Get Your Home in Shape for Summer
Sara Majzun, President
North Coast Building Industry Association (ncbia.com)
The fitness levels of many of us tend to wane during the fall and winter seasons, and then a renewed motivation comes each spring as we endeavor to get ourselves “beach ready.” Similarly, a home endures a variety of harsh elements during the winter months, and springtime is typically a great opportunity to get it back into shape.
The spring maintenance to-do list can be quite long for some, but the good news is that many of the items on the list can be completed—or at least initiated—by the homeowners themselves. The following are a handful of critical areas to assess as you prep for the warm weather ahead.
Air Tightness. Take a look at all of your windows and doors for drafts and air leaks. Caulk any seams and re-glaze windows if needed. It is a good idea to clean all of your windows, inside and out, including the screens. Replacing any worn weather-stripping around doors will help keep cool air in the house and your electric bills down.
Air Quality. Consider hiring a professional to clean your ducts where dust and air-borne particles are likely to build up. Spring is also the ideal time of year to inspect your fireplace and chimney. Look around for visible cracks, nesting animals or other signs of damage. Use this opportunity to have a professional chimney sweep clean your chimney, check it thoroughly and make any necessary repairs.
Energy Efficiency. Spring is a great time to service your air conditioner. Do not risk having it break down in the middle of a summer heat wave. A small amount of time spent cleaning the unit and nominal investment in professional maintenance now could save you days or weeks of suffering this summer.
Water Damage. Inspect the outside of your house to ensure proper drainage. Some key areas to examine include overhangs, awnings, and exposed siding where snow and water tend to collect and cause materials to decay over time. If possible, venture outside during the next rainfall and observe how the rain rolls off your roof and down your gutters. The water should empty a good distance away from your foundation so that it does not seep into your basement.
Keeping gutters and downspouts clear of debris and in good working order will help eliminate water from pooling close to the house, which will not only cause damage but also attract insects like termites. Repairing leaky plumbing in and around crawl spaces, and properly ventilating those areas will help keep them dry and much less hospitable to insects.
General Safety. Check the condition of stair railings, steps, and sidewalks around your home. Tighten any loose connections and smooth out cracks or ridges in the walkways. If your steps have settled or shifted, consult a professional to have them repaired.
Focusing on these small jobs now will save you time and money in the very near future. They will also give you added peace of mind so that you can enjoy a safer, cooler, and healthier summer. For more information about getting your home in shape for summer, contact the NCBIA.
Visit our website – ncbia.com for a list of our members, as well as our new For Consumer section and job posting (under the About Us tab) and be sure to visit our Virtual Parade of Homes. Or give us a call Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at 440-934-1090.
Our association is dedicated to promoting, protecting, strengthening, and informing our local home building markets and those who work within them to ensure we are, independently and collectively are a viable economic engine of growth now and in the future. Please feel free to use the NCBIA as a resource for any need that you may have, chances are we have a member that can assist you. Give us a call Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at 440-934-1090 or visit our website for a list of our members www.ncbia.com. We are your local not-for profit trade association representing member companies involved in all aspects of home building, remodeling, and other aspects of residential and light commercial construction. Like us on Facebook – – or better yet share us.