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Seven Spring Home Maintenance Tips

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There is an innate personal energy to Spring to purge, organize and deep clean. It is a great time to include some annual home maintenance tasks to take care of your home and appliances, so they work efficiently and last longer. Take advantage of the nice weather to do a thorough inspection and make a plan on what needs to be done to keep your home safe and in tip top shape.

  • Check for termites. Do a visual outdoor inspection of the foundation looking for mud tunnels from the ground up and continue looking for signs in your garage. If you have had termites in the past, you will probably have them again. A termite treatment can last 5 years, and a termite can be travelling up to 250 feet from its colony to a food source, so it is likely they just go to another house for a while and will use the established tunnels to your house come back later. So tell your neighbors if you have found termites, so they can be on a lookout on their property too. If you store firewood, make sure it is 18 inches off the ground and at least 2 feet away from the house.
  • Reseal exterior woodwork and stucco. Gates, pergolas, trellises or other wood structures or a wood door will last longer if resealed every year or two. Inspect the soffit under the roof overhang to see if it needs a sand and a coat of paint to avoid dry wood rot. Breaks in stucco can also be an entry for moisture causing mold and should be resealed promptly. Do windows and doors need to be caulked?
  • Check the irrigation systems. Are the sprinkler heads covering just the area needed? Are the bubblers unclogged? Is there any sign of underground leaks like unexplained cracking of the driveway or sinking of the ground or moist dirt especially at a faucet? After a good rain, walk your property to make sure there aren’t pools of water inviting mosquito breeding.
  • Drain your hot water tank. It will drain out sediment and keep the unit working more efficiently and help it to last longer.
  • Clean the dryer vent. The screen doesn’t catch all the lint, and a buildup in the hose that vents to the outside is a fire hazard and lowers the dryer’s efficiency. That goes for a chimney too if it has a buildup of soot. Make sure the damper has a good seal as well.
  • Schedule an AC servicing. You want to avoid a breakdown when you need your air conditioning in the peak of the heat, because many people have to call for help at that time. It will help your cooling system run efficiently and last longer.
  • Clean your filters. Your AC unit needs the filter to be cleaned or replace when in use every month for fiberglass ones, about every 6 months if using a high-end pleated filter. Do you also regularly clean the filter in the stove top ventilation?  Run it through the dishwasher so the hot sudsy water will take out the grease so it will help keep your air clean.

You may want to schedule a summer appointment for a non-invasive thermal imaging inspection if you have any concerns that your ac runs a lot to maintain a desired temperature. For it to detect loss of window seal, missing insulation, air infiltration or conditioned air leaks, there needs to be at least a 20 degree difference between the inside air and the outside air. If you have any signs of moisture damage behind a stucco wall—or if there is evidence there was a water damage repair from a previous owner and you suspect an active problem, it is also useful. If there is a musty or off-smell you can’t figure out the source, it can also find hidden plumbing leaks (pipes, toilets, shower pan, tubs) or other moisture intrusion in the building envelope. A continual leak in the home can lead to toxic mold.

 

For my eyes are upon you, O LORD, my Lord; in you I take refuge…Psalm 141:8

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