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How to take care of your new home in spring

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Spring is in the air, and according to the calendar it’s been around for a couple of weeks already! If we’ve built you a new house, or you have an older house, here are some great suggestions and maintenance reminders for this season:

  • After consulting your hot water tank owner’s manual, carefully test the temperature and pressure relief valve to ensure it is not stuck. Caution: This test may release hot water that can cause burns.
  • Check and clean or replace furnace air filters each month during the heating season. Ventilation system, such as heat recovery ventilator, filters should be checked every two months.
  • Have fireplace or wood stove and chimney cleaned and serviced as needed.
  • Shut down, drain and clean furnace humidifier, and close the furnace humidifier damper on units with central air conditioning.
  • Switch on power to air conditioning and check system. Have it serviced every two or three years.
  • Clean or replace air-conditioning filter, if applicable.
  • Check dehumidifier and drain — clean if necessary.
  • Turn OFF gas furnace and fireplace pilot lights where possible.
  • Have well water tested for quality. It is recommended that you test for bacteria every six months.
  • Check smoke, carbon monoxide and security alarms, and replace batteries.
  • Clean windows, screens and hardware, and replace storm windows with screens. Check screens first and repair or replace if needed.
  • Open valve to outside hose connection after all danger of frost has passed.
  • Examine the foundation walls for cracks, leaks or signs of moisture, and repair as required (contact your home warranty provider if you still have coverage)
  • Ensure sump pump is operating properly before the spring thaw sets in. Ensure discharge pipe is connected and allows water to drain away from the foundation.
  • Re-level any exterior steps or decks that moved as a result of frost or settling.
  • Check for and seal off any holes in exterior cladding that could be an entry point for small pests, such as bats and squirrels.
  • Check eavestroughs and downspouts for loose joints and secure attachment to your home, clear any obstructions, and ensure water flows away from your foundation.
  • Clear all drainage ditches and culverts of debris.
  • Repair and paint fences as necessary — allow wood fences to dry adequately before tackling this task.
  • Undertake spring landscape maintenance and, if necessary, fertilize young trees.

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