Spring Into Summer
Springtime is already here and before you know it, it will be summertime. It’s important to keep a consistent upkeep for your home. We shouldn’t just focus on a manicured lawn for curb appeal alone, but for the increased market value when it’s time for an inspection and appraisal.
Before tackling some of the indoor/outdoor spring cleaning, it’s important to do a visual check of your home.
With that in mind, let’s begin with the inside:
- Basement/Crawl Space: Do a visual check for gas leaks and standing water. Standing water can breed mold and mildew. Check the walls for seepage.
- Safety first: Change the batteries for your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors. Check your fire extinguishers. Make sure you have the right type (A,B, or C) and inspect the expiration date.
- Kitchen: Clean your range hood filters. Vacuum the refrigerator coils. Replacing outdated appliances, replace the cabinets/add new hardware, updating the laminate countertop and sink, as well as replacing the flooring add value to your home.
- Take care of your HVAC cooling/heating systems for efficiency such as: Change the filter, check hose connections for leaks, and make sure the drain pans are draining freely. Be sure to replace your furnace filters.
- Water Heater: If you have a natural gas water heater, you should make sure you have a sediment trap (gas pipe-downward tee fitting in the pipe just before the inlet on the control valve) installed if there isn’t one already. If you don’t, call the local building department. During the water heating process, naturally-occurring minerals like calcium and magnesium form into sediment particles that settle to the tank bottom. On a gas water heater the sediment creates hot spots that can damage the tank and cause premature failure. On an electric water heater sediment buildup can cause the lower heating element to fail. Follow the maintenance instructions for your hot water heater. You should flush twice a year. Check into getting a tankless hot water heater.
- Bathroom: Caulk around tubs, showers, toilets, and sinks. They should be white and moisture proof. (If you encounter leaks or black, moldy caulk, remove the old caulk and replace it with mold-resistant, waterproof caulk).
- Washer and Dryer: Clean the lint screen from your clothes dryer. Inspect the outside vent to make sure it’s not obstructed and check the hose.
Let’s take a look at the outside now:
- Clear out your gutters and downspouts – Get rid of any muck i.e. dead leaves, twigs, and debris that could clog (use a gutter scoop). Then use a water hose to wash them out. In the future you may want to purchase gutter covers and a downspout extension. A good gutter system will direct rainwater away from your home, which keeps it from leaking into the foundation and washing the foundation soil away.
- Inspect the ground slope next to the foundation. Standing water around the foundation leads to erosion and it creates a trench in the soil that traps the water there. You may want to install a french drain.
- Go around the house and inspect your windows for damage and signs of infiltration, such as broken seals, cracks, discoloration, or moisture in the glass panes. Skylights should be inspected for leaks.
- Check for cracks in your siding. Fill the cracks because it could cause mold. Replacing vinyl siding with stone veneer accents can give a homeowner 77% ROI.
- Inspect your roof for broken, cracked, or missing shingles, leaks, and general wear and tear. If you have a fireplace/chimney, you should have it inspected and cleaned yearly. Replacing your roof can recoup up to 70% of the cost.
- Pressure wash any surfaces on your house’s exterior (this includes concrete).
- Examine your deck carefully for loose boards that may be worn, damaged, cracked, rusted or rotted. Inspect the floor of your deck, stair treads, posts, beams, joists, railing, balusters, footings and fasteners. Clean and prep your outdoor decks and railings by getting rid of the dirt, debris, mold and mildew that could damage your decks and railings.
- Inspect exterior doors yearly. Check for split/cracked caulking.
- For wood privacy fences: Look for missing boards, wood rot holes and cracks. Make sure your gates and garage doors are functioning properly, especially the auto-reverse feature.
- It’s a good idea to give your outdoor lawn equipment a tune-up i.e. blades sharpened.
- Landscaping: Make sure all trees are pruned, hedges/shrubs trimmed, and flower beds mulched.
- Irrigation system: Inspect the sprinkler heads and change nozzles as needed.
Don’t let debris accumulate around storage sheds, propane tanks or wood decks, and consider fire-resistant alternatives for wood fences, outdoor furniture and play sets. Your landscaping should include re-paving your driveway, replacing exterior doors and edging walkways. Lighting your patio at night, around your pool, railings and steps, along with any “smart” setup, will ensure the safety and security of your home.
For regular home maintenance, your initial investment will ultimately have a long-term investment. The cost of repairs or remodeling should be taken into account however do not take the lowest price on anything. Quality and hard work comes with a little higher price tag attached to it but as a homeowner, you should always appreciate the craftsmanship and make sure there’s a warranty.
Summer’s almost here so before you leave for a well-deserved vacation, make sure you you have your house in shape and running smoothly. This also would be a perfect time for any construction to your home or business. Contact Corvus Construction for a free estimate at (206) 355-4981 to schedule a free estimate for your residential or commercial needs.