Spring Home Maintenance 101

Home Maintenance Blog

Spring has sprung! Longer days are here, warmer weather and sunshine. Even after a mild winter, by Northeast standards, it’s time to start those spring home upkeep projects.

After any winter, no matter how mild or harsh, you should check over your home’s exterior and address any damages that may have occurred over the cold winter months. Spring is also a great time to update curb appeal and give your home a face lift.

Suggested maintenance to-do’s:

  • Inspect your roof – make sure all shingles are in place and in good condition. Check for damage left from ice dams and correct those issues as they can cause major leaking. Also address mold or bacteria growth in shady spots.
  • Clean out your gutters – remove debris from gutters and downspouts to encourage proper drainage. Also address where the water exits the downspout and guide it away from the home.
  • Check caulk on windows and reseal any imperfections. This will help with heating and cooling efficiency; especially during the hot summer months when air conditioning is running.
  • Trim trees, bushes and shrubs – not only will your lawn look fresh and cleaned up, removing branches and stems near your home’s exterior will decrease the risk of damage.
  • Up your curb appeal – add new landscaping or refresh existing gardens with new flowering plants. Adding color to green space can really make a yard pop!
  • Take care of your deck and porches – reseal or paint wooden decks and porches to help protect them from the elements.
  • Paint it pretty – maintain the home’s exterior woodwork with a new coat of paint. If you have a wooden clapboard or shingled home consider giving it a real face lift with a whole new color scheme! Spring is a great time to change up the exterior of your home, so if you have been considering vinyl siding now is a great time to look into it.

Spring home maintenance is a great way to get out of the gloom of winter. By working on these projects you are maintaining the integrity of your home, giving your body the exercise it has missed all winter, and take in some wonderful fresh air. Plus by paying regular attention to these items you can save yourself a lot of money by preventing big problems. Being proactive can really pay off when you are a home owner!

Erin Miller is a Licensed Real Estate Salesperson with HUNT Real Estate ERA in Saratoga Springs, NY. In the past Erin has worked in the field of marketing, focusing in social media and internet marketing. She also holds excellent customer service skills and enjoys working in the community. Erin is looking forward to blending real estate and her other skills to provide a great experience for future clients in the Capital Region. Visit her website http://www.homeswitherinmiller.com

 

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It’s Vacation Time! Will Your Home Be Safe While You Are Away?

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It’s that time of year, when we all need a break from winter and going stir crazy in our homes, on vacation we go. With all of the preparations that are made to go on a vacation, it is easy to forget what you are leaving behind. Your home is your greatest asset. It holds all of your belongings, important documents, valuables and more. But it is truly the last thing you think about when you head out for great adventures.

So you may not want to go all out and hire a house sitter, or perhaps you have no one close you trust. If you own pets you may have no choice but to hire someone, unless they are traveling with you. Assuming you don’t want to have someone sit around your home for the duration of your trip, you leave your home exposed to unfortunate events.

Your home doesn’t have to be a fortress in order for you to leave to go on vacation, but it shouldn’t scream “lived in but currently vacant home” either. Below are some basic tips to help give you peace of mind while you are away.

  1. Make sure to lock all entries to your home – doors, windows, and any operable skylights.
  2. Remove or store any objects that may allow access to upper areas of your home like ladders.
  3. Outbuildings and garages should be secured as well. Many items we store in these areas are costly to replace.
  4. Use multiple timers for lights in your home. Set them at a variety of times, so if someone is watching your home they don’t pick up a scheduled pattern.
  5. Alert the post office and put a hold on mail. A build up of mail is a sure sign to a potential burglar that they have free reign to tour your home.
  6. Even if you don’t want a full time house sitter, see if someone you trust would stop by a few times during your absence; someone you know well and feel comfortable handing a key to. Chose wisely.
  7. If you have a safe that will fit them, place any valuables into it and lock it up. Just because you lock your doors doesn’t mean and intruder won’t get in. So keep your stuff safe.
  8. Install cameras. Many cameras these days are compatible with smartphone apps so you can see live what is happening in your home. Or place cameras to record, if someone does enter your home you have it all on video.
  9. Considering vacations are costly, you might not be able swing this, but have a security system installed. This way an automated system can notify you and the local police that a break in has occurred. It will also help monitor and report any incident of fire.
  10. Watch how much you are posting on social media. If you post to Facebook, tweet, or Instagram your every move, you may be sending out too much information to unwanted individuals. Check your security settings and know your friends list. Are these people you should be sharing your current out-of-town location to or should you hold off on posts until you get back?

Save yourself the heartache of a break-in and even worse the feeling of violation that comes with it. Be proactive in securing your home before taking any vacation. While you may not be able to do everything possible, at least you can feel comfortable that you did something.

Enjoy your stay!

Erin Miller is a Licensed Real Estate Salesperson with HUNT Real Estate ERA in Saratoga Springs, NY. In the past Erin has worked in the field of marketing, focusing in social media and internet marketing. She also holds excellent customer service skills and enjoys working in the community. Erin is looking forward to blending real estate and her other skills to provide a great experience for future clients in the Capital Region. Visit her website http://www.homeswitherinmiller.com