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Taking the time to do regular home maintenance adds up to a greener lifestyle. By doing a little more research every time you need to replace, repair, redecorate, remodel, or renovate, you can make a difference. All of that is a part of maintenance, which is super important around our homes. Maintaining your home is one of the greenest things that you can do. Maintenance preserves the life of things, so the more routine maintenance you do around the home, the longer things will last. And the longer things last, the fewer things end up in the trash or the recycling bin.
I’m Marla, the Green Home Coach, and today, I would like to talk to you about spring maintenance.
My friend, Tina Gleisner, from Home Tips for Women, is my maintenance go-to. She collaborated with me on the chapter about maintenance in my book, Living Green Effortlessly- Simple Choices for a Better Home. For today, I pulled an episode out of the archives where Tina and I talk about spring maintenance.
Tina knows how to rock out maintenance with her three-tiered approach, so be sure to listen in today and get ready for some super home maintenance!
Enjoy the episode!
The most important point
The most important point to remember about taking care of your home is that you are the chief home organizer. That means that you do not have to do everything yourself. Your number one priority is to see that all the important things get done.
Some critical jobs need to get done in a home that we do not have the tools or the experience to do. So we should not even attempt to do these things.
The focus of this podcast is on spring maintenance because spring is a great time to do several things outside of your home. Many of those things will require the assistance of an expert.
Organizing your checklist
It is always best to start by inspecting things around your home. Then, make a list of all the things that need to be maintained or repaired.
Planning what you intend to do and who you will hire to help you can minimize the costs of your ongoing home maintenance and repairs in the long run.
Checking the roof
If you are uncomfortable on a ladder or if there is a chance that you could fall, do not go up onto the roof yourself. To check your roof, stand back and take some photos of it with your phone. Then, go to your computer and blow the pics up to see all the details. You can save them so that you can use them again the next year to see if anything on the roof has changed.
If you do some spot-checking every year, for the first ten years, without actually going up there, that will be sufficient for most new roofs. If you live on the coast or in an area with harsh weather all the time, your roof will not last as long as it would in an inland area with mild weather.
National Women In Roofing
An organization called National Women In Roofing will help you better understand all the different classes of roof shingles, explain what your roofing insurance will and will not cover, and answer any questions that you might have.
If you need a new roof, it is never a good idea to put a second layer of roofing shingles on top of what you already have because there may be hidden damage to the plywood underneath the shingles.
A tip for recycling old roof shingles
Many communities have a Roof to Roads program where they recycle asphalt shingles to use for building roads. So, if you are removing an old roof, look into recycling the old shingles.
Protecting the wood and checking for wood-rot
If you can catch a problem early, it could save you a lot of money and effort in the future. So check the wood around your windows and doors, and any decking or other wooden trim around the house, for signs of wood rot that might be starting. If you find anything, it can quite easily be sanded and painted to protect the wood and prevent any deterioration.
The two biggest problem areas
The two biggest problem areas for wood-rot are the window-sills if the water does not roll off them fast enough, and the vertical piece of wood directly under the exterior doors. The longer the problem remains, the more the repair is likely to cost.
Tina has an article on her website that goes into the different levels and costs of wood-rot on window frames. She also has a series on her website about all the areas of wood rot in a home.
The flashing on the roof usually gets made of thin material, like galvanized steel. It is there to direct water away from the critical roof areas.
Doing outside home maintenance in the springtime is vital because you will start spending a lot more time outside at that time of the year.
Two main things need to get done in the springtime.
- Find and deal with any damage that may have occurred during the winter.
- Look out for the safety of your family while they are spending time outside. That includes checking the walkways, decks, hand-rails, and outside lighting.
Tina’s spring check-list
Tina has a checklist available on her website to give you many different ways to look for potential problems in your home.
Some things to look out for:
- Concrete is porous, and it sucks water up, so keep a lookout for any rising damp.
- Push gently on the wood around your doors and windows with your fingers to check for sponginess. That would indicate that there is some wood-rot going on there. If you find any wood-rot, you will need to do something about it quickly.
- Check to see if the weather-stripping around your windows and doors requires replacing.
- Check if any of the screens for your windows or doors are torn and need to get replaced.
- Check your garden hoses and check that the irrigation system is working well.
- Ensure that your air condition system is working well and that your fans turn in the right direction.
Remember that a clean home is easier to maintain. It helps everything to work more efficiently and last longer.
My website Green Home Coach
Book: Living Green Effortlessly
Learn how to make your home healthier for you and our world in my Love Your Everyday Green Home
Spring Home Maintenance Checklist
Home Tips for Women (PDF Download)
Better Hose Bibs – Use This to Replace Outdoor Hose Bibs
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