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Summer Maintenance Tips Part One: Inside Your HomeJune 21st, 2013 by
Owning a home requires more than just paying the mortgage. Regular maintenance will help your home remain fully functional after you send in your last payment. Performing regular maintenance also helps to prevent smaller problems from turning into larger, more expensive problems down the road.
However, it can be hard to remember everything that may need maintenance around your home. The EBSCO Research team created an easy reference guide outlining how to maintain your home during the summer.
As the seasons change, check back with us for an updated maintenance schedule.
Maintaining your home can be as simple as walking through your house and visually inspecting areas that you may pass by every day but pay little attention to. By taking the time to examine these areas, you can spot issues that you may not see regularly.
Springtime brings plenty of rainstorms, which could expose problems with your basement’s structure. Take the time to visually inspect your basement for leaks, standing water, and mold. If you come across a water problem in your basement, you may benefit from having your basement waterproofed by a professional.
If you find mold in your basement, use a bleach solution to clean the area. However, if you have a massive infestation of mold, hiring a professional who specializes in mold removal may be your best option.
Even if you don’t have a basement, performing a walk-through of your house after heavy rainstorms to look for leaks, standing water, or mold is a good practice to adopt.
Inspect your crawlspace for any damage, moisture, or signs of bug or animal infestations.
Check the plumbing in your house—even under your sinks and toilets—for leaks, rust, or damaged pipes.
Tubs, Showers, Toilets, and Sinks
The caulk around tubs, showers, toilets, and sinks should be white and moistureproof. If you encounter leaks or black, moldy caulk, remove the old caulk and replace it with mold-resistant, waterproof caulk.
Inspect the seal around the dishwasher door to ensure that it’s intact. The seal should prevent water from leaking out of the dishwasher during operation. Also, look under the dishwasher to check hoses for holes or blockage.
Other tasks, like the ones listed below, will require a little more work. However, performing these tasks will preserve the efficiency of the equipment in your home and the safety of your family.
Whether the air in your home is being heated or cooled, it travels through an air filter, which traps airborne particles that could otherwise block the blower and clog up the coils. If the coils clog, they will be unable to heat or cool the air traveling through the system, affecting the efficiency of your HVAC unit.
Air filters are also used to remove allergens such as pollen, pet dander, bacteria, and mold.
The amount of time between changing out your air filter will depend on the type of filter you have. Inexpensive fiber filters should be changed every month; pleated filters should be changed every 60 to 90 days.
More expensive filters only need to be changed once or twice a year. Checking your individual system for recommended maintenance is important.
Check and replace any old batteries in your flashlights. Don’t forget to check any emergency flashlights that you may have in your car.
Experts recommend spraying garage door lubricant on the garage door system’s moving parts every six months. Spray lubricant on rollers, hinges, springs, bearing plates, and other moving parts.
If you have a wood door, check the nuts and bolts to make sure they are tightened. Steel doors typically do not need extra maintenance beyond lubricant.
After you have lubricated the door, also check to make sure it’s properly aligned. With the door down, disconnect the garage door from the motor and pull the door halfway up—note that it shouldn’t be very heavy to move and should be able to stay in place without falling.
If the door falls to the floor or shoots up quickly when pulled, there could be a balancing issue. While the door is still midway up, also make sure that both ends are an equal distance from the floor.
Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors
Whether your smoke detector is powered by batteries or hardwired, the US Fire Administration recommends that homeowners press the test button monthly on their smoke detector to make sure the device is functional.
After pushing the button, the alarm should sound. Change the batteries twice a year, once in the spring and once in the fall.
In the summer, flip the switch on your ceiling fans so that the blades run counterclockwise. With the fan blades turning counterclockwise, you should feel the air blowing directly on your skin.
During the winter, you’ll want the blades to turn clockwise to pull the cool air up and push the warm air down. You should only feel a slight draft with the blades turning in the clockwise direction.
See Part 2 of this blog for more tips on important cleaning procedures to perform during your summer maintenance check.