Homeowner’s Checklist For A Worry Free Summer
Published June 22, 2016
Winter can wreck havoc on your home. It’s likely, your home is your largest single monetary investment; one that you want to protect and preserve.
Savvy homeowners know that in the same way it is prudent to have an annual physical examination with their physician to ensure their optimum good health, it is wise to schedule an annual inspection of their home and property.
A certified master inspector, with the American Society of Home Inspectors, can help you target the areas in your home that require attention and refer your to a professional contractor to get the job done quickly, leaving you time to get outdoors and enjoy all the joys of spring.
During your home inspection, the technician will probe the wood of the foundation, doors, windows, stairways, railings and decks for signs of wood rot or termite infestation. Schedule repairs and termite treatment now, before spring rains, or hungry insects inflict further damage to the exposed wood. A home inspection will also revel the presence of any other rodents, bats or insects that may be silently destroying your home from within.
“Sparkle for spring!” Enlist the services of a professional cleaning company to spring-clean your home’s exterior using a power washing system to remove stains, dirt and accumulated winter debris from driveways, sidewalks, fences, lawn furniture, patios, decks and garage floors.
Let the sunshine in with clear, clean windows. It’s only after a professional cleaning that you realize how winter’s grime has dimmed your view. A professional window washing service can also was wash dirty winter storm windows and replace with summer screens.
Call your lawn and garden service to resume summer services. A spring cleanup of flower beds and removal of winter’s contribution of broken branches, wet leaves and dead grasses will immediately improve the appearance of your property. Your yard service will then turn on lawn sprinklers to check for and replace broken sprinkler heads or winter damaged pipes. The service provider can dethatch and aerate the lawn. A spring application of organic fertilizer will turn a brown and barren winter landscape a lush and verdant green.
Plant colorful and easy-to-grow marigolds, petunias and geraniums in window boxes, containers or hanging baskets for a blast of vibrant color.
Roofs And Rain Gutters
Rain, snow and ice accumulation may have caused extensive, unseen damage that can lead to leaks and costly repairs if left unchecked. Winter winds can loosen or tear off shingles. Heavy ice or snow build-up can split flashing seals around chimneys, skylights and plumbing vents. Leaves, twigs and windblown debris can clog rain gutters and roof drains causing poor drainage that can lead to standing water in the crawl space or a damp and sour-smelling basement.
Don’t risk life or limb by crawling on the roof to look for damage. The easiest way to see if you have a problem is to inspect the roof from the ground using a pair of binoculars. If you see any indications of broken or buckled shingles, call a professional roofer that is a member of the National Roofing Contractors Association. Remember, if you attempt repairs yourself, any resulting water damage is unlikely to be covered by most homeowner’s insurance policies. Hire a professional and do the job right.
Licensed and certified, your roofing contractor can professionally repair winter damage and remove unsightly stains from mold, moss or algae restoring shingle, shake or tile roofs to their original beauty and brightness. You contractor will also check that all plumbing vents, skylights and chimneys are securing screened to prevent rodents and other pest from entering the home. Preventive roof maintenance now will prevent future expensive repairs while preserving the beauty and structural integrity of your home.
Have chimney flues cleaned, inspected and serviced by a certified chimney sweep.
Don’t sweat out the first hot and humid weekend of summer with an out-of-commission air conditioning system.
Frayed or faulty air conditioning wiring can prevent energy-efficient operation or may present a fire hazard.
Clogged air filters can make your air conditioner work harder, which decreases efficiency, increases energy consumption and can cause costly damage to equipment. With new filters to remove pollutants and allergens, the entire family will breathe easier.
When your home’s air conditioning system is working properly, moisture, also known as condensate, is effectively pulled from the home’s interior air. This moisture must be able to drain freely or problems will occur. If mold, algae or sediment are blocking the drains, water will back up and may cause structural damage. Backed up air conditioning drains also produce excess humidity in the home and can encourage the growth of harmful mold and bacteria.
A certified heating and air conditioning technician can quickly tune up your home’s heating and cooling system to manufacturer-rated efficiency. Spring maintenance will include cleaning of ducts and air-intakes, replacement of filters as well as needed repairs and preventive maintenance measures.
If your home system does not have programmable thermostats, consider up dating the system with individual room controls. Programmable thermostats save money by allowing you to set the “vacation” or “hold” feature to maintain a constant, energy-efficient temperature whether you are away for the day at work, gone for the weekend or off on a month of vacation.
Select a heating and air conditioning contractor that is a member of the Air Conditioning Contractors of America. ACCA membership ensures that your contractor only employs service technicians certified by the North American Technician Excellence (NATE) Program and follows protocols for the ACCA’s national standard for residential service and maintenance.
Pools, Ponds, Hot Tubs And Fountains
Hire a professional swimming pool maintenance company or plumber to clean all exterior systems and service pumps, replace filters and flow lines and provide a general spring clean up of any water connected features in your landscape. Set up a schedule of regular service with your pool maintenance professional to ensure a sparkling and refreshing pool all summer.