Car owners understand the necessity of having their vehicle maintained so it runs properly and lasts a long time. Like regularly changing the oil in your car, preventative maintenance to your house will help the materials used to build it last longer and avoid extensive repair projects. And, just like properly maintaining your car is necessary for the safety of your passengers, taking careof your house can help keep your home safe and avoid injuries to your family and friends. The following is a check-list of preventative maintenance projects that are sometimes overlooked:
- Take a water sample to a laboratory to test for purity.
Central Air Conditioner
- Clean or replace the air filter.
- Prune any shrubbery that is restricting the circulation of air.
Attic, Basement and Garage
- Clean and discard paper and junk.
- Remove the grates from drain pipes in basement and garage floors and in the driveway, then scoop out muck and flush with garden hose.
Vents in Foundation, Soffits and Eaves
- Make sure screens are intact to keep out squirrels and other rodents, birds and insects.
- Knock off wasp and bee nests from eaves.
- Nail any raised boards and hammer in any popped nails.
- Refinish with stain or paint if raw wood is exposed.
- Look for signs of decay and termites in wood near or in contact with the earth.
- Inspect the grass above the sewer lines. If it is greener than adjacent grass, it mayindicated a leak in the line.
- Test the motor and pump by filling the sump with water. If the motor doesn’t start or thepump doesn’t pump, call a repairman.
- Have it inspected and cleaned if necessary.
Gutters and Downspouts
- Scoop out leaves, seed pods and other debris.
- Flush the gutters and downspouts with a garden hose.
- Look for pools of water that reveal sags in the gutters.
- Straighten bent gutter hangers.
- Patch holes and seal cracks.
- Resurface if the concrete is flaking from salt or chemical ice removers.
- Hammer in popped nails.
- Tighten loose posts.
- Paint or stain if raw wood is exposed.
- Look for blistered or peeling paint. Decide if it is time to paint your house.
- Check for popped nails and loose or cracked clapboards. Caulk when necessary.
- Clean the tracks.
- Check the locks and tighten the hardware.
Screens and Screen Doors
- Inspect, repair and clean the screens and screen doors. It may be necessary to paintthem before re-installing.
- Clean and empty the ash pit if the fireplace has one.
Hot Water Heater
- Drain the sediment from the bottom of the tank.
- Consider having tank insulated to reduce heat loss.
- Clean the blades.
- Oil the motor.
Ornamental Iron Railings
- Sandpaper rusted areas and treat with rust-inhibiting paint.
- Identify the fuse or circuit breaker that controls each circuit; make a diagram and affix itnear the box.
Power Lawn Mower
- Wash or replace the air filter.
- Fill the crankcase with new oil.
- Install a new cutting blade when necessary and sharpen the blade each month.