Although today is a little bit on the chilly side again, wasn't it wonderful to have a glimpse of 70+ degree weather earlier this week? That means that spring is right around the corner! Here are some helpful tips from Jim Schwarz at Center Grove Real Estate Inspections to get your home ready for the change of season.
- Clean gutters and ensure downspouts and yard drains can drain runoff freely. This can be done by running a hose into the gutter and watching how the water flows. Runoff should terminate at least five feet from the foundation of the home.
- Remove sticks and debris from the roof. Walk the roof to review it for any damage or potential repairs. Pay particular attention to cracks in masonry chimneys and around any roof jack penetrations. If you are unsure of these efforts, consider the use of a home inspector to perform the work.
- Review the exterior of the home to find gaps or cracks related to age or winter activity. Seal any gaps to prevent moisture intrusion into the home. It is important to understand that moisture intrusion is the greatest enemy of a home.
- Look at any tree branches or shrubbery that will potentially touch the roof or siding of the home. Trim any branches that will cause harm to the home. It is important to recognize that too much shade on a roof will harbor dampness within the shingles and cause premature failure. A roof should have adequate air movement and as much sunlight as possible.
- Check the functionality of the air conditioner after the outside temperature reaches 65F. It is a good idea to have the unit serviced early in the season if it does not produce cold air of about 58F. Change the furnace filters routinely. The evaporator coil within the furnace unit can become dirty and reduce the efficiency of the unit. This area is typically serviced by an HVAC professional.
- Consider rinsing the outside condenser unit to remove dirt and increase efficiency of the unit. This should be done by safely removing the disconnect spade near the unit and rinsing the unit from the inside-out. Once clean, reinstall the disconnect spade for operation. Ensure that the large refrigerant line is completely insulated to prevent cooling loss from the line. This line stays cold during air conditioner use.
- Caulk all driveway and sidewalk cracks with a self-leveling driveway caulk. Clean the expansion joints and caulk these, as well. This will prevent moisture intrusion under the slab which eventually causes the slab to crack. If you see settlement of the slab, look at any downspouts that may be nearby that could potentially allow water to get under the slab.
- Consider this time of year to add insulation to the attic. Current tax incentives are available to help offset the cost of this effort.
- Summertime sunshine brings a lot of heat into our homes through the windows. Consider the installation of UV blocking window films to reduce this heat development. These films have greatly improved in recent years and are very easy to install yourself. Certain products also qualify for current tax incentives.
These tips should help your home to become worry-free so you can enjoy other things this summer.
Thanks Jim - This was great advice!
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This information was originally published at: http://ishopgreenwood.com/2009/03/14/spring-home-maintenance-tips-in-greenwood/