Spring Forward Can Mean Much More than an Hour of Lost Sleep

Last Sunday we celebrated Daylight Savings Time with a lost hour of sleep. That semi-annual ritual is also a good time to change the batteries in your smoke detectors to ensure they are working properly in the event of a home fire. As the days get longer and warmer, it is also a good idea to check other areas of your home, business and property for additional hazards that often arise thanks to snow and ice.

After a particularly bad snowstorm this winter, a homeowner noticed a stain on the drywall in his garage. He checked the attic then called a roofer who discovered that the flashing installed on his new home was not adequate for the ice dam that had formed in conjunction with settling snow and ice. And when the ice melted, it had nowhere to go. Unfortunately, the home warranty had expired, so the homeowner was on his own for the repairs.

Does this sound familiar? Even if your home is 20 years old, poorly installed flashing, storm damaged shingles and other debris and deterioration from winter weather could cause your home to be more susceptible to interior damage. Be sure to check walls and ceilings throughout your home and garage and call a professional to examine and repair any damage. And don’t forget to check caulking around doors and windows to ensure that any expansion cracks are filled before the spring rains begin.

Winter weather can also cause pipes to freeze, especially outdoor valves. Be sure to inspect components for leaks, including those above-ground pipes leading to underground irrigation.

Before firing up your lawn mower, tractor or other outdoor equipment, check to make sure they are in good working order. Consider a professional tune-up, and always make sure oil and gas for lawn equipment are stored away from flammable materials or equipment that may cause a spark.

Potholes are an issue on our roads, but sidewalks and walkways can also deteriorate from constant freezing and thawing during winter months. Fill in cracks and even out sidewalks to avoid a tripping hazard for visitors and guests.

Large trees may be another potential hazard on your property. Broken limbs can fall on people or property and cause serious damage. Check for trees that have grown over your roof and cut limbs or the entire tree if it looks like it might fall on your or your neighbor’s roof during the next heavy storm.