It’s a wonderful time of year when the winter months have come to an end in Western NY, the sun starts to shine all day, and being outside is enjoyable! Now is the time to do some checking on your house to make sure nothing was damaged or has become warn out. Keeping your house in good condition will help you save money and possibly make more money when you’re ready to sell.
1. Look at Your Roof – You can do a quick visual inspection by either climbing a ladder, or simply checking at a distance (you may need binoculars). Check to make sure no shingles came off from the snow, ice, and wind. Look at the corners of the shingles to see if there are any curls or damage. If there are curls or missing shingles, call a professional roof repair service, or call us and we can recommend one for you. Is there any leaves or debris built up in a corner? You’ll want to remove it to prevent future damage. If you can get on your roof, check the flashing and seals around all chimneys and vents, as well as cracks in the chimney or missing bricks, stones, or blocks. A leak can cause some real damage to the house if left unchecked. If there is a significant amount of moss growing, it might be time to have a professional come in and check for damage. Moss can cause the shingles to lift and water to get underneath and freeze in the winter. Taking care of your roof early on in the warm months is recommended. Quality roofing companies and repair services book up quick, so if there is a need for one, you’ll want to act now.
2. Clean Your Gutters and Downspouts – You can do this yourself or call for a service. We can always recommend one for you if you’d like. No matter what, you want to make sure your gutters are clear of leaves, pine needles, pine cones, dirt, sticks, etc. We all know it rains here in the Greater Rochester area, sometimes too much. Having overflowing gutters can cause unnecessary damage to the rest of your house and property. Depending on how many trees you have near your house, you may want to have your gutters checked and cleaned two to three times a year. Once in the spring, mid summer, and then late fall before the snow and ice come.
3. Check the Grade – (slope) of the soil or lawn surrounding your foundation. Is there a gentle slope going away from the foundation? If not, you’ll want to bring in some dirt and make the grade. This will keep water from pooling and running down the foundation walls which can cause erosion, ice damage, cracks, etc. Not to mention very costly repair bills. If you already have a water problem in the basement or have seen water coming through the foundation walls, it is time to call in a professional. If you need help finding one, give us a shout, we have some great referrals.
4. A/C Unit Inspection – If you’re lucky enough to have central air, make sure to have the A/C unit inspected now. We all now how hot and humid it can get in Western NY. Having a working A/C is a wonderful blessing. Just like roofing professionals, HVAC pros book up fast for A/C service calls, so get yours scheduled ASAP. If you don’t have A/C, we recommend purchasing your fans or window A/C units now before the summer rush hits. Of course the best time to buy them is usually in the winter months, but if you missed that opportunity, now is the time. Installing ceiling fans is also recommended.
5. Clean Your Ceiling Fans – If you have ceiling fans, double check that the blades are clean. Especially if anyone in your house has allergies. Built up dust will circulate in a room or the whole house the first time they are turned on. Also make sure they are spinning counterclockwise. You want to be pushing the air downward in the summer months. There should be a switch on the fan to change the direction.
6. Check Your Lawn & Garden Equipment – Sharpen the blades on mowers, remove build up under the mower decks, change the oil, clean or change any filters (oil, air, fuel), check to see if you have gas and mixed gas for mowers and trimmers, and check all your hand tools to make sure you have everything you’ll need for your spring and summer gardening projects. And always remember to shake ALL Gas cans before use. Most gas now contains ethanol which will cause water to build up in the can, shaking it before each pour helps dilute the water into the gas and keeps your engine running cleaner.
7. Prepare Your Snow Blower for Storage – If you have a snow blower you’ll want to drain all the gas from it, including any in the lines. Ethanol in the gas will cause a gumming effect in the lines and injection nozzles. Now is a great time to change the oil and filter if necessary. You should also clean or replace any air or fuel filters as well.
8. Clean Your Kitchen Appliances – We’re not talking your normal cleaning here, we’re talking about the gross, deep cleaning. Clean your oven, clean the garbage disposal, clean any grease traps or exhaust fans, clean the refrigerator, the microwave, etc. This is the classic “Spring Cleaning” where all the old gunk that has been building up gets removed. Especially all the grease and oils. Keeping your kitchen and appliances clean will help increase their life span and prevent fires, saving you money long term.
9. Check Caulking and Seals On Windows and Doors – If you want to keep your house as energy efficient and dry as possible, this often overlooked check is important. The caulking and sealing on windows and doors breaks down and cracks over time. Letting moisture and air in. Removing the old and replacing with a fresh bead of caulk is recommended. If your not up to the task call in a professional or ask us for a referral. Checking the weather stripping in door frames and replacing if needed is important too. The wind, snow, cold, and summer heat belong on the outside of your house, make sure they stay there.
10. Have Your House Exterior Washed / Painted – No matter what your exterior is made of, keeping it clean helps increase the longevity of the material. You can do this yourself or hire a pro. We can always help you find someone to do it for you as well. If your house is painted you will want to check for chipping and exposed wood. If you find you need a fresh coat, you’ll want to get that painted as soon as possible. Scheduling for a painter is recommended in late winter, but if you missed that window, call one now. If you need a referral, we’d be happy to help.
Have a wonderful spring and a great Summer!