Regular maintenance and repair comes with owning a home. It’s something I touch on regularly in this space because it’s something that requires regular attention. Periodic reviews, both inside and outside the home, are the best way to be aware of your needs so you can best manage them.
Just as regular oil changes, tire rotations and looking under the car for drips and leaks is the best way to keep your vehicle performing well, regular inspections of your home is the gold standard for keeping up with maintenance and keeping costs down.
Consider a rather common occurrence of failing exterior caulk around a window or door. Sun and age cause the caulk to dry out and crack. Wood trim checks, twists and separate from the home where the caulked used to be. Water intrudes, keeping things damp and causing wood to swell, which open the crack even wider.
The water will enter the wall first and will eventually make itself known by way of moisture and stains on the interior drywall. By the time you observe this you now have damage inside your wall, possibly including wet insulation, mold or rotten wood. This is an invitation to termites.
Given the damage water causes, this is your priority during a self-directed home maintenance review. Do you see any stains or signs on the interior of water intrusion? On the exterior, inspect for cracks in stucco, bricks and siding. Inspect caulk around doors and windows. Make sure wooden decks and furniture are properly sealed with paint or stain.
Leaves and debris in roof valleys will eventually damage the roof and any siding they rest against. Ivy and vines climbing the side of your home will grab onto the paint and wood, trap moisture and expedite decay. If you see a greenish algae growth on the home, a damaging process has begun. Even without ivy and leaf debris, wood siding and trim needs periodic caulking and paint to prevent damage.
Beyond water related issues, spring is also a good time to inspect screens in windows, porches and lanais for damage. They won’t keep the mosquitoes out if they have tears from kids or pets or blew out during Irma.
The annual spring leaf drop is largely done at this time and your gutters may need cleaning if you have trees in your yard. A pressure rinse of you home will remove pollen, algae and grime. While inspecting, assess whether it is time to clean pool decks and driveways.
Like children, homes are precious and the center of some of our most treasured memories, but they do come with some work. Every home has different needs, and regular inspections and prompt identification of issues will keep damage from building and reduce the cost and effort for resolution.
If you are not prepared to tackle some of the work identified during your home maintenance review, contact Mr. Handyman, there’s simply no one like us!