Posted on April 8, 2012 in Published Articles, Spring, Sunriver Scene by ShannonNo Comments »

Found in the April Issue of the Sunriver Scene

By Shannon Bassett – Caretaking Commander, Home Fridays

 

          As winter comes to a close and I see the light at the end of the tunnel, spring is on my mind.  Around Central Oregon I call this Home Maintenance Season.  No such thing as Maintenance Free exists in our harsh climate.  All building materials deteriorate over time and require repair or replacement. Here is a simple list of items to inspect and repair during this busy season to protect your investment:

Exterior:

Rake debris away from home and foundation. Clean the pine needles off the roof, gutters, decks and lawn. Excessive needles are a fire hazard and will also encourage lawn damage if left unattended. Inspect the foundation for cracks, water damage and or drainage issues.

Tree and branch trimming.  We have had a really windy winter with lots of trees and branches coming down. It is important to make sure that any debris (including leaves) are safely off your house. For the health of your trees, bring in a certified arborist to cut down any damaged limbs.

Clean exterior gutters and downspouts, and repair where necessary. Clean gutters will allow for smooth water flow as the rain storms begin. Repair holes, gutters that have pulled away from your house and missing or damaged downspouts.  

Clear away plants and bushes from dryer spout. Slow drying time is often the result of a blocked vent. Make sure the vents are unobstructed and the air can flow freely out of your house.

Install the window and door screens.  Check for holes or rips and get those repaired. We have some great local companies that will come to your house and repair screens on-site.

Inspect the roof for damage. The weight of the winter snow and all the wind storms can break loose tiles and cause cracks.  Look for missing tiles or noticeable signs of wear and tear.  When in doubt have a trusted roofing company inspect your roof.

Inspect decks and perform annual maintenance. Examine the deck support beams to identify any weakness or ‘spongy’ boards that indicate rot. Weather, birds and old age can destroy your deck. Not ready for replacement?  Prolong the life of your deck with an annual application of sealant. I use local contractors who specialize in decks to keep my deck looking good and lasting as long as possible.

Inspect for woodpecker, bird or critter damage.  Woodpeckers eating you out of house and home?  Squirrels in the attic?  Bats taken up residence over your front door? Bird and critter damage can be a big issue in Central Oregon. Inspect for damage around the house and the deck supports. Elimination can mean putting up netting, changing out boards on your house or caulking perch spots.  Our local pest control companies are educated in the best methods to keep the critters at bay.

Exam exterior paint and caulking. Exterior paint is an expensive endeavor and one many homeowners postpone as long as possible. Don’t let your home get damaged by waiting too long for paint.  It will end up costing you more in the long run to replace trim boards and repair the rotted areas.  Every two years I paint the South side of the house and touch up the shrinking caulking.  This allows me to wait a few extra years for the full paint job. Early spring is a great time to start scheduling a paint job with a local painting contractor.

Inspect the driveway for damage. Replace just a few pavers or get them reset rather than waiting for the entire driveway to start failing. Sealing the driveway every few years will prolong its life and save money.

Start up the sprinklers. Dry days are coming and a working sprinkler system will save your yard.  Commence the watering program after the system has been checked for leaks, heads repaired and timers properly set.  The same contractor who does your spring yard cleanup and regular maintenance should be able to get the sprinklers going again.  

 

Interior

Inspect foundation and crawl space for signs of water damage. Look for signs of water intrusion (dampness, puddles or water stains) and get them repaired now. A good contractor can help identify the source of the water and eliminate the problem.  Keep an eye out for any mold that may be growing as a result of water damage. Remove foundation vent and faucet covers, time for the house to breathe again. Wait until the overnight freezes are done (that could be late June this year).

Attic Inspection. Looking for a small leak now, can prevent a waterfall down the line. Scrutinize the attic for any signs of moisture and inspect the inside of the roof for any new holes or drip marks. Contact your trusted local roofing contractor for resolution if needed.

 

Annual air conditioner maintenance. Nothing is worse than no air on the hottest day of the year. Schedule your annual maintenance and change those filters regularly.  Change furnace filters and turn the furnace down to 50 (but not off yet). In Central Oregon you never know if we will see snow in July.

 

Change smoke alarm and carbon monoxide detector batteries.  The 3 a.m. chirping noise wakeup from a dying battery is annoying and unsafe.  Every spring, make it a ritual to change the batteries in all your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.  Your safety is worth it!

Windows, carpets and deep cleaning.  Extend the life of your carpets and area rugs with annual cleaning.  Allow the sunshine in with clean windows inside and out.  

Fireplace and chimney cleaning and inspection. Do your dampers fit tightly?  When was the last time you had the fireplace cleaned and inspected?  The more heavily it is used, the more often you should schedule both.  

Seal drafty windows and doors. Weather stripping falling off or a gap under the door?  Time to replace the weather stripping and get the riser adjusted.  Eliminate the gaps and your heating and cooling bills will go down.

A proactive approach to home maintenance will put you in the driver’s seat, instead of forcing you to react to a host of emergencies.  The upkeep listed above is also the most cost-effective way to take care of your home and help it appreciate instead of the reverse. 

          To get help with your home call me, the Caretaking Commander, at Home Fridays. I have been buying, renovating and managing residential and commercial properties for over 20 years. My locally-based company, Home Fridays (homefridays. com), offers professional home management and concierge services to vacation home owners. You can reach me at 541/317-3088 or shannon@homefridays. com.    

 

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