Good tips for getting your home ready for the hot summer months

10 home maintenance tips for spring

      When was the last time you checked your foundation vents?                               

By Paul Bianchina Inman News®

The sun is peeking out and the plants are starting to  blossom, so it must be about time for spring chores again. Here’s my annual  spring checklist of important issues to tend to around the house.

1. Roofing repairs:  If you suspect winter storms may have damaged your roof, it needs to be  inspected. (If you’re not comfortable with the height or steepness of your  roof, hire a licensed roofing contractor for the inspection.) Look for missing  or loose shingles, including ridge-cap shingles.

Examine the condition of the  flashings around chimneys, flue pipes, vent caps, and anyplace where the roof  and walls intersect. Look for overhanging trees that could damage the roof in a  wind storm, as well as buildups of leaves and other debris.

If you have roof damage in a number of areas, or if older  shingles makes patching impractical, consider having the entire roof redone.  Also, remember that if the shingles have been damaged by wind or by impact from  falling tree limbs, the damage may be covered by your homeowners insurance.

2. Check gutters and  downspouts: Look for areas where the fasteners may have pulled loose, and  for any sags in the gutter run. Also, check for water stains that may indicate  joints that have worked loose and are leaking. Clean leaves and debris to be  ready for spring and summer rains.

3. Fences and gates:  Fence posts are especially susceptible to groundwater saturation, and will  loosen up and tilt if the soil around them gets soaked too deeply. Check fence  posts in various areas by wiggling them to see how solidly embedded they are.

If any are loose, wait until the surrounding soil has dried out, then excavate  around the bottom of the posts and pour additional concrete to stabilize them.  Replace any posts that have rotted.

4. Clear yard debris:  Inspect landscaping for damage, especially trees. If you see any cracked,  leaning or otherwise dangerous conditions with any of your trees, have a licensed,  insured tree company inspect and trim or remove them as needed.

Clean up  leaves, needles, small limbs and other material that has accumulated. Do any  spring pruning that’s necessary. Remove and dispose of all dead plant material  so it won’t become a fire hazard as it dries.

5. Fans and air  conditioners: Clean and check the operation of cooling fans, air  conditioners and whole-house fans. Shut the power to the fan, remove the cover  and wash with mild soapy water, then clean out dust from inside the fan with a  shop vacuum — do not operate the fan with the cover removed.

Check outdoor  central air conditioning units for damage or debris buildup, and clean or  replace any filters. Check the roof or wall caps where the fan ducts terminate  to make sure they are undamaged and well sealed. Check dampers for smooth  operation.

6. Check and adjust  sprinklers: Run each set of in-ground sprinklers through a cycle, and watch  how and where the water is hitting. Adjust or replace any sprinklers that are  hitting your siding, washing out loose soil areas, spraying over foundation  vents, or in any other way wetting areas on and around your house that  shouldn’t be getting wet.

7. Check vent blocks and  faucet covers: As soon as you’re comfortable that the danger of winter  freezing is over, remove foundation vent blocks or open vent covers to allow  air circulation in the crawl space.

While removing the vent covers, check the  grade level around the foundation vents. Winter weather can move soil and  create buildups or grade problems that will allow groundwater to drain through  the vents into the crawl space, so regrade as necessary. Remove outdoor faucet  covers. Turn on the water supply to outdoor faucets if it’s been shut off.

8. Prepare yard tools:  Replace broken or damaged handles, and clean and condition metal parts. Tighten  fittings and fasteners, sharpen cutting tools and mower blades, and service  engines and belts in lawn mowers and other power equipment.

9. Change furnace  filters: Now is the time to replace furnace filters that have become choked  with dust from the winter heating season. This is especially important if you  have central air conditioning, or if you utilize your heating system’s fan to  circulate air during the summer.

10. Check smoke detectors:  Daylight Savings Time snuck up early again this year, and that’s usually the  semi-annual reminder to check your smoke alarms. So if you haven’t already done  it, now’s the time. Replace the batteries, clean the covers, and test the  detector’s operation before it’s too late.

If you have gas-fired appliances in  the house, add a carbon monoxide detector as well (or check the operation of  your existing one). CO2 detectors are inexpensive and easy to install, and are  available at most home centers and other retailers of electrical parts and  supplies.

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About melissagriggswebb

My professional career has always had a focus on sales and marketing including a diverse mix of technology and media sales as well as fund raising and event planning experience. My passion for residential real estate and design led me back to Texas almost a decade ago at which time I acquired my real estate license. I escalated my real estate career when I partnered in a business with my husband, Robert, in which we renovate homes in the Central Austin area. We have a daughter who is the joy of our lives and keeps us on the go and on our toes! Besides my family, my interests include art, design, jogging and music. I am a member of the Austin Board of REALTORS®, the Texas Association of REALTORS®, the National Association of REALTORS® and Member of Who’s Who in Luxury Real Estate. My enthusiasm for the highly desired Austin lifestyle, in addition to my extensive knowledge, resourcefulness and professionalism, make me the one to call for properties in Austin.
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