Spring Maintenance Advice
wood burning fireplaces
- Clean the firebox of all soot and ash.
- Check the damper for proper and full range of motion operation
- Check with a flashlight for creosote buildup. It is shiny and looks sticky. It is flammable. Seeing any creosote means you should call a licensed chimney sweep and have the firebox, smoke chamber, chimney flue cleaned.
- Make sure all screens, doors, etc… close properly.
Apply zinc-based moss powder to keep moss from growing on roof.
Check For Water Leaks
Shut off all water in the home. Go to the street and check the water meter. It should not be moving at all. If it is, find the leak (don’t forget to look in the crawlspace) and fix it or have it fixed.
Check For Gas Leaks
Shut off all gas appliances. This means shutting off pilot lights at any gas fireplace and any gas hot water heaters. Now go look at the gas meter. If it is turning at all, you have a gas leak. Call the gas company and tell them what you have found. They should send someone out to fix the leak.
Have the air conditioner serviced prior to use by a licensed heating and air conditioning company.
- Before you enter your attic make sure it is safe to do so. Mice, rats, bats, stinging insects and more can move into your attic if they get the chance. Take off the hatch cover then shine a powerful flashlight into the attic on all sides of the hatch looking for hazards. If none are found you can enter, but we recommend protective gear be worn. Home inspectors wear bump hats (hard hats) to protect their heads, good boots, coveralls, good gloves that keep dampness out, and a good respirator or charcoal filtered mask. There are reasons for this. It is not uncommon to find rat or mouse urine and fecal matter in an attic and you need to protect yourself. Make you understand the most common hazard in an attic. If you do not have floor boards, whether boards or plywood or OSB sheets, installed you can fall through the ceiling into your home if you do not keep your feet on the ceiling joists, which may not be readily visible. Insulation is blown into many homes so deeply today that the joist can be hidden.
- Once in the attic look for the evidence already mentioned that rodents, bats, or stinging insects have taken up residence. If they have, call a pest control company to help you get rid of them.
- Are there any water leaks visible from your roof, and especially at roof penetrations like chimneys, and at roof valleys. If you see leaks, call a licensed roofer.