Did winter storms and spring rains take a toll on your home? Was it ready to withstand the heat, humidity, pests and thunderstorms of summer? How about the upcoming seasons? Is your house prepared? The best time to answer these questions and assess the condition of your home is now, while the weather is warm. These five-minute maintenance checks will help you do just that.
- Check for air leaks around doors and windows. Air leaks mean higher energy costs and lower comfort levels. Do a visual check to make sure the weather stripping and glazing is in good condition. Check for gaps at the door thresholds, looking for daylight. Make notes of your findings for future repairs.
- Inspect refrigerator coils. Your refrigerator works especially hard in the summer months to keep your food cold. Making sure the coils are clean is the number one thing you can do to keep it running efficiently and to increase its longevity.
- Inspect your roof for missing or damaged materials, especially after a heavy rainstorm.
- Inspect your attic and crawl space, looking for signs of moisture, termites or rodents. Mold issues can arise from roof leaks or improper ventilation in these areas and can cause health problems. Termites can cause great damage, and no one wants rodents in their home. Note any areas of concern to be addressed as soon as possible.
- Inspect your siding and trim for damage and mildew. Check for nicks and chips in vinyl siding and signs of rotting in wood siding and trim. Note places where paint is chipped or peeling, allowing moisture to get into wood siding. Mildew, often in shady areas, can damage your siding and be a source of health problems as well as an HOA violation.
- Inspect wood decks and porches for rotting. Hammer in any nails poking up. To determine if you need to seal your deck, sprinkle water on several areas. If the water bubbles up, the deck does not need to be sealed.
- Check and adjust rainspouts to make sure water is carried far enough away from the foundation. It is widely recommended that downspouts extend a minimum of four feet from the home.
- Inspect the air conditioning unit, making sure it is level, clean and unobstructed. It’s a good idea to schedule a qualified technician to service the unit. Regular maintenance will maximize its efficiency and extend its life.
- Check for any gaps in your home exterior where pests may enter. One especially common place is where the AC lines go into the house.
- Inspect driveways and sidewalks, looking for cracks that let in water and cause expansion.
- Test the ground fault interrupter (GFI) on each of your outside outlets.
- Inspect your yard for any branches, bushes and climbing plants in contact with your house. They will need to be trimmed away. Also look for branches or trees that might present a threat in severe thunderstorms. While you are outside, inspect the health of your mature trees. Mite infestation and other tree diseases are common in Northern Virginia.
- Check all outdoor children’s play equipment to make sure it’s solid with secure hardware.
I hope this list of maintenance checks helps you care for your home. After all, it IS your castle and quite possibly your greatest investment.
For all your real estate needs and questions, please contact Belinda Jacobson-Loehle at Jacobson Reality and Home Staging. You can also sign up for a FREE copy of my eBook, “The Real Estate Key — What You Need to Know.”
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