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Is your house ready for spring weather?

Posted March 19, 2014 in Advice Column, Grimes

Have a qualified HVAC contractor come out to give your air conditioning system a tune-up. Do this every year to ensure the system is running at its manufacturer-rated efficiency. Make sure to inspect your system’s drain hose. This hose could become clogged with algae and sediment. Avoid extra cost by checking the hose periodically yourself.

Roofs and gutters
The summer sun can damage a roof’s shingles; call a contractor if you haven’t inspected your roof in several years. Clean out the leaves and other debris that has collected in the gutters. Then check to see if the gutters are safely attached and haven’t sprung any leaks.

Right the foundation
Inspect the foundation around your house. Look for cracks or imperfections and seal them. Also look for low areas in the yard near the foundation that might pool water. Level these yard depressions by filling them with compacted soil. Tend to any other “ponding” areas around the yard; these areas can be a breeding ground for mosquitoes.

The deck
If you have a patio deck, inspect the wood for stains, discolorations or warping. If you find any, consider resealing the deck. Check for any sharp edges, splintered or rotting wood. Also look for rusting nails or any nails that are coming out. And be sure to check the railings and stairs to make sure they are secure and not wobbly.

Ready the soil
Spring is the season to prepare for new growth in your garden. Rake beds of leaves and other leftover winter debris. Use a hoe to churn and loosen the soil, and mix in compost for nutrients.

The water heater
Look around the base of your water heater for evidence of leaks. The average lifespan of a water heater is eight to 12 years. If water leakage or rust is found, the water heater should be replaced.

Basement and attic
If you have an attic, check it for leaks from the roof. Inspect the underside of the roof and the insulation closely for any discoloration, deterioration or dirt stains, as the leaking water might have dried up.

Check the basement walls, floor and trim for water stains or any signs of seepage through the foundation. While you’re down there, keep a close eye on your sump pump, making sure it is still in good working order and has a battery backup in place.

Information provided by Glenn Waterhouse, State Farm Insurance, 5441 N.W. 86th St., #100, Johnston, (515) 223-5566.

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