Spring is on it's way, and for homeowners, it's a reminder to take care of the little -- but important details -- that need tending around the house. While spring cleaning the interior of your home is important, the exterior can often go neglected for too long. This can lead to costly repairs and higher utility bills. Read on for the most important areas of the home to inspect and clean this year.
Air ConditionerAvoid sweating at the hottest time of year. Hire a technician to re-tune your cooling system to manufacturer-rated efficiency. Prices range from $75 to $200. Also, have the technician check and clean the drains to remove water back-up and clogged algae. This costs up to $100.
DIY: Replace dirty filters every one to three months. This will decrease your energy costs and prevent damage to the AC.
Avoid water damage to your home by cleaning clogged gutters. Clean them yourself with a homemade gutter scoop, or hire it out for $90 to $225 for a 2,000-square-foot home. In addition, add downspout extensions to carry water at least 3 to 4 feet from your home's foundation. Ten feet of 4-inch corrugated plastic pipe costs about $7.
Use a pair of binoculars to find damaged, loose or missing shingles without risking your neck. If necessary, hire a handyman to repair a few shingles. Asphalt shingles cost around $95 to $125. If the damage is greater, hire a roofer. It costs $100 to $350 to replace a 10-by-10-square-foot area. Additionally, check and repair breaks in the flashing seals around vent stacks and chimneys.
Professional power washing services cost between $300 to $500, and ensure you don't get water between the siding. However, if you prefer to do it yourself, read on ...
DIY: Check for cracked or gaping caulk. Seal these with stucco in color-matched acrylic caulk. Next, scrub the siding with a soft bristle brush, soap and water. Rinse each section with a garden hose before it dries.
Remove tar, paint drips or other caked on marks with non-abrasive bathtub cleaner or a nylon scrub pad. Avoid using paint thinner, nail polish remover, spot or paint remover, chlorine bleach or furniture cleaner on vinyl, as they can damage the surface of the siding.
Whether you plan to stay or to sell, this is by no means a comprehensive list of tasks to maintain your home. For more ideas, check out this Spring Cleaning Checklist, provided by Home Service Reports.
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