Spring Time Maintenance

by, Mark Hayes, West Nashville Living

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With all the rain & cold weather we have had, you might think when is Spring really going to be here. Next thing you know it will be blazing hot. So here are three home maintenance issues  you should address during the warm & hot months.

These are not only 3 separate maintenance issues but they can be all interconnected if one is not addressed.  

A) Drainage & Leaks

Water is your home's worst enemy whether it be from a hard rain or a plumbing leak. Water can cause wood rot, foundation problems, and mold just to name a few. Nashville gets several hard rain events throughout the year but during colder months it is difficult to take on a drainage project if the ground is frozen or mushy.  Here are some steps to take for solving this issue:

1) During and after a hard rain watch and see where water is draining around your home.
2) Evaluate if your gutters are large enough, clean from debris, and draining away from your home.
 3) Buy a cheap tyvek suit and crawl under your home after a hard rain. In the summertime it feels pretty cool in a crawl space. Look for any standing water from a drainage problem or a plumbing leak. While you are under there pull out any debris you might see.
4) Check water heater, washer connections, and all sinks & faucets for leaks & drips.
5) If you think you need a professional opinion, contact landscaping companies that handle drainage issues.
6) If determined there is a plumbing leak that requires more than tightening some threads, call a professional plumber.

 

B) Make sure your wood is good

If your wood is not in good condition, it can bring pests & rodents and even cause a trip to the emergency room. Wood expands & contracts and in Nashville we have cold temperatures and very hot & humid temperatures. Follow this guide to avoid a larger, more expensive problem years later.

1) Walk around the exterior of your home and look for any rotten wood in your siding, soffit, or fascia. If you do not have a ladder, use binoculars.
2) Carefully inspect your wood deck for any boards with popped up nails or screws.  This could avoid a bodily injury.
3) If you have a wood privacy fence, consider staining it or applying a coat of polyurethane before it turns gray. If already gray, pressure wash it to bring it back to life.
4) Most rotten issues will involve some carpentry skills to patch & fix, then paint. Most handymen or a skilled carpenter could be hired if you do not have the skills or tools.

 

C) Pests

Once the temperatures warm up in the Spring and Summer a lot of bugs, rodents, and snakes come out and start exploring.  They key is to let them explore in places other than your home & yard. 

1) Cleanliness inside & out. If you leave some crumbs on your kitchen floor or porch after a party you are asking for the ants to start marching in. If you leave food in your sink or don't take out your trash often, don't be surprised to see a roach motel open up.

2) Did you know a mouse can squeeze thru a hole the size of a nickel? If you notice any holes coming up from the floors or cabinets, the easy fix is to caulk the hole.  Typically, if you take care of the rodent problem, the snakes go elsewhere.

3) Although most carpenter bees do not sting (only females can sting) they can cause damage to your wood. Carpenter bees prefer to excavate their nests in soft, unpainted wood. To avoid a big issue, simply fill holes with caulk or putty and paint.

4) Pest control. The preventive measure is to hire a pest control company to spray as needed. This service is affordable and they use better methods than what you can purchase at a home improvement store.

 

As you see, water & leaks can cause wood rot that then can cause pests. Evaluate and repair and you will prevent any or all 3 of these summer time issues at home.