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Home Guide

I hope you find this information useful in maintaining your home! Mitch Buchanan Capital City Home Inspection
Mitch Buchanan – Owner
Capital City Home Inspection
Spring
Walk around your house and look at the condition of the roof shingles. If any are loose or damaged, have them repaired before water causes damage to your attic and interior ceilings. 

Check your gutters, downspouts, and extensions. Are they loose or leaking at the seams? Discoloration at the seams indicates a leak. Repair as needed, and be sure all downspouts have splashblocks or solid plastic pipes to divert water away from the house.

Check around all window and door frames for loose or cracked caulk and flaking paint. Recaulk/repaint as needed to save energy dollars and to prevent wood rot.

Does any exterior siding or trim need repainting? If so, proper surface preparation is the key to a long-lasting paint job! Scrape and/or sand as needed and repair any damaged wood. Buy a quality paint product that matches the job.

Fill cracks in sidewalks and driveways with the proper filler or caulk product. Reseal asphalt surfaces with a sealant for longer life and a uniform appearance (every two years on average). Is water soaking into your wooden deck? If so, brush on a sealant to prevent damage and to prohibit algae growth. Also, reseat any nails that have worked their way out – Your feet will thank you!
 
SUMMER
For peak performance and long life, have your air-conditioning system serviced before high temperatures point out a problem. Annual service calls are normally required to keep the warranty in effect for newer units.  

The shade from properly placed trees is a great way to reduce cooling bills in the long run. If you’re considering planting any trees, be sure and match the right type of tree for your soil and yard size. Consider the tree’s mature size when planting, and always keep limbs trimmed back from the roof. This prevents damage to shingles and reduces leaves in gutters.

Now is a good time to check the condition of caulking and weather-stripping around windows and doors. The summer heat can really take a toll on these items.

Have your heating system serviced for peak performance and safety before cold weather hits. This is especially important for systems that rely on fossil fuels.

Check again for clogged or leaking gutters. If leaves build up, their weight can pull gutters loose from the house. Water can then damage the exposed wood behind gutters and lead to an expensive repair.

WINTER
‚ÄėTis the season when many people wonder if they have enough insulation. The recommended R-values of insulation in Central Kentucky are:¬†R-38 or more¬†in the attic and R-19 in exterior walls and under floors in unheated spaces. The type of insulation used will determine the proper depth to install – ask a qualified source.¬†If you do add insulation, remember that rolls with kraft paper face the heated side of your home. If your existing insulation already has a paper backing or plastic underneath it, any additional insulation should not have this paper, as moisture can become trapped between the vapor barriers and cause problems.

If your house has a crawlspace, be sure that the soil is completely covered with a plastic vapor barrier. The vapor barrier helps reduce any moisture build-up that can lead to fungus, termites, and wet insulation. These unhealthy conditions promote damage to structural members, so be sure to check in your crawlspace each season for moisture.

For those with a fireplace, look in your fireplace and up inside the flue. If there is 1/8‚ÄĚ or more of creosote build-up or any obstructions, have the chimney cleaned. I recommend hiring a professional for this dirty and possibly dangerous job. If you chimney doesn‚Äôt have a cap on top, consider adding one to prevent water and animals from entering.

APPLIANCE TIPS

Water Heater
Drain a few gallons of water out of the water heater once a year. This will flush out any sediment, and help extend the appliance’s life. Have the temperature control set as low as comfortable to save energy and to prevent scalds. Also test the temperature relief valve once a year to flush out any sediment. Have a bucket handy and be careful. If your water heater is in an unconditioned garage or crawlspace, you can also install an insulation blanket designed for this use around it to save energy.

Dishwasher
Once every six months, pour a jar of powdered Tang into your empty dishwasher and run a full cycle. This acidic powder will clean out any mineral deposits present.

Washing Machine
Once a year, pour a pint of vinegar into your empty washing machine. Fill with hot water, let it sit for an hour, and then run a full cycle. This will also clean out any mineral deposits present in the machine.

Refrigerator
Once a month, clean the coils under or behind your refrigerator with a coil brush (available at hardware stores). This will help the unit operate more efficiently and extend the life of the compressor.

There are many good books at the library and at stores that do an excellent job of explaining how all the components of your home work. If you have the desire to learn more, most howeowner maintenance is well within the average person’s abilities. By doing some reading, you can decide whether you are able to do a repair, or if you should hire a professional. Either way, you’ll become a more informed consumer. Good luck, and thank you for allowing Capital City Home Inspection to be your source for a thorough inspection for over 21 years! 

 
 
Capital City Home Inspection
144 Hunters Trace
Frankfort, KY 40601
Telephone: 502 875-5946
Fax: 502 223-5101
Email: mbuchanan@fewpb.net