Summer is an excellent time to inspect the exterior of your home to make sure everything is in proper working order.
Mr. Handyman recommends starting with items that could lead to expensive repairs if not addressed immediately, then inspecting items that would have a lesser impact. The sooner you get done with your work, the more time you can spend having fun, enjoying your deck or patio and fun with the family.
Assess Stucco for Damage
Remember the woodpeckers ( Northern Flickers ) that did so much damage last summer? Flickers can cause a lot of damage in a short period of time. Once a hole is made in the stucco, water can get inside the wall behind the stucco. If you have leftover stucco material (contractors often leave a partial bucket), you can patch minor holes. For larger holes, a professional handyman should be consulted.
Brick Work and Masonry
Inspect brick or stone faces and pillars and note any cracks, missing, or damaged mortar joints. Mortar joints can be repaired by first cleaning out any loose material and dirt; then mix a small amount of mortar and water and work the material into the crack. Wear rubber gloves as cement is highly alkaline and will burn bare skin. Alternatively, for smaller cracks, a tube of mortar repair caulking can do the job.
Inspect driveway and sidewalks for open control joints, cracks, and surfaces that have risen or dropped relative to adjacent surfaces. Slabs that have dropped may be able to be mud jacked rather than replaced. Cracks should be sealed with a concrete crack sealant to keep water out.
Fences and Gates
Inspect fence gates for proper operation. Tighten any loose screws/bolts and adjust latches so they operate easily. A sagging gate may be able to be corrected by installing a cable and turn-buckle from the top hinge side corner of the gate to the opposite bottom corner.
Trees and Bushes - Potential Home Hazards
Assess trees and bushes that may be touching or approaching roofs or walls. Any limbs touching walls or roofs should be immediately removed to prevent damage. A pole saw is handy for this task as it allows you to trim limbs from the ground. Use extreme care when trimming trees and call a professional for large limbs or trees, especially those over roofs. Never trim limbs around power lines; call a professional.
Inspect sprinkler system for damage. The most common damage occurs when the system is not drained in the fall and the backflow preventer freezes. The backflow preventer is the device that has a bell-like cap on it and is typically installed where the sprinkler system water line leaves the house. Also check to be sure all heads are intact and operate properly.
Windows and Emergency Exits
Inspect window well covers and escape ladders. Window well covers must be able to hold the weight of an adult. Be sure all quick releases work properly. Escape ladders must be secured to the window well and easily climbed.
Gary Mayle is owner of Mr. Handyman of West Weld and East Larimer Counties , providing handyman services to Fort Collins, Loveland and Greeley, Colorado. All Mr. Handyman franchises are Fully Insured - General Liability and Workers Compensation. Some services are subject to state and local licensing and may not be available in all locations. Click here to request service in your area.