Spring Rains – Smart Care
Buying a home is an investment. Maintaining a home is how that investment is protected. It is important to do Smart Care for homes. When homeowners do Smart Care they end up reducing repair costs and maintaining home values.
Here are a few Smart Care Tips for you to consider as we find ourselves smack dab in the middle of the rainy season here in KC. Consider taking these steps as we enter this rainy season.
Check Your Garage Door Gasket
Moisture and pests can get into your home through openings around that little gasket seal at the bottom of your garage door. Maintain that gasket to protect the inside of your garage and your home
Examine Edges of Doors, Windows, and Trim
Homeowners should look around the doors windows and trim of their home for two things. First, look for any indication of wood rot. Wood rot will always get worse if it is not taken care of properly. Wood rot areas should be repaired or replaced. After any repair it is important that the area be painted to protect it from future wood rot.
Second, look for openings between adjoining materials that should be caulked or sealed. Look around the doors and window trim, areas where lines go into walls, and where sidewalks meet the home. Water getting into a small opening can cause significant problems over time. Take the time to examine and repair these areas and you will reduce your future costs of home repair.
Slope around Foundation
Check the ground around your foundation. It should always slope away from the home. The ground should drop at least 1″ per foot for at least 4′. Having proper slope keeps water flowing away from your foundation and protects from moisture intrusion. While maintaining proper slope, keep at least 4-6″ of space between your soil or ground cover and your siding. The space allows you to detect pest intrusion and helps protect your siding from damage by pests or moisture.
Trim Shrubs Back
Be sure to keep space between your shrubs/plants and your home. The space should be at least 6-8″. This space protects your siding from damage and allows moisture that falls behind the shrubs to evaporate. This reduces painting expenses and exposure of pests and molds.
Clean Gutters and Check Extensions/Splash Blocks
Clogged gutters result in overflow. This will adversely affect the home’s foundation and fascia. Clogged gutters eventually leads to significant repair. Get your gutters cleaned! In addition, your splash blocks and/or extensions should be properly aligned and sloping away from the home.
Examine Branches Near or Over Homes and Electric Lines
Trees are grow with the water and warm weather that comes with Spring. Those branches you trimmed a year or two ago are continuing to grow and if they are going over your home they could do damage that ranges from minor to serious. Branches over your home drops debris on your roof and in your gutters as well as present the risk of the branch falling on your home. In addition to the threat to your home, branches that are touching electric wires need to be trimmed back. If you do not maintain these branches you could have power issues. In a worse case scenario, if the branches cause a problem the utility company may even come by in an emergency situation and cut the entire tree down. Trim the branches back to protect your home and even your yard.
Fill Voids Beneath Steps, Patios, Driveways, and Sidewalks
Over time the soil beneath concrete tends to disappear. This can be the result of moisture, settling, or animals. This hollowing increases the risk of damage to the concrete. Fill the voids with dirt as tightly as you can. Dirt is better than gravel for this application because the gravel continues to allow moisture into the area as the water drains through it. Dirt allows less moisture to pass through.
These tasks are an important part of your to do list this spring to help protect your home from harm in the rainy season. Be safe in any of these home maintenance endeavors. Many of them may require professionals to help keep you safe. Use discretion and take all necessary precautions to avoid harm to people or property.