Preparing for the summer
A commercial gutter installation. (photo by Ethoseo via commons.wikimedia.org)
As the season transitions from winter to spring, it’s time to attend to some household maintenance tasks.
Exterior areas. Trim trees and remove vegetation from the siding and roofline. Have gutters and drains cleaned by a roofing contractor, add downspout extensions where needed, repair all damaged, disconnected or leaking gutters. Consider having the perimeter drains scoped by a drain tile specialist. Inspect, clean and repair all dirty vents. Take note of all exterior repairs, caulking and painting that will need to be done over the summer.
Decks and balconies. Remove all debris and clean any mildew from the floor surface, clear drains, check the function of sliding doors and screens, test guardrails for stability. Does anything need painting?
Roof and flashings. Have the roof properly inspected for damage, holes, loose flashing materials, outdated shingles, pooling, etc. Remove all debris and moss to prevent moisture issues.
Air conditioner. Have it serviced and the heat pump cleaned.
Furnace. Check the filter and replace or clean it.
Smoke detectors. If you have not done so in the last six months, test all smoke detectors. Replace them if they are older than 10 years. Instal carbon monoxide detectors in areas by gas-burning appliances and check them as well. Also, all smoke detectors should be interconnected and hardwired throughout the home. If one goes off in the basement, they should be heard on the top levels as well.
Electrical outlets. Make sure they are safe and grounded. Replace all broken cover plates, tighten loose ones. Test the GFCI (ground fault circuit interrupter) outlets and replace expired or damaged ones, both inside and out.
Washing machine. Inspect hose connections. These hoses are always under pressure, so replace rubber hoses with steel-braided ones to help prevent leaks.
Clothes dryer. Check that the vent duct is made from a smooth, rigid metal. Replace corrugated plastic or foil ducts, as they pose a fire hazard.
Attic. Check for signs of poor ventilation, pests, insulation issues, damaged sheathing, mold, duct connections and leaks. Repair all problems with the help of an attic contractor.
Spring cleaning. Purge or sell all items you don’t need. Check for other random tasks: replace light bulbs, do minor repairs to ceilings doors, windows, walls, etc.
Sean Moss is a professional home inspector with his company Sean Moss Home and Mold Inspections, homeinspectorsean.com.