Summer Tips For Your Home’s Maintenance (Part #2)

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Last week we offered the first part of this list of maintenance recommendations for your house since there are still some summer weeks left! Below are our remaining tips that you should consider doing while the weather is still nice in order to make your home safer and ready during this current season:

Check Exterior Siding

Brick veneer

  • Check for any open cracks that are wider than 1/16 inch. Seal these with a clear silicone sealant or have them tuck-pointed. Fill only the crack to prevent excessive water from getting inside the wall.
  • Check for soft mortar joints, which crumble. If the mortar joints are still flush, they should be watched. If they have washed out beyond 1/4 inch from the face, the mortar joints in this area should be tuck-pointed. Mortar joints are usually most susceptible to deterioration. The mortar should be firm and extend to the corner of the brick. Contact a qualified professional like Home Evolutions to complete these repairs.
  • If the mortar is soft and crumbly, or has holes exposing the brick edges, the mortar joints need to be tuck-pointed. This involves removing the existing mortar back at least 1/2 inch to 3/4 inch and replacing it with new mortar. Contact a qualified professional like Home Evolutions to complete these repairs.

Synthetic Stucco (EIFS Siding)

For information on EIFS, visit the Institute for Business and Home Safety at http://www.ibhs.org.

Vinyl and Aluminum Siding

Check for cracks or damaged siding—and replace or repair. The biggest threat to siding is the wind. Wind can catch seams and corners and tear lightweight vinyl or aluminum siding off the walls. This then allows water into the wall cavity—causing water damage.

Wood Siding

  • Check for any peeling paint—scrape and repaint these areas.
  • Remove vines growing on the house, siding, brick, or mortar. They can compromise the integrity of your siding.
  • Trim or cut back tree branches away from your home to reduce damage in the event of a wind or ice storm.

Check Your Locks

  • Check all window and door locks for proper operation. Windows that can be opened by breaking the glass and unlocking the lock are less effective deterrents to criminals. Check with your local hardware store for window lock alternatives. All exterior doors, including doors from your attached garage, should have deadbolt locks.

Check Your Water Heater

  • If you have a gas-fired water heater, make sure it is venting properly. Light a match next to the vent and wave it out (don’t blow it out). See if the smoke is pulled up into the vent. If it isn’t, have a professional like Home Evolutions inspect and repair it. Otherwise, carbon monoxide and other byproducts of incomplete combustion can build up in your home.
  • Check around the base of your water heater for evidence of leaks. If your water heater is over 5 years old, it should be checked monthly for any leakage or rusting at the bottom. If water leakage or rust is found, the water heater should be replaced.

Miscellaneous

  • Have your roof inspected for potential leaks once every few years.
  • Inspect and clean dust from the covers of your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms. Read more here at Smoke Alarms Save Lives.
  • Check your home for water leaks. Read more here about Preventing Water Damage In Your Home.
  • Check the water hoses on the clothes washer, refrigerator icemaker, and dishwasher for cracks and bubbles. Replace hoses that show signs of leaking—if needed, hire a qualified plumber. Read more here at Preventing Water Damage In Your Home.
  • Clean the clothes dryer exhaust duct, damper, and space under the dryer. Poor maintenance allows lint to build up in the exhaust duct and can cause fires.
  • Socialize your dog to help reduce potential dog bites.

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