Just like friends and family, your house sometimes needs a little checking up on. If you find any free time during the week or weekend, make some time to let your house know that you care about it. The last thing we want is your house to wither away from neglect. You and your family’s safety depends on it! Here is a list of important parts of your house that you should check up on every so often.
1. Clean Gutters and Check Downspouts
Take a walk around the perimeter of your house and check your gutters and downspouts. If you didn’t clean your gutters after the leaves fell last year, get to work.
Downspouts should extend a minimum of 5 feet from the foundation to keep water from working it’s way into your basement. If you have a finished basement, a longer downspout could wind up saving you a lot of money.
2. Prep the garden and remove yard matter near your house
Rake up the old, decaying material from around the house so that soil isn’t building up against it.
If you put mulch around the house, it’s good to maintain 6 inches of clearance below the siding, especially if your siding material is a wood or wood composite.
Plus, this is also a great time to plan for your vegetable garden and tree trimming. If you’re up to it and can do it safely, trim away dead or decaying branches and manage the growth of fruit trees.
3. Vacuum refrigerator coils
Carefully walk out your refrigerator and pull off the cover on the front that overlaps the wheels and vacuum that out. At the back of the fridge, vacuum the coils and motor. When you move it back, be sure the fridge has an inch or so of clearance above it to allow warm air to escape.
4. Check siding for holes or other entrances for vermin and seal them
Check for holes in the siding, gaps below the last course of siding (could be loose bricks or cracked stucco), or gaps that might have formed in your soffits. You can fix most means of access with better landscaping, steel wool, a good-quality caulk, or spray foam.
5. Check carbon monoxide and smoke detectors
Test them all and change the batteries. If any of the units are old, replace them. Many new units come with sealed batteries and are good for 10 years. You should have a minimum of one smoke and one carbon monoxide (CO) detector on each floor, a smoke detector inside and outside of each bedroom, and a CO detector within 10 feet of each bedroom and sleeping area.