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Annual Spring Maintenance

Posted June 18th, 2018 under renovations and repairs.

Now that the warm weather is here, it’s time to do your annual checkup for outdoor maintenance and repairs.

Let’s work from the top down. First, walk around the house to check for any loose or missing roof shingles. Have these repaired immediately, before water leaks into the attic.

Next, check the eaves troughs and down spouts for damage, and for any blockage due to leaves and debris. Clean as necessary.

Is any siding loose or damaged? Strong winds earlier in the spring may have affected the siding somewhere you don’t normally look.

Now check the caulking around your windows and doors for any breaks or cracks. If repairs are needed, start by removing the old and loose caulking, then re-caulk.

If any of your windows have wooden framing that is painted, check the paint for cracks or peeling. Repaint as soon as possible to prevent moisture entering the wood.

If you notice humidity between the panes of your window, do not be too concerned. This does not affect the window’s efficiency too much, but is more of a visual problem.

Now let’s get down to the ground level. Check the grading (slope) around your home, making sure that water flows away from the foundation for at least six feet. Every year, the ground around your foundation settles a tiny bit, changing the slope until eventually water starts running toward the house. This is often the cause of leaks and flooding in the basement.

If your grading needs correcting, fill with topsoil until you achieve a steady slope of two inches height for the first six feet away from the foundation.

Now for a few final items that should be checked more than once a year, but we may as well do them now too.

Check the dryer vent on the outside of your home to make sure it isn’t clogged with lint. Clogging causes your dryer to work harder and creates a fire hazard. Cleaning your lint filter in the dryer is important, but you need to check the outside vent at least twice a year as well.

Check the heat exchanger of your AC unit to make sure it’s free of leaves and other debris, and not obstructed by new growth of bushes or plants. Free air flow will maximize the efficiency of your AC unit, which is one of the big power draws in your home.

Finally, some bonus items on the inside of your house. Check to make sure the drain line from your AC cooling coil is not clogged. Change your furnace filter. Make sure your vents are closed in the basement and open on the top floor to direct cool air most efficiently and create healthy air movement.

These last steps will ensure efficient operation of your AC throughout the summer.

Want to know more about maintaining the value of your home? Just ask me, I'll be happy to help.

--Peter

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