Are you ready to tackle your spring time to-dos? Even here in the rainy Bellevue and Seattle area, spring has finally sprung. That means it’s time to start thinking about the home maintenance and home repair jobs you put off all winter. Before you get started, consider these home maintenance pro tips.
Dealing with those gutters
With the clouds lifting and the rains receding – at least a bit – addressing any clutter, fallen branches and other problems hiding in your gutters should be at the top of your spring to do list. If your gutters become clogged, you could easily start getting water backing up under some of that roof flashing or shingles. From there, it can even creep into your home itself.
Grab yourself a ladder – and a friend or family member to help hold it steady – to give your gutters a thorough once over. Look for any blockages resulting from fallen leaves or debris. Also clear away the drainage pipes so future rainwater can quickly run off and away from your home. Then, check to verify that the gutter seams are still tightly held together. If you’re not comfortable getting up on a ladder and doing this kind of work, you might want to bring in a professional to do it for you.
Clear out that chimney
If you have a chimney, spring is a great time to clean it out and making any necessary repairs. Although singing chimney sweeps might sound appealing, you’re probably better off turning to a modern professional who can take care of your chimney sweeping each year. It’s certainly not a job you’ll want to do yourself. A professional can inspect your chimney, looking for any problems that might have resulted from its use over the winter. You should also have an experienced technician ensure that the flue looks good as well.
In addition to a thorough cleaning, you should personally inspect your chimney bricks or block work for damage to the mortar and bricks themselves. Chips in the mortar or hair line cracks can lead to serious problems down the road. For minor mortar failures, you can simply mix up a small batch of mortar and get started. Using a pointed brick trowel, you can easily fill in any crumbling mortar lines.
For a quicker fix, try Mor-Flexx mortar repair sealant. This caulk-type product can easily be applied by any homeowner with a caulk gun. Similar techniques can be used on hairline cracks or small chips that may be on the bricks as well. This inspection and follow up work will ensure your chimney is ready to go the next time you need it and it can help you to make sure your chimney is safe and in good working order. Minor repairs to your chimney now can save you from big home repair costs later.
Get an HVAC inspection
If your heating and cooling system gets a lot of use, an annual inspection is a definite must. You’ll have largely finished using it for heating, and you can have it prepared for air-conditioning use if that’s needed during the summer. Maintaining your HVAC system protects this major investment, so it will keep working efficiently for years to come.
The easiest way to do your annual inspection is to follow the directions on the maintenance regimen in your unit’s manual. It will explain how to check and replace dirty filters, belts, and other components. You should also look for loose components or damaged parts as well as inspect the electronics and controls. This can save you a lot of money on your energy bills. If you do not have your manual on hand, do an internet search for it to find the PDF version offered by the manufacture.
Check outside water connections
Springtime is when you’ll want to have your hoses and sprinkler systems operating at peak efficiency. This is important as sometimes these hoses and connections don’t stand up to the winter weather. Spring is an excellent time to check all hoses for tears, rips or breaks. Look at any spigots outside of your home for damage resulting from the cold. Frozen pipes can easily crack or burst and result in a lot of water damage.
Inspect your roof
Severe and extremely expensive damage to your home often happens without you even being aware of the problem until it’s too late and a costly home repair is required. Frequently, the source of this hidden problem is your roof. This is why a thorough roof inspection every spring is an absolute necessity. It’s better to detect and repair small and relatively inexpensive problems now before they become big, pricey problems.
Although any major roof repairs are best left to a professional, you can do a cursory examination of your roof yourself. Look for loose or damaged shingles, a warp in the roof sheathing, or a spot where moisture seems to collect. This is really important to look at because in the Pacific Northwest, undetected wet spots can quickly lead to the growth of mold. Sometimes you can detect damage to your shingles by noticing fallen shingles – or pieces of shingle – on the ground around your home. Your roof protects everything under it, so make sure it’s a good shape.
The next step in the inspection should include a thorough, but careful walk on your roof. Slowly walk the entire roof and feel for deflection and soft spots in the sheathing. If you notice a problem area you need to inspect the underside of the sheathing for signs of water damage.
On-demand home repair help
There are plenty of jobs around your home you need to think about this spring. Keep your eyes open for those tell-tale signs of potential issues. Be brave, roll up your sleeves, and save some money by completing any work you can handle on your own. However, while you’re doing all your work and inspections, if you find you need some serious home repair, know when to call a professional – And, of course, feel free to contact High Tech Pacific Builders if you need assistance.
Some times it can be hard to find a reputable contractor in the neighborhood to give you the help you need when you need it most. When all else fails, try HTPB’s Home-Call Handyman Services. Our experienced staff will be more than happy to help you. Call us today at 425-518-5855 or contact us online.