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Romancing the Bath
February 9, 2017

Don’t Forget to Check out the Inside!

Winter, thankfully, is ending.  How did you fare?  We were mostly lucky, our weather was fairly mild this go ’round.  A mild winter is not a hall pass to skip your maintenance checks and move on to Spring.  This transitioning season is still a great trigger to check on your property’s preventative maintenance needs…  Mostly preventative maintenance focuses (as it implies) on preventing more extreme maintenance.

While many of our home’s structural elements are easiest to inspect from the outside; here are a few vital interior items to keep in mind as we shift into Spring…

A/C, HVAC

—  now’s a great time to schedule a maintenance check and service for your HVAC system to keep everything working optimally in the next season…  did the a/c seem a little less than sufficient last year?  may be time for a re-charge!  filters should be changed or cleaned, make sure intake vents are clean and clear…  using window units?  check the charge before you need it – is the cord in good condition, are you plugging it in to a sufficient outlet, not overloading any circuits?  when you install be certain to level and that all is well supported and sealed…

Basements/Crawl Space

— while we were spared lots of melting snow, we are heading in to our rainy season, after all, April showers bring May flowers...  is the basement/crawl space sufficiently waterproofed and if needed, is your sump pump in good working order?  cracks which start at the floor and travel up are frequently caused by moisture…  a wet basement is more than an inconvenience – it can be costly to repair and lead to health issues such as mold and mildew…  humid days are on their way, it may make sense to get a de-humidifier to keep the moisture below grade to a minimum… if masonry, check walls for lose or missing mortar…

 

Attics

— look for light and water leaks, places unwanted critters can enter and nest, as well as, where water has come in from the roof, eaves, siding, and vents…  search for evidence (urine marks/droppings, nest materials, chewed paper and “skins”) of rodents, birds, bats snakes, squirrels and bugs…  call an exterminator immediately if found…  if unfinished keep an eye out for warped and loose floor boards and for safety’s sake if used for storage leave adequate space to pass through and for ventilation..  air movement in the uppermost levels of your home can influence moisture and mold, chemicals and vapors, and air leaks and drafts throughout the rest of your humble home…

 

Walls and Ceilings

—  as a part of aging, “wrinkles” and cracks are not uncommon — spiderweb cracks can often be found throughout an older homes walls, ceilings, floor and even grout; often cracks along the edges of the ceiling  are also due to age …  however, if a crack runs the length of a ceiling and travels down the wall; or, is a large crack that is greater than 1/16″ of an inch wide, or is in the center of a ceiling, it is quite likely a structural issue and should be inspected more closely…  also pay close attention to any ceiling which is bowing in the center, this can also be a structural concern…  another cause of bowing and cracks  in ceilings can be water leaking…

 

Insulation

—  rolled or batts of insulation and blown insulation may need to be replaced or refreshed if you find evidence of settling or compacting, infestation, mold or mildew from water leaks, the material is not thick enough, or, the material is outdated and has decayed or has been perforated, or it is 15 – 20 years old, if so, chances are one or more of these situations is reality, and technology has improved…  occasionally homeowners install insulation incorrectly which generally hastens it’s need to be replaced…  often the insulation in our attics, crawl spaces, and basements is accessible for a visual inspection, otherwise unusually high utility bills or inconsistent room temperatures is generally all you need to consider replacing or supplementing your insulation…  need a little motivation?  The Department of Energy estimates that a properly insulated attic can shave 10 to 50 percent off your heating bill. And it works the opposite way for warm climates; in summer, it helps stabilize your house’s indoor temps to keep cooling needs in check.

 

Pests

—  as our grass gets greener, and flowers begin to bloom much of the animal kingdom prepares to reproduce also…  Spring is the time to be especially vigilant for signs of unwanted pests and critters — if you have even two, you may soon have many more…  check in with your exterminator if you are suspicious or squeemish, before populations populate your place!  it takes the smallest of openings for these varmints to get in — check your foundation, roof and in between and close the entries for good!

 

Paint to Preserve and Protect

—  most of us think of paint as fashion statement, but paint also seals and extends the life of wood and other surfaces…  hallways may need to be painted as often as every 2 – 3 years due to the high traffic…  bedrooms for small children,  like hallways can be subjected to a lot and may need to be painted fairly frequently, perhaps every  2 -3 years; since most bedrooms are often gently lived in, many may not need to be re-painted more frequently than every 5 years or so, or as desired…  likewise living and dining rooms typically are not high traffic areas and often the paint will last 5 or more years or until a change is desired…  kitchens, bathrooms, laundry rooms and family-rooms however are where we are much of the time and these room may require more frequent re-painting, perhaps every 3 – 5 years…  the short answer is – if the paint looks outdated, is beyond “cleaning”, is cracked or is peeling, paint it…  on average a quality paint job with quality paint should last in the range of 5, 10 even 15 years… if you want it to…

 

We hope monitoring and maintaining these five areas helps you to appreciate and enjoy your home for many years.  If a move is in your near future, these are important to have in good order – if your REALTOR doesn’t encourage you to get these items up to snuff, a prospective purchaser or home inspector surely will!  Preventative Maintenance saves money and sales!  Be prepared and enjoy!  Want to learn more about maintenance your can prevent?  Sign up for our newsletter – we do our best to keep our home owners on track every month!

 

Ready for Spring in a deep cleaning, maintenance kind of way?  Check out our other blog for a list of 10 items to deep clean and inspect before Summer!

1 Comment

  1. […] How about the interior stuff?  Well you’re in luck, pop over to the other blog and dig in; check out the 7 most important features to inspect this Spring! […]

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