Now that winter’s grip is fading and warmer weather is right around the corner, it’s time to start thinking about spring home maintenance projects. The mix of extreme cold, wind, snow, rain, and warming cycles during a typical Wyoming winter can be rough on homes. The arrival of spring weather is a good time to take a close look at your home to see how it weathered the Wyoming winter.

Safety Alarms

Spring is a great time to check all smoke and carbon monoxide alarms in your home. Press the test button on each alarm to be sure that it functions. Alarms that are too high to reach may be activated using a stick or pole to depress the test button.

This is also a good time to consider whether safety alarms are due for replacement. We always recommend replacing any alarm that is old enough to be discolored or yellowed. Checking the date on alarms may require taking them down to read the label. Alarms that are 10 years old should probably be upgraded as a safety precaution.

This is the time to replace the batteries in your safety alarms if they are powered by replaceable batteries (usually a 9-Volt battery). A good rule of thumb for battery-powered safety alarms is to replace the batteries each spring and fall to be sure they are fresh.

It’s also a good idea to install 10-year lithium battery alarms if they are not hardwired into your home’s electrical system.

Roof

The roof on your home is designed to be reliable and durable but, like everything else in life, it does not last forever. A roof may fail spectacularly (often following damage from a storm), but many times a roof will begin to slowly fail and leak. Keeping a close eye on the visible parts of your roof may allow you to spot a problem as it is developing and to avoid further damage and even more expensive repairs following months or years of silent leaking.

We realize that many homeowners are not able to perform a thorough roof inspection on their homes. That’s why we offer stand-alone roof inspections at a reasonable price. We will come out and perform a careful inspection of your roof while looking for any signs of failure. Our roof inspections involve a variety of techniques depending on the situation and weather conditions.

Fascia and Trim

The fascia and trim on your home take a beating from wind, rain, snow, and ice. These components are essential for keeping water, wind, and pests from entering the structure of your home. Slowly walking around outside your home, possibly using binoculars for a closer view, while looking at the exterior of the home from different angles may allow you to spot a developing or new issue before serious damage occurs.

Air Conditioning Checkup

Air conditioning systems are expensive, but one way to make them last longer and perform more reliably is to have an annual service performed by a qualified HVAC technician. Scheduling an annual maintenance visit now before the heat of summer is the best way to be sure your system is performing as well as possible when you really need it.

Windows, Doors, and Screens

Spring is the perfect time to carefully look at all windows, doors, and screens to be sure that they are operating as expected. Windows and doors should open and close smoothly, should lock easily, and should not show any signs of water leaks. Screens are desirable for keeping out insects, but are also important to keep birds, bats, and other critters from coming in through windows.

Water Heater

Hot water at the tap is easy to take for granted. Water heaters are often hidden away out of sight (and thus out of mind) until they fail and stop working. Water heaters that are nearing the end of their service life often develop leaks and may have visible rust, particularly around the bottom of the water heater unit.

Water heaters should be equipped with a manufacturer’s data tag that provides a wealth of information. One important detail that should be included on the data tag is the date that the water heater was manufactured. Some manufacturers do not list the date of manufacture on the data tag. Discovering the date on these models requires looking up the serial number in an online database.

Gas water heaters often last for 8-12 years, while electric water heaters often last 10-15 years. These estimates may vary depending on quality, water condition, and maintenance.

Water Leaks

The freezing temperatures during a Wyoming winter may cause water lines and fixtures to freeze. Some of these situations would be immediately apparent, but others might not be so obvious. Spring is a good time to check any water lines or fixtures that you have not used recently, like outdoor hose bibs or water connections in garages, sheds, or other outbuildings.

Gutters and Downspouts

Rain gutters and downspouts are essential for carrying water away from the home and foundation. It is not unusual for gutters or downspouts to become clogged with leaves, sticks, bird nests, or other debris over time. Spring is the perfect time to look over gutters and downspouts to be sure they are ready for action when it rains.

Fire Extinguishers

Fire extinguishers are not just for commercial buildings. Having a fire extinguisher handy when a small fire starts may allow you to safely extinguish the blaze before it spreads. Since it’s easy to forget about fire extinguishers until they are needed, spring is a good time to take a look at each fire extinguisher. Make sure it is easily accessible, that the charge indicator shows that it is ready for use, and that the expiration date has not passed.

Extension Cords

Many homes rely on extension cords to provide electric power where it is needed. Spring is a good time to take a look at all extension cords. Discard and replace any extension cords that are brittle, frayed, or cracked, or that show signs of looseness or burned spots on the ends.

GFCIs

Ground Fault Circuit Interruptor (GFCI) devices are essential for electrical safety. These devices should be installed for receptacles near kitchen counters, bathrooms, garages, decks, laundry rooms, and anywhere moisture or water is a possibility.

GFCI receptacles should be tested periodically by depressing the test button on the receptacle and then resetting the device using the reset button. While it is recommended that GFCI devices are tested at least monthly, spring is a great time to verify that these devices are present where they should be and that they are still working properly.

Annual Maintenance Inspections

Spending a few hours looking over your home every now and again is essential for preserving your real estate investment. Spring is a great time to perform one of these maintenance reviews.

Many homeowners do not have the time or physical ability to perform a careful maintenance inspection of their home. At Frontier Inspections, LLC, we offer annual maintenance inspections for a reasonable price. Call us today at 307-670-3706 or email frontierinspectionsllc@gmail.com for a free quote or to schedule your annual maintenance inspection this spring.