For those of you that own a home, taking care of that home proactively is frequently a difficult task. How do you know what to do and when to do it? What’s the downside to not doing it? We’ve compiled an easy-to-read list of some things in order of importance. This way you can pick and choose which things you want to get done, which items you can do by yourself, and which ones you’d like to hire out.
Check for Exterior Wood Rot & Paint Failings
One of the most expensive repairs we see on homes is exterior wood rot. Almost all of which could be prevented if there was simply a fresh coat of paint on all exterior wood. In general, we recommend repainting completely about every 5-8 years depending on how much direct weather your home gets hit with (rain, wind, even sun). Touchup painting should be done at least once a year, to hit those areas that are worst affected by the elements. By doing it annually, you can help push out the need for complete repainting by a few years. This combined with the fact that you are checking/preventing trim and siding from rotting can save you a lot of money. Plus, this is usually an easy DIY check and repair.
Inspect Shingles on Roof
Missing or curled up shingles can allow water into your home, and these usually aren’t a big deal to replace. Although, if you have a bit of a steep roof, we would strongly recommend you not do this yourself.
Full gutters allow for freezing water or snow to pile up and weigh them down. This can pull gutters away from the house and allow water near the foundation. Snow, ice, and water can even work its way back up and into the home, causing a lot of damage to drywall, framing, and possessions. If you’re comfortable on a ladder then this can be done by the homeowner. If not, please hire a local company to clean them out.
Remove Exterior Hoses
This one can wait until fall, but don’t forget to do it before winter or the first freeze! Remove all hoses and turn off the water to exterior spigots and drain the water. Water left on exterior spigots will frequently lead to frozen pipes as the water expands when it freezes. It’s very important to turn off the spigots at the shut off valve inside your home and then turn on the spigot to get all water out of the piping. Easy to do yourself.
Maintain Your Garage Door
Clean and lube garage door tracks, hinges, rollers, and spring. This will help prolong your opener, which can cost a lot to fix if they break, especially the spring. It’s also very inconvenient if your car gets trapped inside. Easy to do yourself.
Clean Your Dryer Vent
Disconnect dryer vent from the dryer and clean out the lint. One of the most common places home fires start is a full dryer vent. Keep these ducts/hoses clean. Pretty easy to do yourself. If you have a lot of buildup, you might want to consider hiring a professional duct cleaner as they’ll go up through all the tubing from the dryer to the exterior, that you may not be able to reach. You can at least get it away from the dryer itself easily.
Check Caulking and Weather Stripping Around Windows and Doors
Maybe not as urgent, but can certainly cost you money and comfort if air is getting into your home easily. Also, doing this will stop any leaking water from getting in as well. This can be done by the homeowner or hired out. It can be time-consuming and possibly involve ladder work.
HVAC Clean and Service
We recommend having your units cleaned and serviced twice a year before air conditioning season starts and before heating season starts. You can save a lot of money by keeping the systems clean, plus prolong the life of the equipment. Especially if you have pets that shed. Always use a professional HVAC company for this. They have equipment you don’t have and can see if other components need to be repaired or replaced.
Check Smoke Alarms & CO2 Detectors
A good rule of thumb is when the time changes in spring and fall to test and/or change your detector batteries. It’s obviously very important for the alarms to be working in the unlikely event you have a fire or that carbon dioxide is leaking into your home. You can do this easily yourself.
We hope we’ve helped prepare you to prepare your home for the change in season. If you need help with any of these items, please don’t hesitate to call Crew Property Improvement Specialists.
This article was written by guest author Eric Schneller with Crew Property Improvement Specialists