Posts Tagged ‘Home Improvement’

Summertime Prep: A Comprehensive Pool Inspection

Posted on: April 25th, 2016 | No Comments

Woman relaxes after getting a pool inspection.A pool inspection is highly recommended at the beginning of each summer, or optimally in the spring. That way, a swimming pool can either be deemed safe and clean for your enjoyment or you can proceed with the proper repairs to ensure that it’s ready for summer use! Yearly repairs also help maintain a pool so that the expenses for upkeep remain manageable. Otherwise, a pool that is left to fall into disrepair could produce a hefty fee for replacement or removal.

 

Typical pool inspection includes an assessment of the following key safety and health components:

  • The presence, absence, and state of child-safe barriers
  • The security and safety of handrails, slides, ladders, and diving boards
  • Proper cleaning system function
  • The maintenance of interior and exterior finish materials (EX: steps, decks, and coping)
  • Checking for cross-connections within the water supply system
  • Ensuring the external bonds between pump motors, heaters, blowers, and other equipment
  • The operation of electronic circuits, underwater lighting, circuit interrupters, and conduits
  • System-wide observation of valves, piping, pumps, filters, drains, heaters, and safety controls

Do you think your home pool and spa may be out-of-date or need repair? Before you jump in this summer, Inspect-It 1st! That way, you can have peace of mind that your family and friends will be safe as they enjoy pool parties and daily swims.

 

A pool inspection is also beneficial when buying or selling a home. Aside from being a way to ensure safety, it also protects your interests as a seller or buyer, much like a typical home inspection for things like roofing, siding, paint, foundation, patio, plumbing, electrical, and ventilation. If you’re in the middle of a home sale or purchase, consider Inspect-It 1st. With Inspect-It 1st, you can group your inspection needs for features inside and outside of the home, including the comprehensive pool inspection. Inspect-It 1st does it all!

DIY Spring Curb Appeal Landscaping

Posted on: April 12th, 2016 | No Comments

Curb appeal landscaping helps in a house sale.Curb appeal landscaping should be top priority now that the winter months are blowing away and spring is on the horizon. An overgrown or neglected garden may make the first impression in your potential house sale, turning buyers off before they ever make it through the door. That means less money in your pocket as well as a longer time on the market.

 

To remedy the situation, you have options. You may choose to hire a professional landscaping team. This option reduces your net profit on the sale but also reduces the time spent on preparations. However, with a little research and a free weekend, you can turn a drab yard into an appealing green oasis.

 

In getting your property ready to go on the market, utilize these five steps for DIY spring curb appeal landscaping:

  1. Assessment – Start your curb appeal landscaping endeavor by assessing the size and scope of the project. How much ground do you have to cover? Which areas present hazards or need complete revamping? Are there any features that work or should be highlighted, such as a particularly lovely oak tree? Make a plan for each area, but don’t overdo it. You want to showcase the yard as beautiful to many different tastes, and that means letting the buyer fill in the blanks, so-to-speak. Give them some freedom of movement with your choices. And ultimately, showcase the house!
  2. Cleanup – Your yard may include dead or fallen branches and trees to clear away or grass that needs to be ripped up. Maybe the soil should be tilled or weeds need clearing. Whatever green you take away, consider sending it to a green waste recycling facility.
  3. Irrigation – Now that the yard is primarily clear and uncluttered, you may want to assess or upgrade the irrigation system. Are there sprinkles in appropriate places? If not, are they needed? Perhaps you are building a low-maintenance yard or the house is in a dry climate. Take note of these things before proceeding.
  4. Planting – Finally, it’s time to plant! Follow your plan from the assessment step, adding life and color to your yard in a way that would catch your eye if YOU were seeing it for the first time. It need not be an expensive upgrade. A few flowers around a tree, in front of the house, or along a stone path can be a nice, welcoming touch!
  5. Fertilizer and Finish – Step back, take a breather, and congratulate yourself on a job well-done. Observe how the yard develops within the next week or two. If grass, plants, flowers, etc. need a little nudge to get going, add some fertilizer. Also, if your house was already on the market, be sure to ask your realtor to use updated house photos.

Are you ready to sell? Along with proper preparations and staging, don’t forget to Inspect-It 1st! A house inspection by the current owner goes a long way toward encouraging a quick and profitable house sale. Contact Inspect-It 1st today at (877) 392-6278.

Best Home Renovations for Value

Posted on: June 26th, 2015 | No Comments

homes-for-sale-326998_1280Not all home renovations yield the same results. When you’re considering a home renovation, no matter how big or small, it’s important to analyze the reasons why you are doing the remodel. Many people choose to customize areas of their home to fit their needs and desires. This is great while you’re living in the home, but it may not always be the best option for resale. Here are a few home renovations that will give you the best return on investment.

 

  • Kitchen. Perhaps you have heard the phrase, “you’re not selling a home, you’re selling the kitchen.” This is because the kitchen is often a make-or-break feature for many home buyers. If you have a substantial budget, opening up a kitchen with a complete renovation can make the space feel larger and more inviting. Even if you have a smaller budget, updating appliances, cabinets, and a fresh coat of paint can help you see a decent return on your investment.
  • Bathroom. An outdated bathroom can be an eyesore for potential buyers. Get rid of any dated hardware, faucets, and tile, and upgrade to something clean and neutral. Try not to get too gender specific with coloring, especially in a master bathroom.
  • Attic Bedroom. Some homes have the perfect layout for an attic bedroom. While these can be expensive, they can return a fair amount of your investment, especially in a smaller home with few bedrooms.
  • Basement. An unfinished space in the home, such as a basement, is often the best place to enhance your property with a home renovation. Adding an extra bedroom and bathroom to a basement can increase the value of your home significantly.
  • Flooring. While this may not seem important, an outdated space with old carpet can feel stodgy. Renewing the home, or even just a few rooms, with a flooring upgrade can make everything feel clean and fresh.

Things to keep in mind when choosing home renovations:

  • Styles change quite frequently. Don’t renovate your home in a style that will be outdated by the time you want to sell. On the other hand, if you’re looking to sell right away, choosing something that is currently trendy may actually attract more potential buyers.
  • Don’t overdo it. It’s easy to get carried away with home renovations. Going over the top with updates in an older neighborhood won’t yield as high of a return as you might expect. Updates are good, but it’s important to know when enough is enough.
  • Keep things in balance. An updated room is great, but it can quickly be forgotten if the rest of the house falls short. If you have a budget for home renovations, commit a small amount to updating the rest of the home with a fresh coat of paint. Pain can make a huge difference.

Home renovations can be an exciting project or a major headache. If you are uncomfortable handling a project, we highly recommend you hire a licensed contractor. Also, before you start any home renovations, it’s important to research any permits you may need to acquire. When it does come time to sell, the home inspection experts at Inspect-It 1st® will be happy to give you an honest and thorough inspection of your home.

A Flooded Basement: Prevent to Protect

Posted on: March 31st, 2015 | No Comments

Basement flooding coming through the back door.A flooded basement can happen for a number of reasons, most of them having nothing to do with leaving a window or cellar door open. In other words, it’s not your fault! Houses age, and just like people, their joints begin to wear down and functioning efficiently becomes more difficult.

If a basement develops pooling or settling water, it can have devastating effects on the health of residents as well as weakening the foundation and creating a safety hazard. The first step to eliminating the problem or preventing it altogether is addressing the possible causes. Let’s take a look at a few of these aging structural concerns that may lead to a flooded basement:

  • Old Plumbing – Older homes use older building materials that may have been the best quality at the time but are now outdated and inefficient. One example is clay piping for a home’s plumbing system. Clay becomes softer and more brittle over time, causing it to be susceptible to being infested with roots. This can break pipes and cause major leaks which end up as a flooded basement and a headache.
  • Cracked Foundation – A foundation is not only a strong base for the structure of your home, but also a barrier to the outside. When it becomes cracked from age, stress, or even natural disaster, the outside elements can get through. This includes things like water or even weeds, insects, and rodents depending on the size of the crack or hole.
  • Sloped Yard – There can also be water seepage through a solid foundation or pooling and draining through walls. This seems to happen most often with houses whose yards slope toward the home. Water from rainfall or even sprinklers will drain down the slope and pool against the wall or down the wall into the foundation.

If you think your flooded basement is due to one of these causes or you suspect that your basement will flood, don’t despair. Each one of them can be addressed – even before any water pools. Here are some correction methods for flooded basement prevention:

  • Install a New Plumbing System – Just like joints can be rebuilt and reinforced, so too can a house’s pipes. Clay is only supposed to last 50-60 years, so just replace the piping when it starts to break down. This can cost anywhere from $2,000-20,000 and is usually estimated by foot of pipe. The bigger your home, the more money it will cost.
  • Patching Cracks – It is possible to patch foundation cracks on your own. Most hydraulic cements do an adequate job and can last a few years. However, a more permanent fix isn’t too much more expensive. An epoxy-ejection system can fill in the crack completely and permanently for around $60 per tube. That’s considerably more cost effective than covering flood damage.
  • A New Yard Gradient – Leveling out the gradient of your yard can be a positive thing, not only by reducing basement leaks, but also for the aesthetic and usability of the yard. A level yard will incur less pooling and fewer weeds. A firmer ground also means fewer rodents. Additionally, it uncovers or brings in new soil that will offer more enrichment for grass or a garden. Moving dirt around to level your yard can cost anywhere from $15-30 per yard. So once again, the full cost depends on the size of the yard and the problem.

Don’t let a flooded basement affect the integrity, stability, or comfortability of your home – especially when there are affordable solutions and people to help. If you suspect any one of these issues listed above, don’t hesitate to contact Inspect It 1st for quality inspection services. Being informed and getting the repairs taken care of quickly can ease your mind, protect your home investment, and – most importantly – protect your family.

Safety During Small Bathroom Renovations

Posted on: March 16th, 2015 | No Comments

Small bathroom renovations can be fun and financially beneficial for a DIYer, but every home renovation should be tempered with a little caution. Renovation usually means taking out your handy tool box and loosening some screws here and there or dismantling something. And any time you dismantle something, there’s a chance to uncover a problem in the bare bones beneath. But for small bathroom renovations, it could potentially mean altering or damaging the plumbing as well.

Here are some cautions to take with small bathroom renovations:

  • Man working on a small bathroom renovation. Paint – Believe it or not, lead paint is a possibility inside the home just as much as outside. In a bathroom especially, baseboards with lead paint might peel and flake from the moisture in the air and over time create a serious health hazard. Remove old paint rather than painting over it to ensure this toxin doesn’t stick around. CAUTION: Lead paint is hazardous to breathe, and many states require a specific contractor for proper removal. However, if you elect to do it yourself, remember to:
    • Wear a mask.
    • Move all other objects out of the bathroom so they are not contaminated.
    • Cover any objects that can’t be moved with polyethylene plastic.
    • Cover the door with poly to contain the air contamination.
    • Shut off heat, air conditioning, and other ventilation systems.
  • Walls/Tile – Before you start breaking down walls to renovate or popping up vinyl tiles, be aware that asbestos could be lurking. Just like with lead paint, particles may be released into the air and cause a serious health hazard, putting you and your loved ones at risk for lung cancer and disease. If you find asbestos, you may be required to notify certain agencies, depending on your state. Either way, you’ll definitely want a professional to guide you through the removal process.
  • Plumbing – If part of your renovation requires something even as small as putting in a new toilet, there is the opportunity to crack pipes or uncover old or leaky plumbing. Older houses may even have clay pipes that become infested with roots or other debris and have cracked over time. To avoid flooding, sewer backups, and other costly issues, simply have an inspector check the system while the renovations are taking place.

If carried out correctly and with the right precautions, small bathroom renovations can pay for themselves. How? By increasing the value of your home. Not to mention, they can provide clean and fresh updates to old and inefficient layouts or conditions. In short, they can make your family more comfortable. So don’t be discouraged by the cautions; they are only meant to make sure your work turns out spotless and safe!

During small bathroom renovations, you might come across plumbing that you believe is old or inefficient. Or maybe you find mold and a leak behind some bathroom tiles. Carrying out the renovations on your own doesn’t mean you should deal with potential problems on your own. Before you cover up that mold stain or ignore the voice in the back of your head, Inspect It 1st! A skilled home inspector from Inspect It 1st can give you the peace of mind that your plumbing is solid or give you the knowledge you need to have it repaired. Small bathroom renovations may not be easy, but they can be done safely and help you keep your loved ones safe, too!

Bathroom Safety Tips from Inspect-It 1st

Posted on: July 14th, 2014 | No Comments

Bathroom safetyBathroom safety is a challenge in many homes. This room is often overlooked when it comes to safety measures, but it can be one of the most dangerous places in the house. In fact, according to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, every year about 235,000 people over age 15 visit emergency rooms because of injuries suffered in the bathroom. What do you know when it comes to bathroom safety in your home? Inspect-It 1st has collected 8 bathroom safety tips that can be implemented to protect you and your family from hazards in the bathroom.

  1. Use anti-slip rugs on the floors. When wet, these surfaces can be extremely slippery. Putting down pads and rugs will help prevent this. Bonus: Get a memory foam rug for extra cushioning and comfort on your toes!
  2. Use anti-slip mats in the bathtub or shower. It’s also important to make sure soap scum doesn’t build up in the tub to keep it from getting too slippery as well. Be sure to keep the tub clean to counteract slippery soap scum or mold.
  3. Clean your bathtub or shower frequently to remove mold or mildew. These are not only allergens, but also can cause stains and damage to the infrastructure of your bathroom.
  4. Install grab bars or rails in bathtub, shower and around the toilet. These are perfect for stability and can help if someone begins to slip.
  5. Use night lights and other lighting to illuminate the room during the day and night. Evening trips to the bathroom should be illuminated to avoid falls.
  6. Install electrical outlets with a ground-fault circuit interrupter to prevent surges and shocks. All outlets should be safely out of contact with water as well for obvious reasons. Bonus: Insert shock guards when outlets aren’t in use, especially when children are around.
  7. Lock the medicine cabinet. If you don’t have a locking cabinet, use childproof locks or request childproof medicine bottles to prevent accidental poisoning.
  8. Know your water temperature. Use a thermometer, and make sure the temperature doesn’t exceed 140º F. Temperatures above this marker can burn skin. (The same goes for pets, too!) Bonus: Lower your utility bill by reducing the temperature of your water heater to 120º F. This uses less energy and prevents scalding hot water from even reaching the bathtub or shower.  

The bathroom is filled with potential hazards, especially when water is involved. These simple bathroom safety recommendations can help protect both you and your family. Consider each of the suggestions above and evaluate your bathroom accordingly.

 

Gutter Cleaning for Beginners

Posted on: June 9th, 2014 | No Comments

Gloved hand performing yearly gutter cleaning.In a previous blog, we mentioned gutter cleaning as an essential part of any spring house cleaning checklist. We received a number of questions about this topic and wanted to answer all of them for you! After reading this, you’ll know most everything you need to about gutter cleaning and maintenance. Then, you can decide whether this task is a DIY project you want to take on yourself or project you’d prefer to hire someone else to do.

 

The importance of gutter cleaning cannot be understated. Gutters only work when they are free of debris and organic matter. If this is not removed, there is a risk of the gutters overflowing and consequently –  water pouring off your roof into the ground below. Water can also seep into the eaves of your home causing damage that could otherwise be avoided. To avoid these issues, it is a good habit to clean gutters at least once a year – twice to be on the safe side.

 

The first thing to take into account when doing your own gutter cleaning is safety. Roofs can be dangerous so take precautions to prevent slips and falls, especially from taller roofs. Be sure to use a sturdy ladder when climbing to the level of your gutters. Some people prefer to stay on the ladder when pulling out the debris and organic matter in gutters, others like to get on the roof directly to clean them out. Either way, being aware of your surroundings, footing and balance are all important to avoid falls. Appropriate apparel, including shoes with a heavy tread and wearing lightweight breathable fabrics can make gutter cleaning a safer and more pleasant experience.

 

Once you’ve prepared for the cleaning it’s time to dive in. Most of what you will find when doing your annual gutter cleaning is decomposing leaves, branches and other organic matter – all great for compost bins! Instead of throwing on the grass to fertilize your lawn, consider raking as much as you can into a compost pile or simply an area of yard where you like to put yard waste. You won’t believe what great fertilizer it will make next spring.

 

While you’re on the ladder gutter cleaning, be sure to pay close attention to the downspouts as organic material can flow down and get stuck. Once you have determined these are clean, make sure you also have a splash block at the bottoms of your downspouts to keep the water from eroding the ground at the base and potentially causing water problems in your home’s foundation.

 

Once you have emptied the gutters, the gutter cleaning can truly begin. Power washers are a perfect way to remove dirt and other materials from your gutters and can be rented at a resonable price from your local hardware store. Anyone who’s used a power washer once knows how fun it can actually be – you’ll find yourself looking for all sorts of outdoor projects that could use a deep clean after winter! When gutter cleaning with a power washer, be careful not to apply too much pressure straight onto the gutters, but rather spray at an angle. If you notice the gutters appear to be unsturdy, consider purchasing new spikes to reattach your gutters to the rafters inside. Over time, these can tend to work themselves out but are easy to replace.

 

Caulking cracks and leaks can also help prevent rotting in the eaves and other damage to your home or gutters. Scrape out old caulk with a chisel, allow the space to dry, then apply new bead silicone. Finally, check downspouts to ensure they are still riveted to the house. If not, reattach them with a rivet gun which can be purchased affordably at your local hardware store as well.

 

Gutter cleaning isn’t the most glamorous yard work, but it is incredibly important. By following the suggestions we have provided above, you can be assured your gutters will do their job during the next rainstorm. Not super excited to get up on your roof, or even stand on a ladder? Most professional landscaping crews offer gutter cleaning services.

 

Learn more about spring home upkeep in our previous blogs on exterior improvements and spring lawn care. Considering a move in the near future? These improvements can not only boost curb appeal but also property value. Home inspectors, like those at Inspect It 1st, examine not only a home’s interior but the exterior as well and assess for any hazards or other modifications that may need to be made. Download our Top 5 Exterior Home Maintenance Tips PDF to learn more. Or, for a full list of inspection services, click here.

 

Home Window Replacement Choices

Posted on: May 25th, 2014 | No Comments

A man doing his own home window replacement.Home window replacement can be quite the undertaking. There are a number of variables to consider when purchasing them. It can be staggering and frankly, an overwhelming process. There is much to consider – from materials and styles to prices and ease of install, picking the right windows for your home will take time and patience. The biggest difference between window varieties is generally what they are made of. Of course, all windows have glass panes, but the materials that surround the glass can include vinyl, fiberglass, wood or aluminium.

 

Wood – This classic building material is known for it’s natural beauty. Wood can also can be easily painted or stained to change it’s natural appearance. In the past, wood has been considered a top-notch building material, but it’s propensity to rot and it’s susceptibility to termites means it has become less appealing to homeowners. Still, new weather stripping techniques and hardware innovations can eliminate draft and other imperfections in these windows. One major pitfall with wood frames is the maintenance. You should check them on a yearly basis for rot, termite damage, cracks and other weather damage. When choosing wood for your home window replacement project, keep in mind the environmental impacts as well. To ensure environmental responsibility, purchase your windows from producers that are certified by the Forest Stewardship Council.

 

Vinyl – The most common home window replacement choice is vinyl. These low cost and durable windows are also energy efficient, making them attractive to residential buyers. Vinyl windows are waterproof and impervious to things like termites and moisture – which can lead to rotting. Vinyl is also an excellent insulator and because they are so lightweight, they can be easily installed by an ambitious DIY-er. One drawback of vinyl is the appearance, the seams are not attractive and factory direct colors are generally white and tan with a few other colors available by special order. Epoxy-based paints appear to adhere but the constant expansion and contraction of the material can cause cracking that would require touch ups. Finally, the process and materials used to create vinyl windows may be long lasting, but the sustainability of the PVC creation process and the chemicals released during its long decomposition do not lend these windows well to the term “environmentally friendly”.

 

Fiberglass – The popularity of fiberglass windows is on the rise. These durable, attractive and energy efficient models generally run about double the price of vinyl, but the maintenance-free aspect and longevity make them well worth the investment. Additionally, these frames come in a variety of colors, including a convincing wood finish – and can be easily painted. There are also frames available with a wood interior and an exterior sash that can be painted to your personal preferences. Because these frames are hollow, manufactures have chosen to inject insulation into this space, making fiberglass windows excellent insulators. Worried about your home window replacement carbon footprint? Fiberglass is easy to fabricate and therefore has a lower embedded energy factor and low energy is required to produce them.

 

Aluminium – Aluminium‘s strength and durability make it a favorite of architects by allowing more space for glass however, these windows do carry a higher price point and are therefore less popular with consumers. Aluminum comes is huge range of colors and finishes that are long lasting and tough. Unfortunately, aluminum is not an effective insulator and does corrode in salty air, so it should not be installed in coastal climates. Its low energy efficiency does not outweigh the recyclability of aluminum.

 

The four options listed above are of course not the only choices for your home window replacement project. Glass blocks, awnings and jalousie windows all offer aesthetic differentiation, interest and beauty wherever they are installed. By researching your options and comparing the factors important to your specific project, you can ensure that you choose the best windows. When installing your new windows, be sure to hire someone who is experienced with the material you have chosen to use. Proper installation is important not only for energy efficiency reasons but should you ever choose to sell, home inspectors, like those at Inspect-It 1st, examine your windows for proper installation and upkeep.

 

Looking for a trustworthy home inspector for your sale? Inspect-It 1st is the Nation’s Premier Property Inspection Franchise. Find a qualified home inspector near you!

Spring Lawn Care – Greening Your Garden

Posted on: April 24th, 2014 | No Comments

Spring lawn care - green grass.In our last blog, we provided tips on spring cleaning for your home’s exterior including tips for lawns and flowerbeds. Spring lawn care can be vitally important for improving the look of your home, as well as encouraging biodiversity around your property. Learn more about how to get started with your yard below. Before you know it, you’ll be a certified green thumb! After you’re done, drop in a comment with your favorite spring traditions involving your home’s lawn and garden.

 

First things first, assess the situation. How does your lawn look? Are your flowerbeds a mess of old growth and debris from a long winter? Understanding what may cause issues and what to address first will help you to prioritize and move forward with your plan of attack. Be sure to wait until the grass has perked up after a long winter so new growth has a chance to grow in.

 

Once your lawn has had time to settle in, it’s time to give it a good cut. Be sure your blades are sharpened so they will slice the blades of grass, rather than tear them. Next, it’s time to rake. Remove thatch from the surface of the soil. By removing this debris you allow air to circulate near the soil and help to dispel any snow mold that may have formed, especially in colder northern climates. Now that air can reach the soil below, aeration is the next step. Rent an aerator from your local hardware store and run it over the entire lawn so water and air have the ability to seep into the soil and feed your grass.

 

Seeding your lawn can now begin. Seed any thin spots or places that are bare with grass seed meant for your climate and and lawn. Fertilizer is also important, especially if you did not fertilize last fall. Make sure to pick a fertilizer that is formulated for spring as it will give your lawn the nutrients it needs to start the season out strong. After all this work, upkeep should be somewhat straightforward. Simply water and cut the grass regularly and remove any debris or weeds to keep your lawn healthy. Next fall, be sure to fertilize as well as remove any weeds that may have popped up.

Now that your lawn is all ready, it’s time to turn to the garden.

 

Much like the lawn, it’s important not to start too early. In cold climates especially, you should wait until the temperatures are consistently above freezing before uncovering your flowerbeds. Once you reach this point in the spring, it’s okay to uncover and clean out the beds. Remove any debris, mulch or garbage that may have gotten into the flowerbed during the winter months.

 

Once you have cleaned out the bed, you can go ahead and prep the soil. Get a good mix of manure, decomposed organic matter and soil from the bed. Filling the flowerbeds with healthy soil will help fertilize the plants and flowers you will be planting throughout the rest of the growing season. Be sure to edge the garden as well to prevent grass from entering the flowerbed.

 

While you wait to clean the garden, you can start seedlings in your home. Using a small grow light, you can start some of your favorite plants indoors so they are big enough to plant when the time comes. You can also begin pruning headier plants in the early spring. Cut back shrubs and woody plants to promote new growth. Just don’t get too carried away with the pruning as it can kill the plant.

 

Once you have prepped the flowerbeds and your seedlings are large enough to plant, it’s time to get digging. Try setting up the garden a few different ways to determine what you think looks best. Then, plant away! Avoid handling your plants too much as the added stress can break their stems and prevent them from growing. Dig a deep enough hole, place the plant in the ground, cover the roots, and pack the dirt lightly to ensure the plant is secure. Once your entire flower bed is planted, give it a good watering – but be careful not to overwater and drown the roots.

 

Spring lawn care can set you up for a very bountiful and beautiful lawn and garden. Not sure where to start when creating your garden space? Try looking at local gardening catalogues to get an idea of flowers you may like or walk through a local garden center to find your favorites and get inspiration. Be sure to find plants that are suitable for your climate. You can find your climate/planting zone through the National Gardening Association.

 

Spring Cleaning – Conquer Curb Appeal

Posted on: April 3rd, 2014 | No Comments

Spring cleaning a deck. Spring cleaning isn’t just for closets and crawl spaces. Spring is the perfect time to get outside and clean up your home’s exterior, too. Springtime is the time to rejuvenate your gardens and lawn, clean the patio and gutters, and even the garage. Feeling a bit overwhelmed by this seemingly endless list of to-do’s? We’ve put together an easy outline of a few of the biggest areas you can start with.

Garage:

  • Sort everything – Go through boxes, corners and rafters. Get rid of things you haven’t used and things that are broken or worn out. Be sure to donate and recycle what you can! Also, bring hazardous waste to your local recycling place for proper disposal.
  • Plan and get organized – Buy shelving units, plastic storage containers and peg board to keep things off the floor and out of high traffic areas. Measuring total amount of space available first before you go out to purchase those items is a good idea.
  • Don’t backslide – Keep up on cleaning tasks throughout the rest of the year. Next year’s spring cleaning won’t be such and overhaul.

Lawn:

  • Rake the lawn to perk up the dormant blades of grass and remove any dead matted grass.
  • Aerate to ensure oxygen and water can reach the roots.
  • Fertilize your newly aerated grass to ensure the right nutrients are available for your grass to start the spring off strong.
  • And don’t forget to water your grass each week!

Gardens

  • Clean the flower beds: Remove debris including grass, leaves, litter or anything that’s not supposed to be in there.
  • Weed: Get the pesky dandelions and other weeds away from your plants so they don’t steal nutrients from your budding flowers.
  • Prune trees and shrubs: Encourage new growth by pruning back dead branches.
  • Mulch: Keep weeds from growing by putting mulch in your flower beds.
  • Bonus: Create a compost pile for all the yard waste you’ve removed. It will be great fertilizer for next spring!

Home Exterior and Patio

  • Gutters: Clean any yard waste that has accumulated in your gutters. If you aren’t comfortable getting on a ladder, most lawn services can be hired to clean them out.
  • Windows: Remove and clean screens and windows.
  • Patio: Sweep and inspect your patio for cracks, splinters or other potential hazards. Determine the best cleaning method for the material it’s made out of and give it a good scrub. Hose down any patio furniture to remove dirt and cobwebs. Clean your grill and check outdoor lighting fixtures to ensure everything is in working order.
  • Fencing: Check to make sure there are no holes in your fence that need repairing and that footings are still strong.

Looking to sell? Spring is a great time for home sales – and curb appeal is something to keep in mind. Home inspectors check both the interior and the exterior of your home. Exterior outlets, lighting, spigots, fences, windows, siding, roofs and gutters are all inspected for hazards or defects. By taking stock of your exterior each year during spring cleaning, you can catch these problems and repair them in a timely manner. For more information about what to expect from an inspection, check out our maintenance checklist.

 

Spring is a time for renewal. By prepping your home’s exterior during spring cleaning, summer and fall will be that much more beautiful around your home. Once you’ve conquered the backyard, it will be the perfect excuse to host the first barbecue of the season! Enjoy!

Our home inspection company's history began in 1991 with the establishment of American Home Inspection. Over the course of the following seven years, a home inspection business prototype was developed that could be implemented anywhere in the United States. Our founders believed they had a unique methodology of providing homebuyers and sellers with consistent, professional and unbiased home inspections.

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