The weather has finally broke and better days are ahead! With that comes the home maintenance season. How well did your house do through the winter? Lets do a quick walk about on the outside of your home to see thee condition .
1> Gutters, Down Spouts, and Grading
One of the best way to keep the spring rains out of your basement is to keep the water away from your home. As you are walking around, check to see if the gutter downspouts are attached and make sure they extend 4-6 feet away from the foundation. Look up! Are the gutters attached to the home? Are they pitched so that water drains to the downspouts? Are they full of debris? If so, clean them or hire someone to clean them. Grading around the home should pitch away from the house . Be sure to fill any low spots with dirt .
2> Roof and Siding
Winter weather can wreak havoc on your roof and siding which can allow water to enter into the home. Check to see that there are no missing roof shingles. This can be done with binoculars as we don’t recommend home owners going on the roof. Check to see if any flashings have pulled away and could allow water in. Check to see if there are any holes in the roof. A lot of time there will be holes in the rubber boots at the plumbing penetrations that can be visible from the ground. Next, check the siding for missing pieces and check to see that caulking around any penetrations is in good condition. A gap in a caulk joint could result in thousand of dollars in repair work as water could get in behind the siding and rot the wood structure. Check the bricks for any cracks that could let water in and repair these.
3> Cement Sidewalks and Driveways
Sometimes concrete will heave in the winter and result in damage. Check for trip hazards in the concrete. Sometimes these areas can easily be lifted by a concrete levelling company. Look for large cracks and repair these as needed. Check the concrete joints and make sure these are properly caulked. Gaps in these areas can result in water getting in under the concrete and washing away the substrate layer under the slab. This could result in hollow spots that could cause the concrete to become damaged. Gaps between the concrete and the home should also be sealed as this will help keep water away from the foundation.
Trees and other vegetation should be away from the house. Vines should never grow on a house. I know they look pretty cool but the tendrils can damage the home. If you like the vine look, you can install a trellis that is a least 12 inches away from the home. Tree branches should be at least ten feet away from the roof to protect the roof. Look for any damaged branches that could harm your home and have those removed. Make sure all other vegetation is at least 12 inches away from the home.
5> Basements and Crawlspaces
Check to see if water has entered your basement. This may require moving stuff that has not been moved in a while. Smell is a good indicator of a basement water problem as water damage can cause a moldy and musty smell. Verify the operation of the sump pump. The easiest way to do this is to fill up buckets of water and dump them into the pit while listening to see that the pump is operating. Next is the place that nobody likes: The Crawl Space! As a homeowner, you should not enter the crawl space unless you are comfortable doing so. There are many hazards that can be found in this area of the home and it should be entered with caution. A homeowner can easily do a cursory inspection of the crawl space from the opening. This will not tell you everything, but can give you an idea of what is going on under there. Open the access and check to see that there is no standing water and that there is a vapor barrier installed. Again, smell can tell you a lot about what is going on under your home. Musty smells are a sign that it would need further investigation.
These 5 tips can keep your home safe and healthy. If these tips seem overwhelming to you or if you feel an item needs further evaluation, give us a call at 248-722-4288 or Schedule now for a home maintenance inspection!