Western New York winters can be brutal on a home if you haven’t prepped for the 100-plus inches of snow the area receives annually. Once the snow finally melts, homeowners should check for any damage to their home from the winter’s snow and ice.

Here are the top seven things you should check your home for after the winter.

Clear Away the Clutter

Spraying path with red boots

A long winter can leave a lot of things on your yard that once weren’t. Will Dorothy’s house come flying from a tornado only to land on your pool? Probably not, but you will find leaves, sticks and other miscellany that weren’t there before, nor belong there.

Once the snow clears, spend some time clearing the yard and power washing any pathways and patios. You’d be surprised how dirty snow is.

Chimney Damage

old chimney

Chimneys can take lot of damage during the winter time, especially if you live in a climate with a lot of temperature fluctuation that crosses the freezing point. If water gets into crevices  and freezes, it will expand and could potentially cause damage. In addition, metal components of your chimney could be susceptible to rust through prolonged water exposure.

If there is noticeable damage to your chimney, you should call your local trusted chimney contractors before more damage is done.

Replace Broken Shingles

broken shingles

While you’re up on your roof looking at the chimney, it would be best to look at your roof shingles as well. Roofs take on a lot of snow and water during the months and like chimneys, roofs can be greatly affected by rapid freezing and thawing.

Shingles that are broken, loose or crumbling should be replaced and the flashing near gutters should be examined and replaced as needed.

Service Your Air Conditioner

Air conditioner

Your central air conditioning is exposed to the elements year-round and is prone to not work as well if it’s dirty. You should schedule your unit’s annual service and cleaning in the Spring so your home is ready for any unexpectedly hot days in early Spring.

Also, an A/C unit with clean coils will run more efficiently, thus lowering your home cooling bills.

Clean Your Ceiling Fans and Change the Setting

wiping ceiling fan

If you don’t remember the last time you cleaned your ceiling fans, prepare to be disgusted. The often neglected ceiling fan will accumulate dust like none other. It’s surprising how much dust collects atop the blades considering how fast and often it’s moving.

Once you’ve properly cleaned the fan and blades, switch the setting to spring/summer so the fan will circulate cold air.

Inspect Your Windows for Gaps

glue gun

Check your window frames, inside and out, for any cracks or gaps after the winter. These gaps can let cool air out during the summer if they go unrepaired, which will drive up your cooling costs.

Often, windows just need to be re-caulked or a weather strip needs to be replaced. A simple job that many people can handle on their own.

Break out the Grill

top of propane tank

Arguably the best part of Springtime is dusting off the grill. Like many of us, even if it doesn’t need to be grilled, it’ll get grilled. Before firing it up though, homeowners would be best served by checking the burner jets for any clogging that may have occurred, as well as any damage to the gas lines and connections. If you’re cooking with charcoal, give the grill a thorough cleaning to make sure it’s clear of any ash or grease.