Tackle more indoor tasks before the warmer weather arrives…
- Examine bathroom and kitchen caulking. If you find gaps between the tub or shower and the floor and walls, or between the countertop and backsplash, re-caulk. Check the tile around bathtubs and shower edges to make sure they are caulked and secure.
- Check under sinks and around toilets and showers for signs of leaks. Fill sinks with water, open the drain and with a wad of toilet tissue rub down the entire drain pipe to check for leaks. Also repair dripping faucets and make sure faucet aerators are not clogged — if you don’t know how, a local handyman may do the job at about half the price of a plumber. Save plumbers for bigger, complex jobs.
- Replace any rubber clothes washer hoses with braided metal hoses to insure against a split hose, water disaster.
- Call to have your central air-conditioning serviced. Set up the appointment now for March or April to avoid the summer rush. The service will make sure that your compressor and air handler is working well and that the condensate drain is clear.
- Don’t forget to periodically check and replace all your return air filters and vacuum out the area behind the filter to keep your system working efficiently. Most manufacturers recommend filter replacement every 30 days. Get a Sharpie and mark the filters with the date you installed them to help keep you on schedule. Check new filter for the arrow showing air flow direction and install accordingly.
- Inspect all electrical cords, wall switch plates, and receptacles for damage and wear. Make sure receptacles are secured tightly. If you have young children in the home make sure receptacles have appropriate child-proof covers.
- Periodically check all GFCI (ground fault circuit interrupter) receptacles found in kitchens, bath, garage and exterior. Push in lower button – top button should pop out then re-set by pushing in top button. Contact licensed electrician to replace/repair if not working properly.
- Periodically check all AFCI (arc fault circuit interrupters) found in main electrical circuit breaker box – by pushing the small blue button on breakers supplying power to bedrooms. Re-set circuit breaker by pushing it all the way to “OFF” then back to the “ON” position. These are found primarily in newer homes and are a fire safety feature. Again, contact a licensed electrician to replace/repair if not working properly.
Winter’s ending. It’s time to…
- Search for peeling exterior paint. Harsh winter weather can cause caulking to loosen and paint to chip, peel or flake, exposing wood to the elements and giving water a place to enter. Caulk around all window and door trim where needed. Touch up bare spots now with paint to prevent moisture problems later. First, scrape and sand any loose paint, then prime and add at least one top coat.
- Prep your lawn. Apply a pre-emergent fertilizer to your grass in March (or as soon as the snow melts), and you’ll have fewer weeds and healthier grass come April. A local nursery can recommend a fertilizer appropriate for your yard.
- Examine the foundation. Take a walk around the exterior and interior of your foundation (if accessible) in search of cracks. Small cracks should be filled with caulk and monitored to make sure they aren’t widening. If you see large cracks, call a home inspector, building contractor or structural engineer to inspect. Check all cement walkways and driveways. If you find a crack, use a leaf blower to clear out debris, then seal with caulk made for your type of surface (asphalt, concrete, etc.). Use mortar only if the crack is more than a half-inch wide.
- Check all wooden siding, trim and untreated lumber making sure it is not in contact with the ground. Such contact can lead to wood rot and is an invitation to wood destroying insects.
- Check your outside AC condenser unit and make sure that there are no leaves, mulch or other debris blocking the air flow around the fins. Make sure that insulation on the suction line (the larger cold one) is in place all the way to your inside air handler and that the condenser unit looks level and is secure on its pad. Call your HVAC service company to repair if necessary.
Replace the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors when you change the clocks for daylight saving time. Contact alarm companies for periodic check of hard-wired systems.
- Examine the exterior hood of your dryer vent. Remove any lint build-up. Periodically disconnect the dryer vent hose from your dryer and clean it out. A leaf blower works well to blow it out. Lint build up in dryer vent hoses causes over 10,000 house fires every year. Make sure hose is flexible metal and not plastic. Keep hose as straight and as short as possible for better air flow and more efficient drying and less lint built-up.
Need more information and have questions? Contact C4U Inspections today