March madness is here — not the basketball kind, but the home kind.
It's that time of year when homeowners who've been through a few winters know that to be at the top of their game, they have to be proactive. Here are four things they always do:
#1 Patch Up the Bare Spots in the Lawn
That'll keep both mud and water out of your house as snow and ice continue to melt and spring rains arrive.
Related: 5 Ways to Prepare Your Lawn for Spring
#2 Inspect the Roof and Siding (Using Binoculars!)
Your home's outer coat — its roof and siding — takes a major beating during severe cold weather. March's slightly warmer temps make it an ideal time to look for early signs of roof problems — before they become money-gobblers.
Grab some binoculars (it's safer than climbing on the roof and a time-saver) and start looking for signs of damage:
- Loose or curling shingles
- Damaged gutters
- Peeling paint
- Cracks in the foundation
And start scheduling repairs before the damage gets more extensive.
#3 Put Up Window Screens
They last longer if you remove and store them for the winter (plus windows without screens will let in more warming rays of sunshine).
But regardless of whether you removed them last fall, now's the time to repair any holes, frames, or loose screens so you can open your windows for a fresh, clean breeze that's bug-free.
#4 Replace Batteries in Smoke Detectors
They should be changed once a year.
And if you're pressing the "test" button to see if it works, know this: That button tests the alarm sound — not whether the device actually detects smoke . (To see if it can detect smoke, light a match, then blow it out holding the stream of smoke near the device. If it goes off, it works.)