended and sometimes required by your insurance company that if you have an asphalt roof that you replace it every 15 years. Not to mention the high winds that typically come towards the end of winter or early spring can cause those shingles to detach from the roof. Replace any missing shingles, and any that are cracked, buckled or loose. Also, check flashing around plumbing vents and chimneys. If you are looking at an older roof, start budgeting now for your replacement. You and your insurance company will be thankful you did!

roof top of a house

2.     Gutters and downspouts

Not just a job for the fall – spring is an important time to check your gutters for any clogs and for loose or leaky areas. Improper drainage in your downspouts or gutters can lead water down into your foundation or basement. You want to ensure that any melting snow or rainwater is draining well away from your home. You should also look into overland water protection on your home owner’s policy. Water damage is now responsible for more property insurance claims than any other, ask your broker about upgrading your policy.

downspout coming from the house to help rain flow away from foundation

3.     Cracks in concrete

Inspect all concrete areas in your foundation, walkways and patios. All exterior slabs should drain the water away from your home, so if you see cracks fill them as soon as possible with concrete crack filler or silicone caulking. In most cases if water seeps into your home as a result of a crack in your foundation your insurance policy will not respond. This is considered maintenance and wear and tear and the responsibility falls on the homeowner.

cracked walkway

4.     Move firewood and debris

If you stored firewood near your home over the winter, now is the time to move it away. It should be at least two feet from any structure and at least 18 inches off of the ground. This is a good time to do a clean sweep of any garbage or debris around your home that may be damp.

split firewood stacked up against a wall

5.     Outdoor faucets, lighting, and air conditioning units

Turn on your outdoor faucets and check for any leaking or damage that may have occurred over the winter. Check that all of your outdoor lighting is in good working order and have your air conditioning unit inspected before you turn it on. Servicing this unit on an annual basis will ensure it is operating at peak and will help prolong the life of the unit.

a water hose faucet that is frozen

A good start to any season is to prepare your home and these spring home cleaning tips can help you target the main areas that need maintenance now. Not to mention Canada has experienced some rather extreme weather in recent years, and this is a trend that is expected to continue. Blame global warming, Mother Nature or whatever it may be, but this weather has had an effect on home insurance rates due to an unexpected increase in claims. One of the best ways to mitigate the chance of a claim is through proper home cleaning and maintenance. And although you cannot control the weather, you do have control over your home cleaning and the home insurance coverage options available to you.

Talk to a broker today!