April Home Maintenance Tips

By following these steps you’ll avoid expensive repairs later and keep your home safe & efficient.

  • Clean & Adjust Ceiling Fans – For maximum comfort, ceiling fans should blow down in the summer and up in the winter.  Cool air feels good blowing on you but hot air is more comfortable if directed up and then down the walls.  There’s a switch on the body of the fan or near the pull chain to reverse fan direction
  • Change Smoke Detector & Carbon Monoxide Detector Batteries – Even if they test OK, play it safe by changing out the batteries before they die.
  • Inspect Chimney Cap & Masonry – The “cap” is the flat part at the very top of the chimney.  Moisture and weather wear this down and can cause deterioration of the chimney itself.  Once bricks start breaking loose it gets much more expensive to fix.  The cap should be beveled so that rain flows off to the side not into the chimney. If yours is flat, build a 2’ x 4’ frame around the cap, pour cement on top and bevel so water drains off the side, not down the chimney.  (see more detail at our web site).
  • Inspect Siding, Soffit & Fascia Boards – Soffit boards are the horizontal boards under the eaves and the fascia are the vertical boards the gutters are attached to.  Cracks or separations can allow water penetration which can cause additional damage.  Replace as needed and bevel to match nicely with the surrounding wood.
  • Inspect Gutters, Clean and Re-Attach as necessary – Look for roofing nails or pieces of shingles in the gutters, which indicate the roof may need inspecting.  Check for rusting on the bottom of the gutters and to make sure the gutter extensions discharge water at least 3’ away from the house.  Also, check to make sure that you are not dumping water uphill.  Water too close to the foundation can cause flooding and deterioration. Clean gutters and downspouts. Logged gutters cause water to back flow into your house.
  • Check Roof for Missing Shingles, Proper Installation, and for gaps around pipes and corners – Shingles should extend ¾” past the roof decking and allow water to drip into the gutter.  If yours have inadequate clearance, water will run down the fascia boards and cause rotting.  To fix, either add a row of shingles around the roof or add aluminum flashing (see our web site for details).
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