Wednesday, April 20, 2011

OLD HOUSE : Spring checklist.

Ok , maybe you've experienced that first spring storm and realized you have some 'issues', hopefully nothing cataostrophic. Your home may be your 'castle' but since you probably don't have a ';staff' to maintain it, more than likely it will be up to you to take care of it. So its spring and its time to do a spring checklist to make sure you avoid any big problems with warm weather storms. Water is the biggest enemy of an old house and your job should be to prevent it. Check the following:

Windows  Now is the time to check the glazing on your windows and re-glaze as necessary. Check your sash cords for wear and make sure every window operates properly. While you have the window open check the sill for rot or damage and repair as needed. With a ladder check the trim around your window and be sure that there is proper caulking around it. You should also check any flashing on the top of your window frame.

Gutters: Time to clean the gutters of any leftover leaves. If you have box gutters inspect them for damage and  their are special paints that can be used to paint the lead gutter (if you have them). You should also inspect the outside of your box gutters for any wood rot (especially if the gutter has had leaks. Downspouts should be flushed and now is teh time to inspect to make sure eth water runs away from your house.

Roof: Do a inspection of your roof from the attic looking for any signs of leakage. Outside check for loose shingles. Do not climb on slate or tile roofs! Those inspections should be done by a professional. Check your chimneys and check the mortar between the brick. Is it time to tuckpoint. If you have chimney pots look for cracks and consider adding toppers to keep water from running down your chimney. Toppers for vents with cages to keep rodents and birds from nesting should be added too. If you have any wood buring fireplaces you shuold get a chimney weep to perform an inspection and cleaning.

Basement/Foundation: Perform and exterior inspection looking for any loose mortar joints.  On the inside check your basement as well. If you have floor drains make sure they work and if you have water issues and have sump pump test it and if your sump pump is several years old, consider an upgrade to a battery backup unit.

Furnace: Now is the time to replace that filter, vacuum out all the registers and  check to make sure you pipes are in good condition. Have you insulated your ductwork? Now is the time.

Electrical: Open your electrical box make sure its clean. mke sure there are no tripped breakers

House Exterior: Brick houses. Inspect your tuck-pointing, frame houses inspect the siding and look for peeling paint. Go out to the street and make sure any drains are not blocked up. Have a fire hydrant on your block? Check it to make sure its not rusted or leaking? If so, let your local fire department know.

Trees: When was the last time you pruned your tees back? Dead trees should be removed. Tall trees close to your house that could fall on it in wind storm should be removed or topped.

Insurance: Now is the time to review your homeowners policy and make sure you have adequate protection.

This spring checklist insures a safe summer and lets you line up those weekend projects!

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