Every spring and summer, southern homeowners need to spend a few hours here and there taking care of some basic home maintenance tasks. Identifying small, minor problems in the spring and summer will help you eliminate the possibility of surprising and costly but necessary repairs later on. Complete the following recommendations; you’ll be glad you did!
Heat, humidity and moisture can be the major culprits in causing damage to homes in the south. Keeping your home dry will help to prevent structural damage, discourage mold/fungus and keep insects from becoming “permanent houseguests.” Note: termites like moist soil!
1. Survey all drainage areas around your home
Spring rains will help spot problem areas in your landscaping. Take a good look at all downspouts to make sure that water is directed away from the foundation of your home. If you have any areas of standing water on your property, regrade those areas by building landscaping features or installing shallow trench filled with gravel (commonly known as a French drains).
2. Carefully check your gutters
Examine gutters for signs of blockage (only small amounts of water are properly draining or none at all), dents or overflow areas. These problems will cause your gutters to bend or pull away from the house. A roofer or handyman can fix all of these issues and the cost should be minimal.
3. Thoroughly inspect your roof and eaves
Look over your roof with binoculars while checking for loose, cracked, buckled or missing shingles. Neoprene boots which are installed around vents maybe cracked or split too. Flashing around the skylights, plumbing vents and chimney should also be examined. It’s best to call a roofing contractor to full inspect and repair your roof should you see any damage.
4. Give your AC unit a test drive
In early spring get your AC checked by a licensed HVAC contractor. Maintenance plans include two inspections a year and cost around $150-$250 annually. During these inspections, small and often undetected leaks can be detected preventing costly repairs later. Just as you would check your car tires regularly, checking your HVAC will increase the life of the equipment and ensure that the systems runs efficiently and conserve energy. Also, companies take special care of their ongoing clients when emergencies occur!
5. Clean your home’s siding
Prior to cleaning your siding, make sure to carefully inspect it for existing damage and caulk the areas, which are cracked or have pulled away from the siding and are leaving gaps. Power washing is best done by the pros. It can be very easy to get water in crevices or apply too much pressure, causing additional damage to your siding.
6. Inspect the basement and attic
Look for water stains or signs of seepage on your basements floor, trim and walls. In the attic, check for leaks and holes from the roof. It’s a good idea to examine the underside of the roof for deterioration or discoloration of insulation as leaking water may have evaporated.