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Safe Home Checkup

Now that we are at home more than usual, it can be a good time to give your home a checkup! It is smart to identify problems while they are small to prevent a major expense later. It is a good habit to do annually. Make a list of problems or repairs needed and prioritize them. It can be a good time to call professionals to do the work for their schedules may be lighter. It is easy to practice social distancing. You can ask them to wear masks, gloves if you wish.

Exterior
Begin by walking around your house and carefully inspecting your foundation to look for any mud tubes and these signs that indicate termite activity. Their using your home as the colony’s food source can lead to a lot of hidden damage! It is even possible for them to burrow under a slab and come up in within the home so just because you don’t see activity around the outside of the house doesn’t mean you don’t have any—they have been known to travel 300 feet to find a source of wood or cardboard. If you have termites, warn your neighbors to look for them too.  Check for cracks in the driveway, sidewalks, retaining walls and the foundation. Check fences, gates and roof overhangs for rotting boards and need for any touch up paint.  Is there signs of moisture at your hose bibs? Do you see any missing or damaged roof shingles? Do you have a gutter and is it free of debris?

Plumbing and Water
Water leakage can lead to mold growth and a higher water bill! Check your irrigation lines to make sure there are no leaks. Get under sinks to check water lines and look at the cabinet floors to see if there are signs of moisture. Examine the floor strength around the toilets to make sure they are not leaking at the base. Examine the shower drain to see if there is hair build up. Is there any tile grout or caulking that needs to be touched up? Pull out your dishwasher to check behind it, look behind your washing machine, check the lines coming into the hot water heater. Drain your hot water heater to minimize sediment build up. Walk around and look at the ceiling below the roof, below a bathroom and see if there are any signs of moisture.

Ventilation
Check the dryer hose to make sure it is clean (lint build-up can result in a fire). Are the filters for the stove’s hood vent in need of a good clean to clear the oil it traps? Check the bathroom fan vents as well. Pull out the refrigerator and clean the coils. Check your duct lines to see if they are in need of a clean. Do you have a fireplace you use that the chimney should be professionally checked if it needs to be cleaned.

Interior
Carefully examine your house for loose hinges and doorknobs and loose tiles or floorboards. Examine your ceilings and walls for new stains or settling cracks and test the sturdiness of ceiling fans and stair rails. Take a trip up to the attic to look for signs of leaks or animal activity. Test all smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors and make sure your fire extinguishers are in good condition. Clean your photocells for your garage door, and test that they are working. Also test your garage door reverse feature by placing a 2” x 4” piece of wood flat on the ground underneath the door.

Finally, do all the adults in the home know where the main water shutoff valve is? How to turn off the electricity in an emergency? Where the fire extinguisher is stored (have one in the kitchen and in the garage) and when and how to use it? Make it a timed activity contest, how fast can they get into position to do that?

One thing God has said; two things I have heard: Strength belongs to God; so too, my Lord, does mercy… Psalm 62 12-13

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