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Prevent foundation problems on your home

Published On: Nov 10 2011 10:18:18 AM CST
Updated On: Mar 07 2013 11:04:14 AM CST
concrete brick wall in basement

iStock/JuneStock

(NewsUSA) - Maintenance is a process that many Americans think only needs to be performed when something breaks or has a problem. But when we look into the meaning of the word "maintenance," what we will realize is that it actually refers to the upkeep and prevention of these problems.

The warmer seasons are a great time to check your house from the outside. Maintenance used as a preventative measure will both protect your house from larger problems and save you money in the long run. The following simple checklist by www.housemaster.com can help you make a thorough seasonal evaluation of your home.

The landscape: Check the condition of driveways and walkways. Window wells, dry wells and storm drains should be clear of blockage. Check retaining walls for cracks, bulges and leaning. You should trim bushes and trees and check out-buildings, porches and patios.

The foundation: Affirm that drainage is running away from foundation (best checked during a rainstorm). Look for settlement, cracks and flaking.

Siding and chimneys: Review surfaces for damage or deterioration, and check caulking at all joints. Treat or paint worn or exposed wood components. The condition of masonry chimneys and vents should also be evaluated.

Windows and doors: Replace or repair damaged screens or broken glass. Missing or worn weather stripping, caulking and window putty should also be replaced. Check for frame decay or damage and dirty or clogged screens.

Roofs: Replace loose, damaged or missing roofing. Leaks and moisture build-up in fascia and soffit areas should be fixed. Check the fit and seals around flashing. Clogged gutters and downspouts should be cleaned, as well as roof surfaces containing fungi or algae.

Porch and patio: Check wooden supports and railing components for safety, and check flooring for wear and damage.

Electrical and plumbing: Incoming service wire and supports should have no tears or holes. Exterior faucets should be checked for function and leaks.

Insect infestation: Contact an exterminator if you should find signs of termite, ant or other insect activity. Any insect damage should be repaired immediately following extermination.