spring cleaning

The wet, wintry months are almost over, and spring is just around the corner! While you may be ready to jump into spring, is your home? Cold temperatures, ice and heavy rain are really hard on your home. Before you head outside to enjoy the sunshine, warmer temperatures and blooming flowers, it’s important to freshen up and protect your home with some spring cleaning and maintenance.

Prevent water damage and get your home ready for spring with this spring cleaning and maintenance checklist. We’ll work from top to bottom and from the exterior to the interior. Here goes…

  1. Check your roof and chimneys for damage: Inspect your roof, shingles, flashing, eaves, and overhangs for signs of damage. Your roof is often the first line of defense against water entering your home, so it’s vital that it is doing its job. If you notice any damage, contact a professional roofer for repairs before it becomes a significant problem.
  2. Clean gutters and downspouts: Improper drainage from your gutters and downspouts can cause water to pool around your foundation. While spring showers are unlikely to flood your home, consistent water around your foundation is likely to cause water damage.
  3. Pressure wash the siding of your home: Once this is complete, carefully inspect all wood surfaces for weathering and paint failure. Deal with any problem areas quickly to avoid further damage! Sand the area, apply a primer and repaint.
  4. Examine the exterior caulking of your home: Damage or deterioration to the exterior walls could allow water, insects, rodents and even birds to enter your home. Make sure there are no leaks or drafts around doors or windows. If there are, seal them with caulk.
  5. Wash and weather-proof windows and doors: Wash windows and screens inside and out. If damaged, repair or replace them. Gaps in windows and doors can also allow water to enter your home. Make sure that windows and doors form a firm seal. Replace weather stripping and fill gaps with caulk, if necessary.
  6. Check your basement for cracks and leaks: Inspect your foundation walls, the floors, concrete and any mason work for cracking, damage or deterioration. If you notice multiple bricks are losing their mortar or significant cracks in the concrete, bring a professional in as soon as possible to assess your foundation’s status and prevent any further deterioration.
  7. Check for fire hazards: Frayed wires or loose-fitting plugs are potential fire hazards. Outlets, fuse boxes and extension cords also should be checked to make sure they are not overloaded. Built-up lint in the hose of your clothes dryer can also cause a fire, so be sure to vacuum it occasionally.
  8. Check your smoke detectors and fire extinguishers: Change the batteries in your smoke detectors and ensure they are in working order. Be sure your fire extinguisher is accessible and in good condition in case of an emergency.
  9. Be sure your air conditioner, furnace and water heater are running efficiently: Schedule spring maintenance for your air conditioner and water heater and change the furnace filters to keep them in good working order!

Whether you tackle a few tasks each day or set aside an entire weekend, a thorough home inspection after the last frost of the season can help you spot damage before it becomes a larger issue. Happy spring cleaning!

Spring Cleaning and Maintenance Checklist

blockchain tech

Since its introduction, blockchain technology has created a tremendous buzz. Though it was originally developed for the digital currency, Bitcoin, the tech community is discovering other potential uses for the technology. Specifically, a recent Forbes article emphasized how blockchain technology could improve manufacturing this year.

What is Blockchain?

First, let’s discuss the basics of blockchain. Blockchain technology allows digital information to be distributed but not copied. Don and Alex Tapscott, authors of Blockchain Revolution, defined blockchain as “an incorruptible digital ledger of economic transactions that can be programmed to record not just financial transactions but virtually everything of value.” Fortunately, like the internet and other technology, you don’t need to know how the blockchain works to use it. But if you’d like to learn more, check out the video below.

Benefits of Blockchain

In general, blockchain has the ability to transform traditional business models. It offers many business benefits, including greater transparency, enhanced security, improved traceability, increased efficiency and speed of transactions, and reduced costs.  According to Gartner, “the business value-add of blockchain will grow to slightly more than $176 billion by 2025, and then it will exceed $3.1 trillion by 2030.”

Blockchain in the Manufacturing Industry

Forbes emphasized that blockchain has the most potential to deliver business value in the manufacturing industry. Likewise, according to Capgemini Research Institute’s study, blockchain technology can improve manufacturing businesses’ supply chain efficiency by:

  • Increasing transparency and responsiveness.
  • Helping the end-consumer definitively identify if a product is manufactured by a given brand, which ensures authenticity and reduces counterfeits.
  • Enabling organizations to quickly trace contamination to its source and mitigate against costly and a potentially reputation-damaging mass recall of products.

These supply chain advancements could positively impact the manufacturing industry by increasing cost savings, reducing risks, averting product recalls and more. Capgemini’s study further revealed that 87 percent of organizations are in the early experimental stages, 10 percent are at the advanced stage of experimentation and 3 percent are deploying blockchain at scale. Though blockchain adoption is in its early stages across all business industries, manufacturers are leading the way. Is your business ready to adopt blockchain technology?