Home Maintenance - Investing into the Future

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Save time and money with proactive home maintenance


(ARA) - If you think home maintenance means fixing something only when it's broken, then you could be in for some costly surprises. Routine maintenance can help identify and address home-related issues early and prevent them from becoming bigger problems later.

Spring and summer are ideal times to perform critical home-related projects. The improved weather allows better access to areas of the home and yard that may have been inaccessible during winter, and the additional daylight allows more time for outdoor work than other times of the year.

"Cars get routine maintenance from a mechanic and people get regular checkups from a doctor, but unfortunately our homes often get neglected until it's too late," says Rhonda Hills of Kudzu.com, an online resource for homeowners looking for expert home advice and local service providers. "Homes need constant attention, and in most cases regular maintenance can help save thousands of dollars by allowing owners to catch problems early or prevent them altogether."

The home experts at Kudzu.com recommend completing these home projects this spring and summer. You and your home will be thankful you did.

* Get your air conditioner serviced - Properly maintained heating and air conditioning systems run more efficiently and have a longer life expectancy. During a maintenance visit, your HVAC technician should check your system's refrigerant levels, clean the condenser coil, replace dirty filters and calibrate your thermostat, among other things. The goal is to ensure your air conditioning system is operating properly and is in tip-top-shape for the warmer weather ahead.

* Inspect the roof - Wind, rain, hail and other weather events can damage the roof and leave it susceptible to leaks. When conducting a visual inspection, try to stay off the roof. Instead, start from the ground and look for missing or damaged shingles, discolored spots or areas of the roof that sag.

* Check toilets for leaks - The average home loses 10,000 gallons of water per year to leaks, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. That's enough water to fill a swimming pool. To ensure your home is leak free, start by checking your toilet. Just drop food coloring in the toilet's tank. If after 30 minutes the water in the bowl starts to change colors, then there is a leak. This can usually be corrected by replacing the toilet's flapper.

* Have your home pressure washed - Pressure washing your home can keep it looking brand new and can also extend the life of your siding or other building materials. Dirt, mold and mildew will gradually accumulate on your home, deck and other surfaces, and you may not even notice it. In some cases, these contaminants can deteriorate building materials and can create slick, unsafe walking surfaces.

* Get your gutters cleaned - Gutters help capture rain that hits your home and direct it as far from the structure as possible. Clogged gutters cannot properly redirect water and can lead to water pooling against your home's foundation and leaking into your crawlspace or basement.

* Rake and aerate your lawn - Raking a winter's worth of leaves will allow sunlight and nutrients to reach your sod, and aerating the lawn will prevent soil compaction, improve drainage and promote better root development.

* Have your trees trimmed - Pruning is typically done to remove dead or diseased limbs, eliminate overcrowding or to prevent potential hazards. In addition to creating a healthier tree, pruning can also allow better light penetration which can be a benefit to plants below.

* Look for termites - Termites are wood-destroying pests that can cause thousands of dollars in damage to your home. The most obvious sign of a termite infestation is a termite swarm, which is when winged termites take to the skies to find a mate. These winged termites are easily confused with winged ants, so if you spot a swarm, gather some of the winged specimens and immediately contact a professional pest control company so they can inspect
Suzanne Prezio

Suzanne Prezio

Licensed Real Estate Salesperson
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