Here are a few ideas to ramp up your emergency preparedness, improve the interior air quality (IAQ) of your house and help maintain the resale value of your home.
- Refresh your home, office and auto emergency earthquake supplies. You know you have been meaning to do it all winter.
- Re-confirm the assembly points and communciation tree with your family and neighbors. You know the drill.
- Roof, Gutters, Landscaping and Attic:
- Clean out gutters and downspouts one last time to get ready for summer.
- Treat redwood gutters with linseed oil in the middle of summer.
- Trim any trees or shrubs that touch the house to keep pests from entering.
- Inspect under the eaves and soffit and look for dis-colorization and peeling paint, which may be sign of a leak.
- Take some time to clean out excess stuff in the attic or at least move them around to see if there is any moister in the attic.
- Doors and Windows:
- Inspect and replace weather-stripping around exterior doors
- Inspect and repair glazing compound around the windows. It is easier to do in the spring and summer time.
- Check old double-hung windows to make sure that they have sash cords (white ropes) in place for safety. They stop windows from slamming down on fingers.
- Stucco, Siding and Decks:
- The summer months are a great time to repair cracks on exterior stucco and touch up the paint on the house.
- Check the redwood siding around the house to replace cracked siding boards.
- Clean your natural wood decks
- Check your deck railings for safety. Does the post move when you push 20lbs on it. Should be checked and repaired.
- Clean out under decks and porches
- Basements and Foundation:
- Clean out and dispose of debris that has gotten wet over the winter
- Inspect the sump pump and take out and flush and reinstall
- Note and fill any cracks in foundation, brick or stucco
- Inspect and repair crawl space screens to keep animals from making nests under the house.
- Summer months are a great time to apply a top coat to the asphalt driveway and fill the holes.
- Change the heating system filters one last time before your turn your heater off for the season.
- Clean around air conditioner compressor and cut back any plants or trees in the area
- Consider a whole house or ceiling fan if the summer months are uncomfortable and you don’t have air-conditioning.
Monthly Interior Jobs
These are some monthly jobs that should be done to keep appliances and mechanicals working properly. Doing so will likely extend the life and performance of each item.
- Change the batteries on the smoke detector in each bedroom
- Clean frost-free refrigerator drain pan
- Inspect dishwasher for leaks
- Clean kitchen exhaust fan filters
- Grind ice cubes in disposal and add baking soda
- Drain 1-2 gallons of water from water heater
Annual Interior Chores
At least once a year, these items need to be checked. It’s important to properly check the fireplace and combustion appliances before fall because the house is “sealed up” in the winter and not much fresh air enters in.
- Clean and seal tile grout
- Inspect plumbing shutoff valves
- Inspect toilets for stability. Put your hand on both sides of the seat of the toilet and try to wiggle it.
- “Exercise” circuit breakers; turn off computer and turn off all the circuit breakers and turn them on and reset all the clocks.
- Vacuum heating registers, vents, ducts, radiators
- Inspect fireplace flues for “glassy” creosote buildup and have flues cleaned regularly
- Inspect fireplace firebrick and mortar for cracks and deterioration, patch small cracks, but large ones require professional repair
Heating/Cooling & Hot Water Systems
Most heating system maintenance should be done twice a year, once before the heating season and once before the cooling season.
- General furnace inspection: look for rust, scaling on heat exchanger, proper flame color, note odd sounds or smells and check condition of venting
- Test for proper drafting at furnace and/or water heater diverter, examine flue for leaks, rust, damage
- Examine pressure-temperature relief valve for leaking, and test, if desired
- Move all combustibles 3 feet away from the furnace.