Even though we are still in an icy grip of winter weather (despite it being the first day of spring!), it is time to think about home maintenance projects. As Jim Eberly, our director of construction, explained this morning to SACA radio host Hector Valdez on the “Cafe Con Leche” morning program (91.3FM), winter is incredibly harsh on your home. When you delay important maintenance tasks, the resulting wear and tear takes a toll on your home … so much so that it could result in a 10-15% decrease in home value over time!
So, where to begin?
Winter has a way of getting into the gaps and cracks of your home. Water finds these empty spaces and, when it freezes, expands these cracks, so the damage becomes worse. A good preemptive task is to find these gaps in the fall and seal them with caulk that expands with the temperatures. In the spring, inspect the outside and inside of your home for noticeable warping. Using a pair of binoculars, take a good look at your roof, looking for damaged flashing and curled shingles. (Don’t attempt to go onto your roof for inspection or repair yourself! Leave that to the professionals.)
Spring often means heavy rains. Take a peek at your gutters and downspouts. If they are choked with leaves, get them cleaned out. Look at the ground perimeter of your home for any sunken areas that may need to be properly graded so that the water moves away from your home rather than pooling next to it.
You may also be ready to install air conditioning units. Be sure to replace any paper filters. Ideally, these filters are replaced once a month during time of use. When pet hair and dander, along with good old dust, clog the filter, it makes the unit work extra hard, which decreases the life span of your appliance.
If you have a pool, make sure your fence surrounding the pool is secure. Children can squeeze through spaces that we might not consider big enough. When looking for these openings, try to see this from a child’s perspective to keep kids safe.
When pollen stops coating all of our home surfaces, clean those windows and screens! Screens get incredibly dirty over the winter. Remove them in late spring and give them, and your windows, a good scrub down. It’s a lot more pleasant to look out sparkly windows than dirty ones (and even nice for your neighborhood’s curb appeal).
Some home maintenance tasks may seem daunting at first. To this, Jim offers some sound advice. “Start with the easier tasks. The web offers a wealth of information about how to perform home maintenance. With some experience and knowledge, you’ll be ready to try some harder tasks in time.”
For a checklist of tasks by season, please click on the link here. The list is also available in hard copy at our program office.