May 19, 2017
Spring maintenance, inside and outdoors
It’s mid-May and some of us have used both our furnaces and air conditioners this month. It must be spring in Nebraska!
With winter over and storm season already here, it’s time to check your house inside and out to make sure it’s ready for summer fun, as well as wind and rain. Here’s a checklist from home care experts.
Move your firewood. If you stored firewood near your home for the winter, move it away over the summer. “Firewood should be stored at least 18 inches off the ground at least 2 feet from the structure,” according to HGTV.
While you’re moving your firewood, check for signs of termites. Be on the lookout for these winged insects through May or June, according to Houzz.
If you think you see termites, contact our partners at Pest Solutions 365 for a free inspection.
Check your roof. Look for shingles that have shifted, cracked, or even disappeared, according to BobVila.com. Also look for popped-up nails, where moisture can leak into the attic if they’re not replaced.
Chimneys. Check the joints between stones or bricks if you have a masonry chimney. If parts of the joints have fallen out or you see vegetation growing out of them, those are signs of water infiltration. Also check your flashing to make sure it’s sealed.
Clean gutters and downspouts to make sure rain runs off the roof and away from the house. If gutters are clogged, wood trim at the eaves can rot, leaving openings for pests to enter the attic, according to Houzz. Clogged gutters also can divert water so it overflows the gutters and goes straight into your basement.
Also make sure that downspouts carry water far enough away from your house to protect your foundation. Experts recommend they be 10 to 20 feet long, if you have room.
Examine exterior walls for water stains. This is another sign that your gutters aren’t working adequately.
Inspect your foundation for masonry cracks. Small cracks can be repaired with caulk specially formulated for concrete repairs. Larger jobs may call for a specialist to help.
Make sure your attic is clean. Look for signs of infestation by insects and pests. Also look for water stains or mold: “gray or black blotches that look like staining,” according to Tim Gentry, vice president of technical services, DaVinci Roofscapes, Kansas City, KS on BobVila.com. These are signs that water is leaking in.
Then head down to the basement. Look for:
- Dampness. This is a sign of high humidity and not enough ventilation. You may need a dehumidifier.
- Cracks. These can weaken your foundation and allow water to seep in.
- Tunneling on exposed wood. This could be a sign that termites have entered the home.
If you have questions about something you find while doing your spring checkup, please give us a call at 402-393-3696 in Omaha, or 402-483-2010 in Lincoln. Our experts are happy to help.