Real Estate Answers: Think spring, think maintenance

Patrick McCarran column logo 2015By Patrick McCarran

Better Homes and Gardens Mason-McDuffie

Spring is a season of renewal. Before you know it the birds are singing and the flowers are beginning to burst into bloom. The days are getting longer and people are getting outdoors again. The weather is more cooperative so not surprisingly now’s a good time to do some spring maintenance to make sure your home is in tip-top shape.  Even if you aren’t planning to sell your home, you should still add these chores to your list to help preserve your home’s value and help avoid major repairs later on.

Walk Around the Outside

Check for any damage caused by winter’s cold weather. Look for those sagging, loose and leaking gutters. Now is a good time to clean out the gutters in time for spring showers. Is your roof missing any shingles, or is there any water damage under the eaves? A common nuisance is foliage growing in and on the roof, such as grass and weeds or tree overhanging. Check the valleys where the slope of the roof meets, this is a common area where debris forms or birds make a home and will cause leaks. Mother Nature is a formidable force and over time you’re your home will prove no match. Promptly schedule repairs for those items you can’t do yourself.

Walk around your yard as if you were a first-time visitor. What impression does your home make? Be sure to clear away fallen branches and leaves. Loosen the soil around perennials, plant annuals for a quick update. A great idea is a vegetable garden we have a great climate in the area and it is very rewarding to have food you grew yourself not to mention educational if you have children. Prune shrubs and trees to keep them manageable.

If your water supply has been off for the winter, turn it back on. Test your automatic sprinkler system or connect your water hose and check for cracks and leaks. Replace old washers or sprinkler heads.

Don’t forget the backyard! Is it time to condition your deck? Be sure to hammer in any loose nails, or replace them with galvanized deck screws. Replace any broken boards or rails. Consider renting a power washer to clean dirt and mildew from the wood, and then apply an all-weather sealer or stain. Then dust off that patio furniture you kept protected over the winter or give it a good cleaning if you did not.

Check your fences and repair any broken fence boards and paint or seal them as needed. It is a good idea to stain your fences once a year to extend the life of your fence. If you are just moving in what a great time to get started. Clean the pool if it has been covered all winter. Wash windows, screens and windowsills; repair any winter damage.

Take A Tour Inside

The first step in any successful endeavor is to make a list. Start by going around to each room and make a list of things to do in each room. Then dive in. Dust walls and ceilings to remove cobwebs and wash any grimy areas, don’t forget the ceiling fans. Wash window curtains or remove drapes for dry cleaning, dust the blinds. Deep clean rugs and carpets. Dust and polish wood or laminate floors. Don’t forget the kitchen cabinets with a little maintenance such as Old English can really extend the life of your cabinets and give the whole room a fresh look.

Check the central air-conditioning unit for debris and obstructions it is important to have good air flow for maximum efficiency and to prolong the life of the unit. Vacuum the main condenser coil on top of the unit. Check the operating condition of window air-conditioning units; remove and wash filters in mild soapy water.

Make sure all exhaust fans and vents are clean and clear. Don’t forget to remove the lint buildup from the clothes dryer vent.

One often-overlooked area is the fireplace. Be sure to sweep ashes carefully into your fireplace’s ash pit or into a dustpan. If you used it frequently then you may want to call a professional chimney sweep to have it cleaned and lower risk of fire. Clean and lightly oil fireplace tools.

Look around for clutter.  Are there items you don’t use any longer? If you are planning on moving, what items will you not need? Consider having a garage sale and then either donate or trash the remaining items.

And lastly, possibly the most important of all, don’t forget to replace batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors even if they are not dead put some fresh ones in

(and remember to recycle the old ones). You may have missed it this year but in the future plan to change them when you change your clock for daylight savings.

Although performing these spring chores may be dreaded task, they go a long way in maintaining and even enhancing the attractiveness and quality your home.

Patrick McCarran can be reached at (899) 899-5536, or Mason-McDuffie Real Estate is an independently owned and operated franchise of Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate LLC. Equal Housing Opportunity.


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