Making the Most of Your Downtime

sweating woman doing home maintenance fixing plumbing with wrench while wearing gloves

With all of us stuck in our homes for the pandemic, itching to get out and do something with our lives, we are constantly looking for something to keep us distracted and busy to pass the time.  As homeowners, why not take the chance to catch up on a few home maintenance items and use the opportunity to bring along the kids to teach them some long last trade skills. Your home will be in tip-top shape in no time.

Exterior Home Maintenance

Living in Colorado is a fantastic experience. Colorado offers changing seasons with lots of sun and a plethora of wind and snow.  The very things we love about our state are the same things that reduce your home’s life expectancy and cause you major damage along the way.  Here are some exterior home maintenance items you can do to keep your home in great shape for years to come:

Start simple and easy

1. Clean up the property – Rake up leaves, lay down mulch on flower beds, inspect trees for diseases and dead branches, reseed lawn, and plant flowers. Curb appeal is the number #1 selling point for home buying and a great way to spruce up the neighborhood.

2. Wash the exterior, windows, and screens – An annual tradition, cleaning the exterior of your home keeps dirt, grime, allergens, and insects away.  

3. Gutters and downspouts – Give these bad boys a cleaning as well by removing obstructions.  If you see snow melt off leaking from gaps in the gutters, this is a great team to get things sealed up and draining away from your home

Intermediate repairs

1. Paint exterior of house and look for peeling and chips – Although many of us have vinyl siding or brick, running over the protective coating of your home with fresh paint is a great way to spruce up the home and keep moisture from leaking into untreated wood.  Use this opportunity to also reseal areas where caulk has separated or degraded and could cause leak points into your home

2. Check for damage to your sprinkler system – Before turning on your water flow for the year (wait until frost is no longer a consideration), look for damage from the snow, plows, digging pets, etc.  This will save you a ton of heartache when you turn them on in a few weeks and avoid the giant holes in your yard from high-pressured water.

3. Remove mosquito breeding grounds – Avoid a nasty summer of bugs by dumping out water gathering points, filled buckets, and low-ground where mosquitos breed.

For those with no fear

1. Look for cracks in the foundation, including sidewalks and driveways – The snow melt in Colorado can create a lot of drainage issues and shifting in the early spring.  Take a moment to review shifting in the home and get ahead of repairs before they become a larger issue.

2. Check for roof damage and make the repairs – Winter and spring doors can blow away flashing, cause movement in caulk joints, and rip shingles. Take a moment to look for stress points and replace caulk and damage shingles.

Interior Maintenance

Maintaining the exterior of the home is great but when you spend all of your time inside of the house, it’s hard to see a return on your investment.  If you’re looking for some indoor projects to keep you busy, here are a couple of home maintenance projects that you can check off the list.

Start simple and easy

1. Check your attic, basement, and crawlspaces for excess moisture, critters, and leaks – The spring brings out the best of the animal kingdom. Examine the hiding places of your home, tighten up access points, and spray for spiders.

2. Schedule your HVAC maintenance and replace applicable filters – HVAC equipment should be serviced every 12 months (and cleaned!) and filters replaced quarterly, or no less than every 6 months.

Couple of intermediate repairs

1. Check plumbing and septic – Look under sinks for leaks and check faucets for drips. For those who have a septic tank, schedule your septic tank cleaning. As a general rule, you should empty out your septic tank once every 3 to 5 years.

2. Check smoke alarms and perform fire safety test with the family – Check the state of batteries, function, and networking between your alarms.  Take a moment to build a fire plan with the family and run through a drill while everyone is at home

For those with no fear

1. Inspect your chimney – As the weather warms up, thinking about chimneys is furthest from our mind. If you have a wood stove, use the warmer weather to remove built-up creosote and chase out sheltering critters before you need to use it again.

2. Repair and replace caulk around stressed joints, including windows, doors and trim – The interior is just as important as the exterior in this regard.  Take the time to patch up paint jobs, renew weather proofing, and keep your home looking great

If you are looking for more ideas to keep you busy and want to include the kids in on the fun, check out https://vigeoconstruction.com/teaching-a-new-generation-with-projects-to-do-at-home/.