Spring Maintenance Tips to Improve Your Home
Well the snow is quickly fading and your Yard and House need some loving care. Here are some Spring Maintenance Tips that might make that a little easier for you. Timely maintenance can often prevent a small problem from ballooning into an expensive repair. Paint, Caulking, Exterior Wood, Decks, Doors and Windows all should be checked for damage or wear.
Maintenance Check List
#1 Inspect those Gutters – Debris or damage to gutters can affect how water is being collected and discharged around your home. Blocked or damaged gutters can result in water damage to fascia and soffit areas of your house. Missing or broken extensions could allow water to seep into your basement. Check your downspout fastenings for damage. A quick fastening repair can prevent downspout from disconnecting and becoming damaged.
#2 Caulking Inspection – Windows and Doors should be closely inspected for cracked or missing caulking. Damaged caulking can allow air movement and moisture penetration. Protect your homes finish and save energy by maintaining your homes caulking.
#3 Wood Structures – Inspect your decks, porches, steps and railings for rotting or moisture damage. Broken boards, steps or railing can be a safety hazard which could result in someone falling or suffering an injury. Check carefully for cracks or areas of rot. Replace any defective material.
#4 Trees and Shrubs – Check around your home for any trees or shrubs that have grown and maybe in contact with your homes exterior finish. If any tree branches are touching your roof, have them cut back so that they cannot touch shingles etc even if loaded down with snow and ice. Shrubs can also start to block windows or grow against your homes finish. If this is the case cut them back or relocate them.
#5 Window Screens – Clean and inspect your window screens looking for holes or damaged frames. Basement window screens are especially susceptible to rodents attacking screen material in window wells. Do it your self repair kits are available at most big box stores.
#6 Grout and Caulking – Spring is the ideal time to conduct a visual inspection of bathroom, laundry room and kitchen grout and caulking. Grout on bathroom shower floors and floors protect underlying flooring from moisture damage. Replace any cracked or missing grout to ensure continuity or moisture barrier. Remember to use caulking in corners and change of directions of tile, this will ensure you are not replacing grout every year due to cracking.
#7 Water Entry – Check sump pump to ensure it is working. Most can be easily checked just by lifting float switch. Inspect any exposed basement walls for any sign of moisture. If any moisture is found check at the exterior looking for signs of collecting water or missing downspout etc which maybe causing water to collect in this area. Double check sump pump to ensure float height is set so that water level is maintained below level of weeping tile.
#8 Smoke Detectors – Replace backup batteries in your Smoke Detectors and Carbon Monoxide detectors. These batteries should be replaced every year and if you fail to change them you might be woken in the middle of the night to that annoying chirping noise which will not stop until you replace battery. Also check the date on your smoke detectors as they should be replaced every ten years. Newer smoke detectors are on a timer which starts as soon as you activate them, so pay attention to dates as again they could start chirping in the middle of the night. If you have older parents that live close, you should check their detectors, as it could prevent a call in the middle of night for help.
#9 Decks and Patios – Remove unwanted mildew and moss from your home using a pressure washer. This is a great way to freshen up your wood decks and even clean siding material that has some mildew or water staining marks on finish. Decks can have fresh coat of paint or stain applied to keep them looking their best plus providing protection against moisture damage.
#10 Brick Veneer – If your homes bricks are in contact with pavers or landscape material they are susceptible to brick spalling. This happens when moisture is absorbed by brick and when freezing occurs expands blowing off chips or part of brick finish. This can be prevented by sealing along brick surface to prevent moisture from going down to bricks and also treating brick finish with moisture repellent such as Thompson’s Brick Seal. Remove all landscape material from contacting brick finish. New homes are required to have 5 7/8 inches clearance from grade to brick finish.
#11 Driveways – Spring is the ideal time to do those minor repairs to your driveway. Whether it is relaying some sunken pavers or filling in some cracks in your asphalt driveway, preventive maintenance will save you time and money. Check that gap at the edge of your garage entrance and if there is one fill it with asphalt caulking to prevent it widening and the eventual sagging of asphalt. If you have pavers you can use polymeric sand to fill in gaps as it will create a water proof seal.
For more information on how to protect your home search Barrie Home Inspector Tips blog for information and answers.
The above items are just some areas of your home which is covered by your Home Inspection Report. When buying a home in Alliston, Barrie or Orillia call the Barrie Home Inspector to ensure you fully understand the condition of the property you are purchasing.
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