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HANDYMAN Q&A

Periodic Maintenance for the Home

March 05, 1995|POPULAR MECHANICS | FOR AP SPECIAL FEATURES

QUESTION: I pretty much understand the kind of seasonal maintenance that my car requires, but what do you suggest in the way of periodic maintenance for a house?

ANSWER: A house is not only a person's home, it's also in most cases, a major financial investment. And in order to maintain its value, a house must be maintained. If you've been putting off maintenance projects because of the heat and humidity of summer, the cool dry days of fall are a good time to catch up.

The following list is a generalized one in that it does not contain every maintenance item, and you may find that some of the items don't apply to your house. Still, it's a good place to start and you should expand it to meet your needs:

Grounds

--Check and repair concrete walkways. Look for areas that are susceptible to water damage.

--Seal driveway.

--Do fall pruning and lawn care. Spread mulch on flower beds.

House Exterior

--Clean gutters. Refasten loose gutter brackets. Check for missing strainers.

--Downspout sections should be properly installed, with upper section fitting into lower section.

--Check TV antenna for sturdiness. Antenna should not be attached to chimney.

--Trim tree limbs away from roof.

--Check visually for loose shingles, flashing.

--Repair damaged putty on windows and remove debris from windowsills.

Interior

--Replace smoke detector batteries. Check detector for operation.

--Replace damaged weatherstripping.

--Drain a couple of quarts of water from water heater to remove sediment.

--Have routine maintenance done furnace. Replace furnace filter and put several filters aside for winter months.

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