Home Maintenance shows you how to protect your most important investment with seasonal maintenance. A regular schedule of periodic inspections and maintenance can help prevent the most common, and costly, problems before they occur.
1) Clean and seal decks. Ideally, you'll need three consecutive warm, sunny days. On day one, dry out the deck. Apply deck cleaner and scrub the deck on the second day and let it dry 24 hours. On the third day, apply deck sealer.
2) Hire a certified chimney sweep to inspect and clean chimneys. Doing this task now instead of the fall allows plenty of time for repairs before the next heating season. It's also easier to schedule a sweep.
3) Wash the exterior of your house, using ordinary garden hose pressure and a mild detergent. Beware of the pressure washers, they are powerful enough to force water under the siding where it may encourage mildew and rot. Power washing is a job for a pro.
4) Caulk exterior joints around windows and doors. Caulking helps keep your house weather-tight and lowers heating and cooling bills. It can also help keep insects and other "critters" out of your house. When you caulk before painting, it eliminates edges where the paint may start to peel.
5) Clean lint from the entire clothes dryer vent system, from the dryer to the exterior vent cap. Because lint is incredibly flammable it poses a fire risk. If a gas clothes dryer is not properly vented, it can force carbon monoxide back into the home and that can be deadly.
6) Summer is the perfect time to have your air conditioner serviced to make sure it is operating efficiently. Also, check for growing vines near the air conditioning unit. They can easily grow and intertwine themselves throughout the unit. Also, check operation of attic fans and roof-mounted turbine vents. Attic fans run on little energy and can greatly reduce summer cooling costs.
7) Clean Ice-Makers. Debris on or around the condenser coils prevents them from cooling thereby making the condenser work harder, wasting energy and shortening its life.
8) Burglarproof Your House. Inspect the operation of automatic-light timers and motion-detector systems, especially if you're planning a vacation. Break-ins can be thwarted with security measures that prolong the burglar's time and effort.
9) Repair cracks in concrete patios and driveways. For most cracks less than 1/4", apply concrete caulk; just clean the crack out with a high-pressure hose nozzle, let it dry and then apply the caulk into the crack. For larger cracks, substitute concrete patch for caulk.
10) Increase your pool maintenance. Pool parties and more frequent pool use make chlorine dissipate faster. That leads to algae build up. Conditioners, frequent cleaning and lengthier filter runs are a must for summer.
This article was provided by Arshad Khan, Certified Home Inspector - P.Eng.
Qualityspec Inc. "We See What You Don't See" (905) 231-9882 / (416) 627-4773