The Professional Choice

A companion overview to the popular "Ask Mr. Handyman" radio program airing on Christian Talk Radio, KCRO 660AM Saturdays @ 9:30AM.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

April & Springtime Home Maintenance

April is here!! Well Almost.

Spring is here!!! Well almost. It sure doesn't feel like spring. This is Nebraska, maybe tomorrow?

Here's a good amount of work to try to tackle in April to keep your home repair cost down.

1. Clean and inspect insect and critter screens. Spring is officially here even if winter is still trying to hang on. Window screens should be inspected for cuts, rips and bent frames. The bugs will be trying to get in once you open up the windows for fresh air. An intact screen will keep them out. To clean window screens, carefully remove them, lay them flat on a picnic table or a pair of sawhorses and scrub them with a soft bristle brush and a mild detergent solution. Rinse with a garden hose and allow them to dry thoroughly before re-installing them. Eve and roof vents help to ventilate your attic and will keep critters out of the attic. Inspect and clean them as well.

2. Inspect the outside of your home and other wooden structures for deterioration -- especially signs of rot. Use a screwdriver to probe suspect areas of wood rot. If the tip exposes any soft, mushy areas it should be added to this year’s maintenance and repair list and tackled very quickly to prevent more costly repairs in the future. Areas to check include railings, window sills and trim, wood siding and corner trim and the bottoms of the trim around doors as well as the threshold. For the higher areas like the top of the chimney you may prefer to hire an insured professional like Mr. Handyman.

3. While performing the inspection for wood rot or deterioration, check the caulking around windows and doors and apply where necessary.

4. Inspect the crawl space or basement after rains for water accumulation or excessive moisture. Look for signs of water damage on the subfloor and joists beneath bathrooms, the kitchen and laundry. Find and fix leaks now or pay the price later.

5. Shut off the water to the washing machine, remove the water supply hoses and examine them thoroughly. Laundry room floods are very costly. Replace cracked or checked hoses and always install a new washer on each end of each hose. Every year at this time inspect and clean your dryer vent ducting. A plugged dryer vent is the #2 cause of home fires in the US. Keeping the dryer vent system clean will also allow your dryer to operate more efficiently and can save you up to $80 per year.