Preventative Maintenance for Around the HomeNovember 22nd 2013
Preventative maintenance can save a lot of time and money and fall is a good time to begin assessing your home for any damage or repairs that may need attending to. Conducting a regular home inspection will help keep your house in good condition and maintain its value. Here is a list of maintenance items that can help you identify areas where work may be needed to ensure that minor repairs don’t turn into major expenses.
Window and Door maintenance - Old caulking, missing weather stripping and poorly installed windows will increase your utility bills through lost energy and make your heating system work longer than needed. Check for leaks around your windows and doors, especially near the corners. Check caulking and weather stripping on windows and doors for damage and replace as necessary. Remove the old caulking and clean out the opening. Apply a full even bead of caulking around all of the doors and windows.
Bathroom - Check caulking around sinks, bathtubs, and showers. Caulking can become brittle and therefore useless as a water seal. After removing the old caulking use a resilient silicone bathroom grade caulking, and do not forget the edge of the tub at the floor and wall. If neglected, a tub enclosure with water damage can be a costly repair.
Drainage - Ensure that the ground around your home slopes away from the foundation wall, so that water cannot seep towards the basement. Examine the foundation walls for cracks, leaks or signs of moisture, and repair as required. The gutter and downspout system should keep water from pooling around the foundation. Be sure gutters and downspouts are kept open and in good repair and if necessary use downspout extensions.
Heating Systems – Have your furnace or heating system serviced by a qualified service company once a year. It is wise to have this done during the off season when heating contractors aren’t as busy. Check your furnace filter. If the filter accumulates household dust and is not replaced regularly, your furnace has to work harder to pull the air through the duct system. Clean or replace filters monthly during the heating season. Have your chimney checked each fall before you use it.
Attic Ventilation - Provide adequate attic ventilation so that the underside of the roof and outside air is at the same temperature. Check to make sure attic insulation is not blocking the roof ventilation. Blocked soffit areas can create moisture build-up. Excessive frost or staining on the underside of the roof, or ice dams on the roof surface could be caused by a lack of proper ventilation in your attic or air leakage from your home’s living space into the attic area. A qualified energy advisor could perform an energy audit to indicate these deficiencies that can be remedied with proper insulation upgrades and draft sealing.
Homeowners that take the time to address routine maintenance items can minimize damage and prevent costly problems before they occur.