There are a few very important task that need to be done at least on a yearly basis to keep you house looking good and functioning as it should for generations.
Keeping your gutters clean and clear is the first step in a good yearly maintenance program. When cleaning gutter make sure you inspect all the connections and downspouts to make sure they are fastened well and clear of debris. A clogged gutter or is gutter is damaged or missing can cause your home to suffer water damage and foundation problems as well. We recommend this be done at a minimum of twice a year (Spring / Fall); however, quarterly would be best.
Keeping your lawn maintained helps keep the beauty of your home, but it also helps you keep up on what is going on in your yard. Rodents and ground hogs can create a mess in your yard quickly and with proper maintenance you will know right away something is awry. Make sure you keep your clippings and leaves out from around your foundation. This will help keeping the bug population down around your home. Keep trees and shrubbery cut back off the home and roof lines.
Smoke / CO Detectors
Check your detectors at least four times a year and change your batteries at least twice a year. We recommend changing the batteries during the time change. You have to reset your clock and test and check the batteries on your smoke / CO detectors as well. If you have a hard wired detector, they still have a battery in them and you should check and change the battery per manufacturers recommendations.
At least once a year take a peak in your attack. You want to make sure that your insulation is spread out evenly through out the space. You also want to look around to find out if you have any water leaking into your attic space. When checking your attic space we recommend doing it right after a good rain storm, this will let you see any potential leaks easily.
Check out your crawl space at least once a year. You are looking for two things. The first is water. If your walls are soaked or there is water puddling around you need to contact a professional to help you mitigate the problem. By checking it at least once a year may help you catch a problem early and could save you big money in the future. The other thing you want to check is for holes or critters that may be burrowing up into your crawl space.
Most people go into their basements fairly often, but you might not think to check these things. Walk around your basement perimeter and check for water in the corner is the walls and floor. Check you sump pit to make sure the sump pump is working properly. We recommend a battery back up to your sump pump in the case your power goes out. The other thing we recommend is that you pour a cup of water down each floor drain. This will help to keep sewer gas lofting up through the drains.
Air Conditioning Unit (Winter)
We recommend that when you are no longer using your air conditioner to clear all the debris from around the condenser unit out side and put a half cover over it. This will help debris from getting inside the condenser unit during the fall and winter. Make sure you are changing your filters on your furnace at least every three months. When you change your filter and it is really dirty, you may want to change your filter more often. An HVAC professional can help you determine the amount of time between filter changes if this is the case. It is also a good idea to vacuum your vents and registers out at this time.
Furnace During the cold and snowy winter months
It is very important to check your HVAC vent pipes. Make sure they are clear of snow and ice. If it is blocked by snow or ice please open up immediately as it may cause serious health problems or even death. See picture to right. If you have any questions please call us or a HVAC professional.
Air Conditioning Unit (Summer)
Before you turn your air conditioner on in the late spring or summer, make sure you carefully uncover you condenser unit clean all the debris from around the condenser unit outside. We also recommend that you get a HVAC professional to service your unit at least once a year. They will inspect and find any potential problems and get it fixed before it becomes a big problem. Simple yearly maintenance here can save you big money later on. It is also a good idea to vacuum your vents and registers out at this time.
Once a year physically look at all of your outlets. Many times home owners don't think about unplugging there electronics from the wall, especially in hard to reach areas like behind the TV or computer. Checking these can not only save you trouble shorting out, it could very well save your life. If you have GFCI plugs, test them to make sure they are working properly. If you see anything that looks suspect or doesn't work properly have a professional electrician come out an look at.
Check you water heater and drain it at least once a year. This will extend the life and efficiency of you water heater, which will save money on your utilities. Check the caulking around you sinks, faucets, bath tubs and showers to make sure it is not dry and cracked or even missing. If you see any of the aforementioned problems, you can contact a professional or if your are comfortable with doing it yourself, by all means get it sealed up. If left unchecked or fixed can lead to big problems down the road.
Windows and Doors
Twice a year check your windows and doors for leaks of water or air. Also inspect the caulking around these areas outside as well. Again, If dry, cracked or missing... seal it up and correct the problem. If door is leaking air or water and you cannot figure out where it is coming from, call us or a local window / door professional to fix. This will save energy and will help to have your home function properly.
Overhead Garage Doors
Once a year your overhead garage door needs to be lubricated with a white lithium or a garage door oil. Lubricate the rails, hinges and rollers. This will help keep your door quieter and functioning properly. During the process of lubrication look at the hinges and rollers , if anything look suspicious contact a professional garage door repair company.