When that first burst of strong sunlight appears in March, it’s not just our gardens that are brought to life. Most people use spring as an opportunity to get their homes in tip-top shape before the warmer weather comes. With more hours of daylight, it’s easier to find time for home maintenance tasks.
Ensuring your home is as safe as can be should definitely be on your list. As experts in smart home security, we’ve compiled our spring home maintenance checklist. Each of these tasks works alongside our home security tips and spring home security tips, to help prepare your home for the year ahead.
Your Spring Home Maintenance Checklist
To improve the safety of your home, simply follow this spring home maintenance checklist.
Check exterior wall security
Check that all of your exterior walls and fences remain secure after the high winds over the winter. Look out for small gaps and loose or broken fence panels. Treat your fence with decking oil to keep it strong and water-resistant all year round. If any of your brickwork or masonry is in need of repair, wait until after the last chance of winter frost and get it on your list.
Ensure windows are secure from the outside
Check all of your home’s windows from the outside. Attempt to open them from the outside to determine their security. Are the latches robust, is the frame in good condition and are the window panes free from cracks?
Look for visible water stains, water damage or rot to your frames, these can all compromise a window’s integrity. If your window frames or even the glass are damaged, fix or replace to keep your windows as strong as possible.
Check door locks for rust
The damp and cold of winter can wreak havoc on metal locks. Steel locks are particularly susceptible.
In the spring, it’s recommended you check all locks for signs of rust. If your lock has rusted, it should be visible from the outside, and it may have seized up. Rust can usually be removed with an acid like white vinegar, so be sure to check every door lock rigorously to catch it early.
How can locks get damaged in the winter months?
The winter is typically wetter, meaning that moisture can get inside the mechanism of your door locks. If the temperature drops to near freezing, this moisture will freeze inside the lock. This makes key insertion difficult; your key could even get stuck inside the frozen lock.
If your home has wooden door frames, be aware that the wood may contract or warp when the temperature drops. This can affect lock function, as the deadbolt may not be able to work effectively.
Sub-zero temperatures can also make locks brittle. In some unfortunate circumstances, this can break the lock entirely.
Make sure shed locks are still secure
Because it’s placed outside, a shed lock is more prone to rust and other damage. Be sure to repair or replace the lock if necessary. Lawn maintenance equipment and outdoor furniture can be valuable, making it a prime target for thieves.
Check indoor window locks
Indoor window locks are important in blocking intruders’ potential entrance into your home.Every spring, you should check that your interior locks are working effectively. Make sure you have the necessary key for every window lock, too. And whatever you do, make sure they are not kept near the window, or anywhere visible from the outside as this can invalidate your home insurance if you are burgled.
Keep hedges under control
Hidden spots and dark corners provide the perfect places for thieves to hide. Keeping shrubs and hedges well pruned is one option, as is making sure smart exterior lighting reaches into even the darkest corners. This gives you a clearer view of your outdoor spaces and minimises the potential hiding spots on your premises.
Install/repair outdoor lighting
Connected to the previous point, spring is a great time to check the function of all your floodlights, are they responding accurately to movement? Are all the bulbs functioning? If not, it’s time to source bulb replacements or upgrade to smart lighting you can control from the comfort of your home, whatever the season.
How can spring cleaning help with home security?
You might be surprised to hear that a thorough spring clean can help with home security. Here are a few reasons why:
- When you tidy, make a written note of your valuable items. Consider how safe they are in their present location. A reformed burglar we spoke to told us the bedroom is the first place he looks for valuables. If you have jewellery, watches or other items of sentimental value you’d find hard to replace, consider hiding a safe somewhere in your home that’s securely fitted to the floor so can’t be easily moved.
- As you clean, try to identify internal and external security problems. For example, when cleaning your window sills, you might notice some moisture damage or rust that makes the window difficult to lock from the inside. This can then be fixed immediately so that burglars don’t have an easy access point into your home.
Spring is the perfect time to upgrade your home security
Spring is a great time to think about improving your home security. Burglaries aren’t limited to dark evenings and stormy nights. Thieves also strike during holiday times, when there’s more chance they can enter uninterrupted.
If your home isn’t fitted with a security system, consider purchasing a smart home security system and enjoy the warmer weather in peace.