Summer and good weather is the best time to tackle any homeowner's to-do list. It's not just about the exterior activities like gardening, power-washing, re-staining your deck, and maintaining your lawn.
It’s important for you to give your homes a physical - inside and out - to ensure you are identifying small problems and addressing them before they become big ones. By maintaining your homes consistently, you can also add value to your property.
According to the folks at A Buyer's Choice Home Inspection, the following is a list of tasks to include on your maintenance checklist to prevent the most common - and the most costly - problems from occuring:
- Examine basement pipes for condensation or dripping, and take corrective action as necessary (eg, reduce humidity and/or insulate cold water pipes)
- Check air conditioning systems
- Inspect basement floor drain to ensure trap contains water. Refill with water if necessary
- If you have a plumbing fixture that isn’t used frequently, such as a laundry tub or spare bathroom sink, tub or shower stall, briefly run some water to ensure water remains in the trap
- Deep clean area rugs and carpeting
- Vacuum bathroom fan covers
- Disconnect clothes dryer duct and vacuum lint from the duct, areas surrounding your dryer and inside your dryer’s vent hood
- Check security of all guardrails and handrails
- Test your windows’ ease of use by opening and closing them. Lubricate as required
- Inspect window putty on outside of glass panes and replace if needed
- Lubricate door hinges and tighten screws as necessary
- Lubricate garage door hardware and ensure it’s operating properly
- Lubricate automatic garage door opener motor, chain, etc, and ensure auto-reverse mechanism is properly adjusted
- Check and replace damaged caulking and weather stripping around windows and doorways, including the doorway between the garage and home
- Inspect electrical service lines for secure attachment where they enter the home, and make sure there isn’t water leaking into the house along the electrical conduit
- Check exterior wood siding and trim for signs of deterioration. Clean, replace or refinish as necessary
- Check for and seal any holes in exterior cladding that could be an entry point for small pests such as bats, squirrels and birds
- Remove any plants that contact, or roots that penetrate, the siding or brick
- Safely climb up on the roof, or use binoculars, to check its general condition, noting any sagging that could indicate structural problems requiring further investigation from the attic. Check the condition of shingles and replace/repair as necessary. Examine all roof flashing, such as that located at chimney and roof joints, for any signs of cracking or leaking
- Sweep chimneys connected to any woodburning appliance or fireplace, and inspect them for problems
- Check chimney cap and caulking between the cap and chimney
- Repair driveway and walkways as needed
- Replace or repair damaged steps that pose a safety risk
Of course if you are not comfortable with some of these tasks or you don't have the equipment required to address some of these items, there are experts or contractors who can help you with all of them. You can also book a professional home inspector to do a complete walk-through of your home to help identify things in need of attention or repair. Lastly, there are maintenance plans you can sign up for, where professionals service certain components like your heating/cooling, electrical or plumbing systems and service these systems on an annual basis.
Regardless of your approach, take advantage of the nice weather - give your home a check up, and enjoy your summer!