Episode 15 – Spring Home Maintenance

Donna:
Hello and welcome to another episode of the rapid repair pro podcast, your favorite handyman Ofallon provider. My name is Donna Green and I am your host. Joining me is our rapid repair pro resident expert and my personal repair pro Phil green. How are you today?

Phil:
I’m doing awesome.

Donna:
Good. Glad to hear that. Also joining us in the studio are our two Valley Bulldogs, Lucy and Bauer. They don’t miss a handyman Ofallon episode and I hope you don’t either.

Phil:
You know, it’s funny every time we do one of these handyman Ofallon podcasts and you talk about the Valley Bulldogs when I transcribe these podcasts so that I can post them on our website, it always transcribes it as our valuable dogs.

Donna:
and that is exactly what they are. They are a part of the family for sure. And so they are very valuable. We enjoy them a lot. If you are curious, people probably wonder what in the heck is a Valley bulldog too? Google it. You can find it. Yeah.

Phil:
Basically it’s a boxer and an old english bulldog mix.

Donna:
Great disposition, fun dogs, athletic dogs, lovable dogs, great with our grand babies. Yeah. Yeah. our youngest one, Lucy doesn’t, I think she thinks the grandkids ar her friends because the minute they get over, she is playing with them, playing intense with them, playing in the ball pit with them and thoroughly enjoys the kids. So Google it. Anyway. today’s topic is our spring home checklist repairs that you need to be focused on as spring approaches. So we’ve had this weary, dreary, cold winter.

Donna:
You’re not outside doing much and there’s much handyman Ofallon maintenance that needs to be done to get your home ready for spring and summer so that you can enjoy the beautiful summer outside and be proud of the way your home looks and have peace of mind that your home is maintained. Well. So for me, the spring checklist and home maintenance is super important. One because it has been all winter and I think our house kind of looks rough and our yard looks rough when spring hits. But equally as important is the fall checklist that we will discuss probably in October. But today we’re going to talk about how to get your home ready for summer and be proud of it. And

Phil:
It’s also good to focus on this in the springtime so that you can get it all knocked out and get your house looking good so that you can enjoy your time during the summer.

Donna:
Absolutely. So we’re just going to go through this. I’m going to let Phil take the lead on this as far what needs to be done on the maintenance since he is our expert on that. So let’s get started on the outside of the home. I know this last weekend in our area, it was beautiful and even though it was the beginning of March, I could not resist myself and yes, I mowed and had a grand time doing it. So I think I definitely was the only one in our neighborhood that mowed. But I felt really proud of my yard afterwards and loved it. So let’s talk on the outside and we’ll just break it down on what you need to look at in each area of your home. So as spring approaches and you have another beautiful day coming up. What should we be focusing on? Let’s talk about the roofs and gutters with handyman Ofallon for right now. The what and why.

Phil:
Well, you want to take the opportunity when the weather’s nicer to inspect your roof. And first of all, you want to make sure that safety is number one. If you’re not capable of climbing on a roof you definitely don’t want to do that. But even if you can’t climb on a roof, it’s a good idea to just take a walk around and look for things like shingles that might’ve blown off. You can check more closely for things like bare spots on your shingles or if the gutters have been cleaned. So you’re just looking for overall you want to get debris off of your roof and you want your gutters clean and you want everything to be in good order after your handyman Ofallon visit.

Donna:
Great. What are some of the things they need to look for for the gutters?

Phil:
Obviously we want to make sure that they’re draining and not overspilling or leaking.

Donna:
What are some of the risks associated with not paying attention to that?

Phil:
Yeah, it’s extremely important to keep your gutters clean because gutters that overflow can create can create problems in your foundation. They can cause the foundation to crack and cause settlement. Of course you can also get water in your basement. And so it’s really important to keep it clean so that water gets directed away from the house.

Donna:
Yeah. So you need to make sure that where your downspouts are directing that away and not letting that downspout run right there at your house as well. So a super important handyman Ofallon tip. So should we be looking for our siding?

Phil:
Well, over the wintertime you’re likely going to get mold growing on particularly the Northern sides of the house. So springtime is a good time to clean it up, but not just the mold, your whole house. If you’ve never power washed your house, you’d be amazed when you do, how dirty it is and not only your house, but you know, if you have outdoor fencing, you have a deck, you have railing, all those things get really dirty, particularly over the long winter months and a springtime is a good time to break out a hose or a power washer and just do a good scrub down. Make it sparkle and you know, it really makes you feel good about your house.

Donna:
True. And most communities have ordinances about this sort of stuff as well. And so you want to keep people like that off your back and set the example in your neighborhood. So yes,

Phil:
I don’t know about you, but it really would bug the tar out of me to, to get my house looking sparkly, clean and my neighbors house staring at me is covered in grime.

Donna:
Right. Absolutely. I agree. And I am amazed at how dirty our siding gets. We power wash every single spring. It’s quite the undertaking. It’s a lot of work, but it amazes me how dirty our front porch area gets. I can’t wait to power wash as it warms up. Okay, then let’s talk about our decks and the driveways right now.

Phil:
You want to just do a general handyman Ofallon inspection and look for any damage that’s happened over the winter. You know, deck boards can crack and check and you want to look for rot. It’s also a good time to check out the driveway. If you have an asphalt or concrete driveway to look at sealing those. It’s a good idea to keep cracks sealed because cracks let a water under the driveway, which causes further damage. So sure. It’s a good idea to inspect all that. You want to check out your foundation from the inside and look for any new cracks. Any telltale signs of handyman Ofallon problems like expanding cracks, gaps widening, things like that.

Donna:
To look for any new cracks and that’s really being proactive rather than waiting for a crisis.

Phil:
And that’s what the spring home maintenance handyman Ofallon checklist is all about. It’s about being proactive because catching things early is way less expensive to deal with than waiting until you have a major problem.

Donna:
I totally agree with you. All right then so we’ll be looking next at the windows and screens on the outside. What should we be paying attention to there?

Phil:
Well, you want to check all your windows screens, make sure you don’t have any tears or holes in them. A screen handyman Ofallon repair is extremely easy to do. You also want to check your windows, make sure they operate properly, make sure they latch. You know, if you have broken windows Springs that can’t hold your windows up, those can easily be fixed. And that’s something Rapid Repair Pro can take care of for you. You also want to check the windows for seal failure in between the panes of glass and that that happens because the windows have lost their seal and they’re not as effective that way and it’s kind of unsightly to have fogged up window glass. We can come out and measure that up and replace those glass units.

Donna:
So that window that’s fogging up can be repaired by a handyman Ofallon like Phil. You don’t have to replace that? Okay. So that could save them money versus letting it go thinking they need new windows. And that can be a little bit of a scary thought. The cost associated with that so that you could repair it.

Phil:
And if you have older wooden windows, it’s a good time to make sure that you don’t have any peeling paint on the outside or missing glazing, which is what holds the glass in. If you let that stuff go, your wood windows will start to rot and create more problems for you.

Donna:
Again, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. All right. So the last piece outside will be our yards. So what should we be looking for and doing in our yards outside?

Phil:
You’ll want to clean up your yard. First of all, if you didn’t take the time in the fall to rake up leaves then you really have a mess. But even if you did, you’re still going to have more leaves and a lot of tree debris, dead vegetation, things like that. So this is a good time to get all that cleaned up. Get the yard mowed so it looks good and get ready for the grass to start growing and just have a nice day outside.

Donna:
And so I often see homes that allow the leaves to pile up around the foundation. And to me that doesn’t look like a good idea.

Phil:
No it’s not. It traps moisture around the foundation and can also attract pests.

Donna:
Yup. If you have that buildup of leaves and dead vegetation from over the winter get that away from the foundation and clean that up. So a big piece of your yard handyman Ofallon maintenance that you need to start in the spring in order to have a pretty yard throughout the whole summer is weed control. It kind of blows my mind. We hire a company to do our weed control and they always want to start in February.
And I always say no. Last year they wanted to start when we still had snow on the ground and I thought that might’ve been just a little bit early. But definitely March you need to be thinking about weed control because again, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound a cure. If having a nice weed-free yard is important to you, think about starting that in March at the latest because as you’ve seen in our area temps have warmed up enough that weeds will start germinating and you want to prevent the crabgrass from taking hold. But if you don’t want to hire a company there’s also lots of information out there on how you can do that yourself. So check that out. And I think that is also an important piece of the spring maintenance for the outside. All right, let’s move inside Phil. Let’s talk about things you don’t see necessarily, and sometimes you don’t pay attention to. Let’s talk about our ventilation system. The furnace and air conditioner. So we’ve been using that furnace all winter.

Phil:
Yeah, you want to change your furnace filter. If you haven’t changed it all winter, it’s really going to need to be changed. It’s a good idea to do that every 30 days just out of habit because furnace filters are pretty cheap. You also take that opportunity to clean all your registers. Pull the register covers off the floor and take a vacuum and clean those out. It is also a good time to clean your dryer vent. That’s an easy process to do yourself. You can purchase a long brush that you attach to a drill and run it through the vent with a dryer running and it detaches any lint in the vent and blows it out. So you want to clean those events off outside also. It is also a good time to get your air ducts professionally cleaned.

Donna:
Okay. I totally agree with that. And when we had ours done I couldn’t believe the difference in the level of dust in the house and what they got out of them. Especially the older part of the house, we have an addition on our house. So the older part house, I was really shocked at how much debris they got out of there. And there was a difference in the amount of dust in the room. Caution though, as you, if you are considering a duct cleaning, definitely be smart about this. So you’re gonna see ads out there for duct cleaning companies that say 39.95. Well, let me just tell you a duct cleaning really takes a good, depending on how many systems a half a day to a full day for a company to do it properly. So if somebody promises to do it for 39.95, I guarantee you that’s not the price they’re gonna walk out the door with. So don’t be fooled by companies like that.

Phil:
It’s also a good idea to look for a handyman Ofallon company that has certification through the national air duct cleaning association. You can go to www.nadca.com and get a list of people in your area who have that certification.

Donna:
Yeah. So not all companies are created equal. Make sure you do your homework and call a reputable company that is going to do the job right. You don’t want to waste your money.

Phil:
Companies that are certified through NADCA use a process that actually puts the ducts under negative pressure. So as they’re agitating nothing is getting out and everything is getting collected into HEPA vac. Some companies use what’s basically a glorified shop vac with a brush at the end of the hose and they agitate and they’re relying on that shop vac to pull everything in. So what you’ll find when they do that is you’ll see dust blowing out of the duct work as they’re agitating it. And many times when you turn your system on, you’ll get a puff of dust out the vents. That’s a bad thing.

Donna:
Can’t even tell you how that would stress me out. Yeah. Dust glows to me. So that would make me crazy. Good advice there. All right. So what kinds of things for home handyman Ofallon maintenance now should we be looking at in our kitchen?

Phil:
It’s a good idea to pull out your refrigerator and a vacuum the coils, they’re usually there on the backside of the refrigerator. Sometimes they’re under, you might have to take the cover off at the very bottom of the front of the refrigerator and you can purchase these long brushes that you can push back there and you can knock the dust and stuff off the coils and just get that all cleaned up. That helps your refrigerator run more efficiently and work better.

Donna:
It always blows my mind how much dog hair I get out from underneath our refrigerator. It sucks it in there.

Phil:
Well, it’s because there’s a fan inside there that’s pulling air to the bottom of the refrigerator. Yeah. And that’s why all that gets pulled in.

Donna:
What about our dishwasher?

Phil:
Just a good idea in handyman Ofallon services to just pull the bottom off the dishwasher and while it’s operating and check for leaks. Check the condition of the hose. Highly recommend that you either have a copper or a or a stainless steel hose connecting your dishwasher. Not any kind of a rubber or plastic hose. Those can break. Same thing with your washing machines. Your ice makers, do not use any plastic or rubber hoses for those things, stainless steel or copper. And you will never have a pipe burst.

Donna:
Okay. Good to know. What about anything electrical?

Phil:
You want to test your ground fault outlets. These are the outlets that you’ll find usually in your kitchen, your bathroom and your garage. They look different from the other outlets, they usually have two buttons on them where you can test them and reset them. So just test them. When you push the test button, you will hear a little pop and then you can push the reset button and then it’ll reset. If you push the test button and they won’t reset, then that indicates the outlet is probably no longer good. So that’d be a great time to call us to have those replaced. Okay.

Donna:
You’re getting ready for the summer.

Phil:
Well, we have one more thing on electrical. You need to check your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors? Yep. So I would highly recommend replacing the batteries every spring. And in addition to that, if you’ve had the same smoke detectors for coming up on 10 years, good for about 10 years you need to replace them. That’s a fairly simple process to do but we’d be happy to take care of that too, but you’d definitely want to replace those at least every 10 years.

Donna:
Okay. All right. Well, sorry, I’m a little eager for summer, so I was excited to talk about the air conditioner because I love summer. So what should we be looking at for our air conditioners for our maintenance and preparation of summer.

Phil:
Right. Your outdoor air conditioning unit needs to have handyman Ofallon maintenance once a year, so it needs to be cleaned. So basically you have to clean the coils. It’s one big coil unit with a compressor in the middle and a fan on top that pulls the air through it. Well, just like anything else, when you pull air through something, it gets debris stuck on the fins and things like that. So that needs to be cleaned so that it operates efficiently during the summer. So I highly recommend hiring someone to do that for you. That’s something we can take care of also. And so while they’re out cleaning the outdoor unit, they can also be checking the indoor unit, replacing the batteries on your thermostat and just have the system ready to go, make sure it’s operating correctly to try to prevent any issues. You don’t want your air conditioner to break down during your party on July the fourth.

Donna:
Absolutely. One last piece of home maintenance that we need to look at is our basement and attics. So what should we be looking for and our basements and attics?

Phil:
Well, in a basement you want to check your sump pump out. Make sure that the sump pit is clean or call a handyman Ofallon, there’s not a lot of debris in there. Make sure your pump is operating properly. In addition to that, I would say make sure you have a good quality sump pump. I see a lot of some pump failures during the spring. Basements get flooded and they just have a cheap plastic sump pump that they bought from a home center in there and they just don’t hold up. You need a good quality cast iron sump pump that’s going to hold up and do a good job. So you want to look for that. You also want to check for things like any water damage you may have and do a good cleaning down there. And if you have a crawl space, it’s a good idea to have us come out and inspect it for you and look for things like mold or water issues, make sure it’s all in good order.

Donna:
So what about the attic?

Phil:
If you’re going to get up in your attic, be extremely careful where you step first of all, or you might find yourself back on the first floor really quick. But you would just want to look for things like moisture damage.

Donna:
Something about attics that people don’t necessarily realize or pay attention to is if you have a bath fan, that should be vented outside, not into your attic.

Phil:
Well, it’s definitely true. It’s ideal to vent them to the outside, particularly if you have a small, low attic that is not ventilated very well. My best advice is to have a handyman Ofallon professional come out and inspect your attic once a year and make sure that everything’s good.

Donna:
So let me ask you this, Phil. For busy people they know that they need to have this home maintenance done, but they just don’t have the time or this is not their skill set. They just aren’t good at evaluating all of this. Is this something Rapid Repair Pro, one of our handyman Ofallon experts can do for someone?

Phil:
Absolutely. And actually we have a handyman Ofallon home maintenance program that will do that. We will come out in the spring and in the fall and we will perform a multipoint checklist for you. And you know, it’s inexpensive and it’s a good idea to have that done and take it off your mind knowing that your house is in good shape.

Donna:
Okay. Awesome, that is great information. So if someone is either wanting more information, what do they do? How do they get a hold of you?

Phil:
You can find us on the web@ www.rapidrepairpro.com and you can fill out a contact form and we’ll follow up with you right away or you can call us at 800-741-6056 And we’ll get an appointment scheduled for me to come out and and meet with you and go over what you’re looking for. We’ll take good care of you. You can check us out online and read our reviews, we have over 75 reviews now. We’re the highest rated handyman Ofallon provider in the entire area, and that’s because we take good care of our customers.

Donna:
I want to remind our handyman Ofallon listeners then also at this point that when you hire Phil you’re getting a plethora of expertise. He’s an HVAC contractor, and and electrical background. He is also a master carpenter. We have experience in moisture control and radon mitigation. So we’re very well rounded and there probably isn’t any area that we don’t have a very good base of knowledge about your home or your building, so you could hire him with confidence. So great. Well, great information. I hope this information was helpful for you and a good reminder of the importance of home maintenance and maybe a motivator for home maintenance. So please let rapid repair pro know if they can help you and anything else, that’s all I have. Okay, great. Hope y’all have a great rest of your day and thank you for joining us in our handyman Ofallon podcast and I’m look forward to hearing from you. Bye.