Home Maintenance Cape Cod

Outside the house

  • South facing materials age fastest.
  • Have no direct ground to wood contact.
  • Rake leave and debris away from the house and leave 2″ to 4″ minimum of foundation showing. Look for peeling paint and loose caulking. Replace caulk-don’t just go over old-remove and then add new. This is what keeps water out of your home.
  • Maintain a positive grade away from your house.
  • Look for cracks in brick or foundation mortar then to see if they get any larger. They may be nothing or signs of settlements.
  • Look for wood decay-termite tubes.
  • Clean up your house with a cleaning solution such as TSP and bleach. (Be careful around lawn and shrubs.) A power washer can be rented to speed up the job. This helps clean up and removes dirt, dust, cocoons etc…and helps preserves wood, vinyl, stucco-what ever siding and trim you have.
  • If you have a deck check the boards to see that you have a gap (spaces) between them. This is very important for drainage, otherwise it will shorten the life of the material. Check deck posts buried in the ground for rot.
  • Check your garage door to see if they reverse themselves under pressure.
  • Have your septic system checked out or pumped out.
  • Seal deck, brick or any exterior horizontal surface subject to snow and ice.
  • Wash windows in and out, check exterior sill covers for drips.
  • Check your roof – use binoculars if you are unable to get on it.
  • Gutters and downspouts must be kept clean and in proper condition-water must get away from the house.

Inside the house

  • Check chimney flue, mantel and damper.
  • Check ceramic tiles – if loose grout, clean and seal. Replace if need be.
  • Check under sinks – shut off valves – look for green crust or water stains – catch problems early.
  • Pull out refrigerator and vacuum coils and clean drip pan.
  • Check electrical outlets and test breakers.
  • Lubricate parts with WD40.
  • Vacuum smoke alarms, check for bugs and dust – test them.
  • Check burners – have a professional service clean it and tune up.
  • Keep an eye on fittings.
  • Check mechanical systems – they may need maintenance – plumbing – heating – cooling – wiring.
  • Ventilation – very important! Most houses don’t have enough – don’t cover vents in the attic.
  • Drain off bottom of hot water tank – sediments build up. Check pressure relief valve.

The key is an ounce of prevention.
Find any sign of trouble before it becomes big!

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