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Whether someone already owns a home or plans to purchase one this spring during the busiest season for real estate sales, it is helpful to know some timely home maintenance tips. Doing routine home maintenance this time of year not only helps to preserve a valuable investment and improve home equity, but it can also contribute in both tangible and intangible ways to an enhanced quality of life. Living in a home that is well taken care of gives one invaluable peace of mind, and it also offers a special boost of esteem that comes from pride of ownership..
LGBT homeowners can use the following expert tips and guidelines to get a head start on their springtime residential property to-do list..
Check the Trees.
When beginning a spring maintenance or housecleaning project it is common practice to start from the top and work downward, so most homeowners begin with a close examination of the roof. But insurance professionals, arborists, and landscapers typically recommend going higher and starting with any trees on the property. That’s because if the trees have dead wood or hanging branches those can rain down on the roof and undermine any repairs that have may have been already completed elsewhere. .
Look for signs of diseased or rotten branches by observing trees as they begin to “green-out” with new leaves. If parts of the tree show a conspicuous absence of new leaves it usually indicates dead wood. One good way to track these changes is to take photographs of trees from various angles while they are covered with leaves in late summer. Then compare those photos from one year to the next, tracking any unexpected changes and reporting those to a tree surgeon for closer examination. Any dead branches need to be removed by a qualified arborist, otherwise a strong gust of wind could dislodge them, and falling limbs or toppled trees can cause serious bodily injury and property damage..
Examine the Roof and Gutter System.
Next study the roof from the ground, looking for curled or missing shingles. Homeowners should use great caution if they plan to go onto the rooftop, however, because that kind of work can be hazardous – even for professional roofers. If there are any leaks or stains inside the attic it is best to hire a contractor to climb up and search for telltale signs of leakage as well as damaged flashing around chimneys, dormers, and vent pipes. Don’t rush out and pay for a brand new roof without getting competing bids and evaluations, though, because many problems on the roof can be fixed with affordable, relatively minor repairs..
Clear out and repair the gutters next, making sure that all gutter pipes are adequately supported and have enough pitch or angle to ensure proper drainage. They should slope approximately half an inch per 10-foot length, and running water into gutters from a garden hose is one way to check flow and drainage. The spouts should also be positioned in such a way that the water does not splash back onto the home’s foundation or drain toward the house. Drainage should instead run away from the exterior without creating wet walkways or annoying puddles..
Police the Perimeter.
Bushes, plants, and flowerbeds should also be at least 18 inches from the exterior walls of the home with dirt kept off of the base foundation. Home inspectors usually recommend leaving enough space around the outside of the house to allow a clear, unobstructed view of the foundation..
While walking the perimeter also check the masonry for voids or large cracks. If mortar in the joints between stones or bricks has deteriorated it is important to refill those gaps, otherwise the wall’s structural integrity will be compromised. If the concrete blocks or wooden beams supporting the house at the foundation have little lines and trails of dirt or mud on them, those could be termite tracks. Carpenter ants also eat wood and if they are swarming around woodwork, especially damp or rotten boards, they could be doing a tremendous amount of unseen damage. Order routine termite inspections of the house in order to stay protected, especially during the warm and damp spring months when infestations often occur. .
Those who have wood burning fireplaces should also move woodpiles to the edge of the yard, rather than storing wood in or around the house. Termites will often nest in firewood and then migrate into the home unless wood is stored in a dry place at a safe distance. This is also the perfect time to check air conditioning systems. Make sure that the outdoor compressor equipment and central air fans are free of leaves and other debris..
Finally, replace dusty and dirty air filters. New filters are inexpensive and contribute to the efficient performance of air conditioning units while also controlling the cost of operating those systems, both in terms of money and energy..
To find real estate professionals devoted to serving the LGBT community, visit www.GayRealEstate.com, the world’s largest online network of LGBT Realtors. Or just call toll free 1-888-420-MOVE (6683). .