Owning a home regardless where it is often requires regular maintenance to improve it’s long term health. Homes built in Virginia have to weather the elements of 4 different seasons, making home maintenance even more important.
Here is a list of home maintenance tips we feel every home owner should consider.
Gutter Cleaning And Maintenance
Many houses come equipped with gutters and downspouts that need to be periodically cleaned. The purpose of a gutter is to move water away from the home and transport to a place where good drainage is available. Not cleaning them can cause all sorts of issues including.
- Roof Leaks
- Basement Leaks
- Wood Damage
- Landscape Damage
Since Gutters can be hard to clean, it is a good idea to high professional gutter cleaners to service them. A gutter cleaning project on a typical two-story 2,500 square-foot home with 200 linear feet of gutters might cost between $100 to $250.
Depending on how wooded your lot is, you can expect to have your gutters cleaned 2 to 4 times a year. Typical bi-year times include cleaning gutters in early Spring and late Fall.
For those wanting to make sure the houses are insulated and want to save money on electric bills, making sure your caulk is still working as designed is really important. Yearly inspections around windows and doors is usually all that is needed.
Caulk acts like an air barrier, helping to seal your home from the elements. It prevents air leakage and can save you as much as 30% on your heating and cooling costs.
Caulk around your windows has to withstand temperature changes, wind, rain, bugs and sometimes even animals.
If you see signs of cracking and peeling, it’s usually a good time to re-caulk the home.
Most painting companies offer caulking services and are usually pretty inexpensive.
Heating ducts carry both hot and cool air around your home. With extended use these ducts can become clogged and not work as efficiently.
It’s recommended that Ducts be cleaned every other year by a professional duct cleaner. While many of the items listed can be personally inspected, it’s usually a good idea to have ducts be inspected by a professional instead.
Beyond getting ducts cleaned, cleaning/vacuuming duct vents and removing dust and other particles that could be blocking air flow is advised.
Every year when the weather starts getting a bit cooler, it’s a great idea to get your chimney inspected for debris, animals and other things that may block air flow.
Chimney sweep companies provide chimney inspection and cleaning and should be used once a year.
Most new homes come with a roof guarantee that usually lasts 8 -15 years. That said anytime there is a sever weather event, a roof inspection might be required. High winds, hail and tree debris can create havoc on roofs, dislodging shingles, cause roof leaks and other issues.
Prior to doing any roof work and/or inspection, check with your homes insurance company to see what might be covered. In many instances roof work/inspections may be covered.
If you have questions about roofs give us a shout
Attics And Crawlspaces
Attics and Crawlspaces are great avenues to see signs of roof leaks and issues needing repair. During the fall animals like to work their way into attics for warm and their extended stay can cause problems. If found, hiring professional animal removers is usually your best option.
Porches, Decks And Patios
Let’s face it, roofs and outdoor decks are almost always exposed to the harsh elements both in summer and winter. Decks are especially prone to sun damage which can eventually lead to rotting and deterioration.
Visual inspection of a deck for any signs of wear should be done on a regular basis. New deck sealant should be applied whenever a deck is starting to look worn.
Decks usually require pressure washing and a cleaning prior to new coats of sealers or stains being used. The pressure wash helps prepare the deck and allows the wood to soak up the sealer or stain.
DRIVEWAYS AND SIDEWALKS
Driveways and sidewalks should be inspected for cracking and deterioration on a regular basis. After hash winters where multiple thaws and freezes have occurred this can create cracks where water seeps in and then expands. During heavy rainstorms water flow can erode parts of a driveway causing issues.
Most small issues can be fixed using a concrete-patch rather than having to pay for a new driveway or sidewalk. The patch also helps prevent any issue from becoming bigger.
Walking around your home on a bi-yearly basis looking for foundation cracks can help discover potential problems that will need to be addressed by a professional.
When Should You Inspect
We have found that if nothing else, you should inspect your home every Spring and Fall looking for any issues listed above and also don’t forget to check your smoke alarms and any air filters you have.