Weekly Home Information Guide
With the end of winter homeowners are planning their annual spring maintenance schedule for the home. Now is the best time to take a good look at the entire exterior of the building for what nature has left behind during the last winter months. Be prepared for the unexpected. Your autumn maintenance hopefully paid off. Every home requires a regular schedule for maintenance and repairs regardless of age.
Now is the time to clean any/all debris from the roof and gutter areas and check their overall condition. Visually inspect all roof areas for any needed repairs. Check all roof penetrations, all flashings, skylights, vents and soil stacks and readjust/recaulk/replace as needed. Replace/clean the leaf strainer as needed. The lower edges of the roof will show the most weathering.
All exterior walls from the top down should be inspected for sagging, blisters, paint flaking, breakage, decay or gaps. Check the siding, shingles, gable trim, soffits, eaves and penetrations for warping, looseness, cracks or decay. Pay particular attention to the weep holes at the base of all brick/block work as well as their overall condition. The purpose of these holes is to allow any moisture to drain out.
Ensure all doors and windows caulking are intact. Remove or replace any decayed/missing weather stripping/caulking. Good weather stripping and caulking may save an extra 5-10% on your energy costs with these simple but effective up grades.
All raised decks, porches, patios, balconies, and verandas should be checked for soundness, overall condition and appearance. Check the footings and their supports. The shady north and east sides tend to have the most problems. Ensure that all handrails/guardrails are sound, well secured, properly placed and weather sealed.
The base of the home presents special attention, as this is the area where most of the moisture/deterioration problems occur. Check the condition of foundation walls, steps, walks, driveways, retaining walls and floors for spalling, cracks, heaving, settling or crumbling. It is better to do minor repairs now before they become major headaches later. Maintain all grading sloped away from the building. One-quarter inch per foot run is more than adequate for water run-off.
Note the condition of all painted surfaces. Sand, paint, repair and replace any decayed or damaged areas. Caulk to ensure that the building envelope is weather tight. Consult the hardware store specialist for the best types to use.
The metal siding on trailers should have the surface areas inspected for winter damage and repaired/replaced as needed. Consult the local hardware store for the surface cleaning fluids best suited for your siding.
All surface drainage should be sloped away from the structure into swales. This directs the water away form the building and into the storm drains. Every downspout should be visually inspected, readjusted and secured as needed. All drainage caps should be replaced if they are cracked or missing. Very often we see toys lodged in these small places. Clean out all catchments at the bottom of the stairwell, window well or garage approaches. No one wants to be surprised with a flooded basement or crawl.
Owning a home is probably the largest single investment a person may make in their lifetime and to ensure that the home does not prematurely deteriorate the homeowner is urged to have a yearly maintenance schedule. Simple tasks undertaken on a seasonal basis will help prolong the health of the home and its occupants year after year.
We recommend that a construction/retrofit tradesperson do all tasks as they offer quality materials, proper installation requirements and most important a written guarantee.
Know that, for peace of mind, the care and attention you give your home will serve you well year after year and in comfort.