Stay on top of home main­te­nance this sum­mer

The Hamilton Spectator - - REAL ES­TATE -

While there is cer­tainly no need to spend ev­ery week­end this sum­mer tack­ling house­hold chores, there are a few key tasks that most home­own­ers will want to tend to in the com­ing weeks to keep your home's sys­tems run­ning as they should and to pre­pare for the sea­son ahead.

Your roof and eave­stroughs' main func­tion is to keep the el­e­ments, namely wa­ter, out of your home. Sum­mer is a good time to check for cracked, curl­ing or miss­ing shin­gles and have them re­placed im­me­di­ately. Be sure your eave­stroughs are clear of de­bris and prop­erly af­fixed to your home. Sid­ing is also sus­cep­ti­ble to leaks, es­pe­cially where it meets win­dows and doors. Look for mush­rooms or fun­gus grow­ing out of sid­ing, a sign that mois­ture is be­neath.

Af­ter you've checked your home's high­est point, you should turn your at­ten­tion to its low­est. Take a good look at your home's foun­da­tion to see how it faired the win­ter months and the rainy spring sea­son. Walk the perime­ter of your home, ex­am­in­ing the foun­da­tion for cracks. Even the small­est open­ing can al­low wa­ter to seep into your base­ment. Use a ruler to mea­sure. If the crack is wider than 3/16 of an inch, it can be a prob­lem. Mark smaller cracks with tape and keep track of their progress. You can likely fix a smaller crack your­self but larger ones will need to be tended to by a pro­fes­sional.

Proper care and main­te­nance will go a long way in ex­tend­ing the life of your deck and fenc­ing. The blis­ter­ing sum­mer sun and harsh Cana­dian win­ters take their toll on wood el­e­ments, so it's im­por­tant to stay on top of main­te­nance. Dry rot and wet rot are two is­sues that you will have to watch out for when it comes to your deck and fence. An an­nual stain ap­pli­ca­tion is the best way to com­bat both po­ten­tial prob­lems. You can't go wrong with a goodqual­ity lin­seed oil-based, solid or semi­trans­par­ent stain.

Stay­ing on top of your home's many fea­tures and fix­tures will save you money, headaches and time down the road! (RMM)

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