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Back to school? Time for home work

School started today for some districts in the Omaha metro area. Other districts will catch up over the next couple of weeks.

For homeowners, that means it’s time to catch up on some home work and do some end-of-summer-break maintenance.

The American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) recommends following the 3 Rs: Replace, Repair, Remove.

Replace

Broken glass or loose caulking: With kids, pets and guests running in and out over the summer, frames and seals can loosen up. Inspect your doors, windows and other trim for loose putty, caulking and seals, as well as for glass that may be wobbly or cracked.

Filters and batteries: You air conditioner has been hard at work, so check the filter to make sure it’s clean. Test the batteries in your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detector to make sure all are still functioning.

Repair

Exterior walls: Masonry walls can crack with heat and moisture fluctuations. Repair these cracks with a sealant made for this purpose. This will keep the cracks from expanding and extending over the winter.

Roof: After stormy weather, checking for loose or damaged shingles is necessary to avoid leaks. While you’re at it, look at your metal flashing to make sure everything is sealed.

Outside areas: Repair any cracks in driveways and walkways. Check your yard for settlement and soil erosion; bring in dirt to fill in any low spots that are close to the house’s foundation to prevent basement leaks and flooding.

Remove

Debris in gutters: When checking for damage to gutters and downspouts, clean out leaves, sticks and other debris to keep water from backing up.

Buildup in fireplaces: Your assignment for fall: Get the chimney cleaned so you’ll be ready for a warm fire with the first cold snap.

Overhanging tree limbs: Prune branches that are too close to the house or that hang over the roof. Remove dead trees or tree limbs so they don’t cause damage during storms.

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