Sunday, April 16, 2017
Here are a few tips to get your house back into shape after the cold winter. Now is a good time because the weather is accommodating, with very little debris from plants and trees being blown around.
1. Masonry: I always say, “Anytime you see a crack fill it”. Take a walk around your house. Look at everything that is made of masonry. Your brick house, sidewalks, stairs, and foundation. If there is a crack fill it. When the weather gets cold again, water in these cracks can freeze, expand and cause more damage.
2. Gutters: Check the condition of your gutters. Gutters are used to control water run-off from the roof. But when it is cold, water can freeze and the weight of the ice over a long period of time can cause damage.
3. Driveways: Black top (asphalt) driveways last about fifteen to twenty years in our area. But you can extend that life expectancy by tarring any cracks, preventing moisture from doing any more damage. And sealing the whole driveway to extend its life expectancy every year. Now is a good time to do this because leaves and debris are not being blown around.
4. Drainage: Does the ground around your house slope away from the foundation? By directing water away from the foundation can help keep a basement dry. One way to have this addressed is by having a grading and drainage expert take a look. He or she will guide you to a dryer basement.
5. Furnace: Your heating system has been working hard during the colder months. Now is a good time to have your heating expert or PSE&G do any needed maintenance and cleaning. Their demand for service is lower now and you can avoid the rush when winter comes again.
6. HVAC (Cooling): Preventive maintenance is the key word. Have the HVAC system checked out before the heat comes. This is especially true if your system is older. The outside compressor is good for 15 years in our area. Then it needs tender loving care. Also make sure the trap on the air-handler in the attic did not crack during the colder months. You don’t want to wake up to your wife yelling “the ceiling is leaking”, (it happened to me).
7. Radon Test: What is radon? Radon is the natural decomposition of radioactive material in the ground. The long and short of it is. Long exposure to high doses can cause lung cancer. Did you already have a test done? Things change. It is advisable to test every two years. And did you know that thermal frost of the ground can affect the results of a test. Cold weather testing can be different than warm weather testing.
8. Home Inspection: Last but not least, a home inspection. You don’t have to have a home inspection done only when you’re buying a house. By having a home inspection done in the spring will tell you how your home weathered the winter. And the report will provide you with a list of issues that can be addressed.