Everyone has an extra little spring in their step now that winter is officially behind us, but chances are your home and car are a bit sluggish. Now that the snow is cleared and the weather is getting warmer, it’s time to give both some TLC.
Spring maintenance tips for your home
If you love your home, it will love you back, and one of the best ways to avoid having to submit a home insurance claim is with regular maintenance.
1. Examine your roof
Your roof helps keep the elements out, and if your shingles are cracked, loose, or curling, it may be time to have the roof replaced.
2. Check your eavestroughs and downspouts
Clean your eavestroughs and check that they are not loose or leaky. Also, make sure your downspout extends at least 1.5 metres away (five feet) from your home, so the water drains away from the building to minimize the risk of a wet basement.
3. Do some landscaping
During heavy summer rainstorms, it’s not uncommon for trees and branches to cause damage to a home. If any trees on your property are unhealthy, it may be time to think about removing them. For healthy trees, keep them pruned, so they’re not a threat to the home (or utility wires) should a branch break off.
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4. Repair your driveway and walkways
Repair your home's walkways or driveway if it has cracked or become uneven over the winter to minimize the chance of someone tripping and falling on your property.
5. Check your foundation for leaks or cracks
Do a walkabout around your home to look for cracks in the foundation that could lead to a leak. If you come across any, have them repaired and sealed to minimize the risk of water entering your home.
Spring maintenance tips for the car
Your home isn’t the only thing that has weathered the winter. Your car is likely showing signs of wear and tear too.
6. Give your car a good cleaning
Rejuvenate the interior of your car by wiping down the windows, washing the floor mats, getting rid of accumulated trash, and vacuuming the upholstery and carpet to remove any dirt and road salt. Then move on to washing the exterior, starting with the roof and working your way down. Use mild diluted soap and dry your vehicle right away to prevent water spots.
7. Change your wiper blades
Wiper blades should be changed a couple of times a year, and there is no better time to tackle this small project than during a car spring cleaning day.
8. Switch over to all-season tires
Winter tires don’t like the warm weather. They’ll wear out faster and won’t work as well as your all-season tires. A good rule-of-thumb is to put your all-seasons on when the temperature is consistently 7° Celsius or warmer. If you benefit from a winter tire discount, you'll need to keep them on until April.
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9. Check your tire pressure and treads
Check your tire pressure (including the spare). Refer to your owner’s manual to see what your tire’s pressure should be. Also, check your tire’s treads: tires are manufactured with wear bars, and when the bar becomes exposed, it’s time to look into replacing them.
10. Take your car to the mechanic for servicing
Take your car to a trusted mechanic for a spring tune-up. The tune-up should include everything from checking your car’s oil and other important fluids to checking the filters, belts, hoses, lights (interior and exterior) and the battery.