Spring Maintenance Coast to Coast
Depending on where you live, winter's ill effects to your home can present unique challenges when tackling warm weather maintenance. Learn how to get your home back in shape.
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Winter is prime time in the southwest, with 70-degree days and an occasional rainstorm. But heat season is around the corner and it?s time to get your home ready for the relentless desert sun:
- Check out the caulking and weatherstripping around doors and windows. The dryness of the desert causes cracking in these areas.
- Now?s the time to have your air conditioner or evaporative cooler tuned up and inspected. If you wait till the first heat wave it may take a while to get an appointment with a technician.
- Is your exterior paint job older than five years? The hot summer sun and cold winter nights wreak havoc on painted surfaces. Think about repainting soon, or at least touching up worn-out areas.
- If your garage door faces the afternoon sun it absorbs a tremendous amount of heat, which can affect its performance. Test the safety of your opener by putting an empty cardboard box in the door?s path and push the closer. When the door hits the box, it should reverse. If the box is crushed, have it checked out.
The Sticky South
Homeowners in humid areas know that maintenance is a year-round activity. However, spring is a perfect time to focus on some particular areas:
- After a wet, cold winter, your rain gutters probably need some attention. Have them cleaned out or, if you?re comfortable on a ladder, scoop them out with a trowel. Also look for areas where the gutter may have pulled away from the house.
- For homes with wood siding or trim, look for fungal damage or termite infestation on any exposed horizontal surfaces and at the joints.
- Give your house a bath with a garden hose and a spray nozzle. If you?re not experienced with a pressure washer, leave that to a pro since it?s easy to force water behind wood siding, which can cause mold problems.
- Check to make sure the attic and/or roof fans are operating, since they?ll help the house breath during a hot spell.
These spring maintenance tips apply anywhere: Replace your smoke alarm batteries; cut away any tree branches that are hovering over your roof; and even though everything's probably still moist, run your automatic sprinklers to make sure the heads are unclogged and flowing freely.
Finally, stuff that jacket and scarf in the back of the closet and forget about them ... at least until November.
Preventive maintenance is crucial to the value of your home. Keep your place in tip-top shape with regular check-ups to save...