Time for Spring Cleaning!

Despite the 4-5 inches of snow we got last night, spring is right around the corner (in fact, it should already be here). With no snow in the immediate forecast, we might actually be able to get out and do some spring cleaning. Here’s a list to get you started:


At the Exterior:

  • Clean the gutters and make sure all the downspouts are connected
  • Inspect your roof. Look for loose or damaged shingles. Clean off branches and debris
  • Clean the combustion air or makeup air intake vents. Make sure to clean all vents at the exterior – dirt and debris can really build up on the screens protecting the vents
  • Clean the clothes dryer duct. Check the damper at the exterior – it should move freely and close properly
  • Check the condition of the siding. Look for loose boards or peeling paint. Check for cracks in stucco exteriors. 
  • Check the weather-stripping around windows and doors. Repair/replace as necessary.


  • Have the flues professionally cleaned on any wood burning fireplaces.
  • Make sure spark arrestors and rain hats are installed on all flues.
  • Check under the bottoms of gas fireplace inserts and clean out any dust.

In the Mechanical Room

  • Check and replace the furnace filter. This should be done every 30-45 days.
  • Check and clean the filters of the air exchange system (if present).
  • Clean up dust and debris from around the base of the water heater and furnace.
  • Test your water heater’s Temperature Pressure Release Valve (it sticks out the side or top of the water heater). 

Smoke / CO Alarms

  • Replace the batteries in all smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors and check the test buttons.
  • Smoke alarms should be located inside every bedroom and one in a common area on every level.
  • CO detectors should be located within 10 feet of every sleeping room (and not in furnace rooms, kitchens, or garages).
  • Check the age of your smoke and CO alarms; smoke alarms are good for up to ten years, CO alarms are good for up to five years. If they’re any older, replace them.



About Jon Errickson

A home inspector in the Minneapolis and St. Paul metro area.
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