Monday, March 20th welcomed the first day of spring to the Midwest. After making it through the long cold winter, it’s now time to start thinking about warmer temperatures. And with these warmer temperatures, come some spring projects to fix any issues that have surfaced due to winter storms or the expansion of water.

ServiceMaster by Rice shares these tips to help you recover from the winter with both indoor and outdoor tips for your home or business.

Replace the Batteries in Your Smoke Detectors

It’s best practice to test the batteries of all your smoke detectors at the start and end of Daylight Savings Time. If your batteries are low or out, replace them immediately. By putting a reminder in your calendar or phone, it helps you remember it every season, too.

If you haven’t checked the batteries yet this year, it’s not too late; do it as soon as possible!

Check your Fire Extinguishers

Similar to your smoke detectors, your fire extinguishers also need to be inspected about once a year. If you don’t already have a fire extinguisher, it’s good to keep one in the kitchen and another in the laundry room. If you do have extinguishers, make sure that they are still charged, easily accessible and not behind a pile of clutter in the corner.

Clean leaves and other debris from gutters and downspouts

Debris accumulates in gutters and downspouts throughout Fall and Winter. Since most of us don’t want to climb a ladder to clean those out in January, Spring is a perfect time to clear out any clogs from these areas. If you don’t clean your gutters at least once a year, it can lead to overflowing and deterioration of the materials around your gutters, and these repairs can be very costly.

Clean lint, dust, and other materials from your clothes dryer exhaust duct

Lint, dust and other debris in and around your dryer’s exhaust is one of the leading causes of home fires. Lint ignites very quickly, and a fire in your laundry room can spread extremely rapidly — which is especially troubling if you run your dryer while you’re not home. To prevent laundry fires, it’s good to clean out your dryer’s exhaust duct, and to clean your dryer’s lint screen.

Check the shingles, caulking and flashing on your roof for damage from winter weather

Any damage from winter and fall storms can lead to costly damage to your roof and attic. Inspect your roof in the Spring to prevent any permanent damage to the wood and framing of your home caused by water entering through any leaks.

Check siding for any pieces that may have come loose during winter storms.

If a winter or fall storm damaged or loosed part of your home or business’ siding, reattach or repair it as quickly as possible. Leaving part of your exterior exposed will allow water, mold and other debris in. If it’s not something you can repair yourself, call a professional to repair them.

Trim trees and remove dead or loose branches.

In the Spring, inspect all the trees above and around your home or business. Falling branches can cause a lot of damage to your roof and exterior. If there are any dead or loose branches, trim these before the growing season start. Be careful with oak trees; to avoid oak wilt disease DO NOT prune oaks from April to October.

Check caulking and insulation around windows and doors

Caulking and insulation help keep water and hot air out during the summer months. By keeping these out, you not only prevent water and mold damage but can also save money on your heating & cooling bills.

Iowa residential & commercial water and fire damage cleanup

ServiceMaster by Rice performs water and fire damage cleanup for residential and commercial properties in the Midwest. If the water damage is severe, our service technicians also perform mold cleanup and removal services. If your home is affected by water or fire damage on any scale, call us at 1-800-727-8515 for emergency water clean-up or fire damage clean-up in central Iowa.