Check list to recover from winter storms aka Spring Cleaning
The weather is turning nicer here in Winston Salem NC and you will want to do some work outside to maintain your home. We talked about winterizing your home in an earlier blog but what if your preparation didn’t hold up? Here is a check list of things to look for to minimize damage and maintain the value of your home.
Landscaping (shrubs) surrounding the house need trimming to make sure the wood behind them can dry out. Ensure the slope of the landscaping leads away from the home. Pools of water next to the foundation are bad. They can lead to a water intrusion if not properly addressed.
Exterior faucets, we told you in winterizing your home to take hoses off and use hose bibs to prevent freezing. As you turn water on & check faucets for leaks. Be prepared to shut water off quickly as burst pipes are often inside the house and in the wall. If you have someone who can be on the other side of the faucet to check, that will help.
Gutters should cleaned once a year, twice a year if on a wooded lot. Many houses have different needs on each side of the house so clean as often as needed.
Roof – check for missing or loose shingles; check around chimney, vents & skylights for leaks, and long the eaves for evidence of ice dams. The vents should have good seals and no cracking looks for signs of dry rot and wear. Check the fascia (vertical) boards underneath gutters if icicles have formed on them that may indicate a leak.
Siding & paint – Paint is a seal against outside water intrusion, check for cracks, gaps and peeling. Repair/replace caulking if you find any gaps.
Doors & windows – Replace weather stripping as needed to prevent rain water from creeping under the door. Repair screens, install/swap screens for storm doors/windows.
Window sills and kick boards below exterior doors are the most vulnerable wood items, so check them carefully. If wet and rotting they could also be an invitation to termites. Replace and paint as necessary to prevent extending and invitation to further damage.
Deck – clean, repair and stain. Stain wears better & easier to maintain, i.e. doesn’t peel. Again rotting wood should be replaced and sealed / treated for termite prevention.
Mailboxes, etc – repair damage done during snow removal to mailboxes, fencing, stairs, etc.
Grill – clean outdoor grill; check to insure it’s working properly. Be sure to keep this a safe distance from your home and never leave it unattended.
Attic – If you found missing shingles during your roof inspection, check insulation for moisture and replace as needed. Add more ventilation to insure moisture doesn’t get trapped. Never cover vents or eaves as they allow airflow and reduce the chance of mold growth.
Bathrooms – ensure the exhaust fan is in good working order and dust or clean to ensure good airflow. Check caulking and grout, and repair as needed to prevent water damage or mold.
A/Cs – Change air filters if you have pets this should be done more frequently. Check window A/Cs have good drainage. Check central A/C duct work and insure no leaks. Have your system checked by a professional to ensure the condensate drain line is working properly and your HVAC system is ready for the hot Carolina summer.
Appliances – Dust and clean refrigerator coils, stove exhaust hood and dryer vents. A duct cleaning professional could also be of help with the clothes dryer vent checking off two important areas.
Ceiling fans – clean (lots of dust on top) and check to insure fans are operating properly.
Basement or Crawl Space – check walls and floor for dampness; address source of humidity where possible; run sump pump to insure it’s functioning properly before spring rain. Are there any standing pools of water? These can cause mold and affect the air quality in your home.
Dehumidifiers – Ensure the drain line is clear and flowing freely. Clean periodically and make sure they’re working properly.
Hot Water Heater – Can build up scale especially if your water is hard. Drain twice a year and clean out deposits on bottom. Check for leaks and place a water leak detector near this and other water sources i.e. toilets, dishwasher, behind refrigerator.
Safety – The time change to daylight savings is a good time to check batteries in smoke and carbon dioxide detectors. Ensure your family knows the plan in case of an emergency. Ready.Gov has a checklist
These should help prevent disasters and add value to your home. A well maintained home is worth more. But should a water, fire or mold situation invade your home call us direct at 336-946-1131 we will make it “Like it never even happened.”