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Good Enough Guy is taking the day off but summer is not and that means there’s work to be done. Now is the perfect time to tackle some of those projects you couldn’t get to during the winter months. So I asked a good friend who does this sort of thing for a living, what we need to do while the weather is warm. What follows are his tips for keeping your house in tip-top shape, not just now but year-round.
Welcome to the handyman’s corner here at GEM. We all know that home ownership comes with the harsh reality that the work around the house is never done. As we enter the summer months, there are five things every homeowner needs to do.
*TAKE A WALK AROUND YOUR PROPERTY: Look for cracked roof tiles, broken or missing flashing, check the integrity of the chimney, cracks in the exterior walls of your house and the condition of the paint. The main reason for addressing cracks is to prevent water from penetrating which can expand and contract through the heat and cold. That’s bad news because that can compromise the integrity of the surface and further damage your house.
All of the above can be repaired by a reputable contractor so ask your neighbors or look in the yellow pages. Be sure to get at least three quotes in writing and always ask for and check references. Being an educated consumer is the best way to get the job done correctly the first time.
*LOOK AT GUTTERS AND DOWNSPOUTS: Visually inspect your gutters and downspouts from the ground, making sure the gutters are attached and the downspouts are strapped properly. Be sure the rain water is flowing away from the house foundation by at least five feet.
*CHECK THAT DRIVEWAY! If you have asphalt or concrete, check for any visible cracks. Cracks may form over time and may require resealing. If you aren’t afraid of DIY, there are several quality resealing products on the market; I have used and highly recommend Sakrete products for all your asphalt and concrete maintenance/repairs. Most asphalt/concrete repair work can be completed within a day. If you think this is a project you can handle, please be sure to always read and follow the directions carefully.
*TACKLE WEEDS AND SHRUBS: Keep all weeds, trees and shrubs away from the chimney, house and foundation. This will help prevent unwanted guests that would use them as a way inside, (think termites, squirrels, mice, bugs, etc). Also, keeping good airflow around the house will prevent moisture build-up that can lead to mold and decay.
*INSPECT YOUR HEATING AND COOLING SYSTEM: Have your heating/cooling system checked by a qualified service technician. Doing annual maintenance will help to ensure it is working when you need it.
Lastly, be sure your barbecue and cooler are in good working order and enjoy and remember, if you look after your house, it will look after you!
These are just a few in a long list of things every homeowner needs to do leading into the summer months. Unless you’re one of the lucky ones and your house is in perfect condition, you have some work to do. Good luck, get busy.. and stay tuned; more helpful hints and tips will be coming in the weeks and months ahead.
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P. Sullivan has been in the construction and building/maintenance industry for 25 years. He is based in New York where he lives with his wife and two children, along with their dogs.