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It’s inspection season | National Post


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I value the importance of regular home maintenance, and I always like to remind homeowners of the seasonal maintenance checklists. I may be repeating myself, but you would be surprised how many homeowners forget or get complacent, especially with the added stress of today’s world.

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Regular maintenance keeps your house clean, and your systems and appliances work more efficiently when properly maintained. Even newly constructed homes require routine upkeep and will last longer, keeping your family safe and secure for years to come.

If you haven’t inspected your deck, do it now. Look for loose boards or railings, rot, cracks, insect damage, or deterioration of fasteners and connectors. If you have real concerns hire a professional to inspect your deck — it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Also, inspect your roof — spring and fall are ideal times to get any repairs done, but you may have let this slide. Before it’s too late, do a quick visual check on the condition of your roof for missing or curled shingles or any water damage, and book an appointment if you have concerns. You may have to wait for an appointment, but it is good to get it booked now.

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Summertime is a great time to inspect your driveway and walkways for cracks and any unevenness that could be a tripping hazard. A few summers ago, I resealed my asphalt driveway, and it looks fantastic. The process added several more years of life to my driveway. You can hire a professional to get this done, but there are also some great DIY crack repair kits that will help you restore your walkways in a few simple steps.

Many homeowners are spending more time at home, so making the most out of your outdoor space is great. Depending on your level of handiwork, you can create a welcoming backyard by doing a good cleanup, adding planters, or creating some new garden beds. Remember, don’t get too close to the exterior or foundation of your home as this can lead to moisture issues, especially if there are any cracks in the foundation.

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If you are thinking about a total backyard transformation, adding trees, rock gardens, walkways, water features, or unique spaces are all great ideas. However, you may need to consult a landscape architect and a contractor in that case.

Another way little critters or insects can get into your home is through openings. Fill in any holes around venting as this allows air leakage and acts as an access point for critters. Also, check for cracks below windows and doorsteps and repair any tears in window and door screens too.

If you see any holes in your mortar or loose bricks (sometimes referred to as “tuck-pointing”), get them fixed and seek a pro since this requires a unique skill and must be done correctly.

Be sure to clean your gutters and downspouts and use a gutter scoop to eliminate stuck-on debris and stray leaves. I would also consider installing a gutter guard, which prevents material from entering the gutter and clogging it up. Gutter guards will cut down on maintenance and no more climbing up ladders.

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You may be going away on vacation or spending more time outside your house for extended periods, so this may be a good time to evaluate your home’s security system. I am a big fan of smart security systems and lighting, and there are a lot of options that you can control directly from your phone even if you’re out of the country.

In the summertime, we try to spend as much time as we can outside but don’t forget some important home maintenance tips that should also be done inside your home.

Our summers can be pretty hot, requiring us to use our air conditioner a lot. Make sure to schedule routine maintenance for your HVAC system. As a bonus consider also adding an ERV to your system. An ERV will improve HVAC efficiency, enhance indoor air quality, aid with odour management, and regulate relative humidity levels in your house.

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Ceiling fans are another great way to help keep rooms in your home cool. The air won’t be colder, but by reversing the motion, the cool air will be forced downward and help keep you cool. In addition to your air conditioner, a ceiling fan can allow the AC to be turned up a few degrees, which could help save on your energy bill.

I believe failing to inspect smoke and CO2 detectors to ensure they are operational is the most common home maintenance mistake. Every season, I advise doing a test and replacing the batteries.

Summer is my favourite time of year and I love spending time outdoors. Practicing good home maintenance is the best thing you can do for the longevity of your home.

Residents of the GTA can apply for Season 2 of Holmes Family Rescue at www.makeitright.ca

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