1. Got termites? Grab a flashlight and head for the basement or crawlspace. Check exposed wood between your masonry foundation and the floor (the little cubbies between your floor joists. Gently move the rim joist insulation, if you have it, and look for mud tunnels the diameter of a cotton swab, damaged wood, poke with a screwdriver and you should get a solid sound—not a hollow
2. Next, with your flashlight, shine through your furnace filter. If it’s dirty, replace it.
3. The best time to check the rain gutters and down spouts is, of course, when they are in use. During a heavy rain with no lightning, grab an umbrella, walk around and look for overflowing gutters and inspect downspouts. Water squirting from a joint may indicate underground piping is plugged up.
4. Binoculars are excellent for a preliminary roof inspection.
Check chimney cap, masonry, flashing, and valleys for winter or tree damage all from the safety of terra firma. If you’re a birdwatcher you’ll have binoculars, but if not, take photos with a smart phone or camera and then review the pictures with the zoom mode.
5. That faithful friend (your sump pump) has a limited life expectancy. It’s confined to a corner of the basement but can cause great distress when it retires unannounced, (Did you miss the party?) usually during a wet spring. I like to check them with a wooden broom handle by lifting the float valve to start up the pump. Remember it’s an electrical motor submerged in water, so use caution. Don’t use your hand or a metal pole.
Note: If the lid to your sump pump is screwed down and sealed, you may have it confused with your sewage ejection pump. Leave that fella alone; it’s smelly inside and best handled by a pro.) Look instead for a sump pit having a loose black plastic lid the size of a large pizza. A pipe and wires may run through holes in the lid.
These inspections can save thousands of dollars in repairs, and you as a homeowner are the one best-suited to be available on a short notice during a downpour. So keep your umbrella handy! Have a great Spring and call us if we can help.
Saying Goodbye to Summer
Wrapping Up Summer AKA Hello, Autumn!