April is here! Spring is here! It's the perfect time to tackle some home maintenance chores that will help keep your home repair costs down.
1. Clean and inspect insect and critter screens. Spring is officially here even if winter is still trying to hang on. Window screens should be inspected for cuts, rips and bent frames. The bugs will be trying to get in once you open up the windows for fresh air. An intact screen will keep them out. To clean window screens; carefully remove and lay them flat on a picnic table or a pair of sawhorses and scrub them with a soft bristle brush and a mild detergent solution. Rinse with a garden hose and allow them to dry thoroughly before re-installing them. Roof and eave vents help to ventilate your attic and will keep critters out of the attic. Inspect and clean them as well.
2. Inspect the outside of your home and other wooden structures for deterioration - especially signs of rot. Use a screwdriver to probe suspect areas of wood rot. If the tip exposes any soft, mushy areas, it should be added to your maintenance and repair list and tackled very quickly to prevent more costly repairs in the future. Areas to check include: railings, window sills and trim , wood siding and corner trim, and the bottoms of the trim around doors as well as the threshold. For the higher areas, like the top of the chimney, you may prefer to hire an insured professional like Mr. Handyman.
3. Inspect the crawl space or basement after rains to look for water accumulation or excessive moisture. Also look for signs of water damage on the subfloor and joists beneath bathrooms, the kitchen, and the laundry. Find and fix leaks right away or pay the price later.
4. Shut off the water to the washing machine, remove the water supply hoses and examine them thoroughly. Laundry room floods can be very costly. Replace cracked hoses and always install a new washer on each end of each hose. Inspect and clean your dryer vent ducting annually. A plugged dryer vent is the #2 cause of home fires in the U.S. Keeping the dryer vent system clean will also allow your dryer to operate more efficiently and can save you up to $80 per year.
5. While performing the inspection for wood rot or deterioration, check the caulking around windows and doors and apply where necessary.
Make your list and give Mr. Handyman a call to take care of the tasks that you can't get to and you'll come out ahead by avoiding costly repairs in the future.