Birthdays, anniversaries and seasonal changes

Birthdays, anniversaries and seasonal changes

During the fall homeowners, should a quick visual check to make sure gutters are clear. Neglected gutters can lead to wood rot problems, pest infestations, wet basements, foundation damage and many other expensive complications. Make sure downspouts divert water away from the foundation. (About the photo: In this file photo, a homeowner makes repairs to his home flooded during the severe storms and flooding in September 2009). (Photo: David Fine)

I celebrated my birthday a few weeks ago and, as is often the case, the occasion reminded me to change the batteries in my smoke detectors. Birthdays, anniversaries, the change of the seasons, the new year, the time change — these are all good reminders of maintenance items that ought to be taken care of periodically.

Once a year, like your birthday or anniversary or the beginning or end of summer, consider having a professional check your heating or cooling system to ensure optimal performance or make repairs as needed. Clean your ducts to better your heating system’s efficiency as well as to reduce household dust. Check for leaks around the joints of the ducts. Clean your thermostat’s heat sensor and contact points. Call a professional to inspect and clean your chimney. Do a quick visual check to make sure gutters are clear. Neglected gutters can lead to wood rot problems, pest infestations, wet basements, foundation damage and many other expensive complications. Change the batteries in all the smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Clean exhaust fans and vents in the bathrooms and kitchen. Ensure that window wells are free of debris and draining properly. Cut back any tree limbs or shrubs that could damage the home. Don’t forget to clear the dryer vent. Also, check over the water heater for any signs of corrosion or leaking.

A couple of times a year, like the first days of spring and fall or when the time changes, check ceiling and surfaces around windows for evidence of moisture.

Inspect caulking around showers, bathtubs, sinks and toilet base. Look up at ceiling areas beneath bathrooms for signs of leakage. Check all faucets, hose bibs and supply valves for leakage. Do a quick visual review of the basement and/or crawlspace for moisture or leaks. Examine all wood surfaces for weathering and paint failure. Decks, patios, porches, stairs, and railings should be inspected for deterioration and repaired as needed. Attend to any missing, loose or damaged roof shingles or tiles (check for open seams, blisters, or bald areas on flat roofs). Make sure downspouts divert water away from the foundation. Check the attic for evidence of leaks. Look over flashing around all surface projections, sidewalls, and protrusions. Take time to observe whether the fascia and soffits have deteriorated or become damaged.

Once a month, like the first or last day or the 15th, test batteries of smoke, heat and carbon monoxide detectors. GFCI and AFCI outlets and breakers also need to be tested each month. Clean or change furnace filters every thirty days during times of use.

Home maintenance is one tradition that all homeowners should keep, and inspectors advise homeowners not to skip or put off important repairs. Not only does regular upkeep on a home help the home retain its value, but it also makes it more pleasant to live in a home where all the systems are functioning as they should.

Frank Ross is a Certified Utah Home Inspector for Pillar to Post Professional Home Inspection, a member of the National Association of Certified Home Inspectors and the only home inspection company in Southern Utah accredited by the Utah Better Business Bureau. Readers may contact Mr. Ross at 435-867-6400 or frank.ross@pillartopost.com. Visit our website for more information on home inspection and buying, selling or owning a home (www.pillarposthomeinspection.com).

www.thespectrum.com/story/life/life-columnists/2014/10/03/birthdays-anniversaries-seasonal-changes/16669579/


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