Thursday, 13 November 2008

Home Maintenance and Repair Projects

Why do so few women choose the skilled trades as a career?Image: MS Office
Keywords: construction, industry, occupations, tools, women
Home maintenance and repair projects are projects that are required to be completed to maintain the integrity of your home. They would include certain essential elements in your home such as roofing, exterior painting, window upgrades, furnace upgrade and electrical amperage capacity (at least 100 Amp). These home maintenance and repair projects should always be a priority on your list of to-do maintenance projects.
Below is a list of some of the more significant home maintenance and repair projects that need to be checked and to have completed before you try and sell your home.
  • Roof and Flashing: Make sure the roof does not leak. If leakage is occurring have it fixed immediately. The most probable cause is a result of flashing failure. Check flashing around the chimney, walls, etc. Make sure broken shingles are replaced. Check to make sure tree branches and leaves are not touching the roof.
  • Chimney: Make sure the bricks are not loose or missing mortar. If they are, have the bricks tuck pointed to prevent water leakage and structural failure. Check that the roof flashing around the chimney is in good shape and does not have any gaps or openings for water to penetrate.
  • Gutters and Downspouts: Make sure these are clean and flowing well. If they are clogged, clean and flush the gutters and downspouts. Clogged gutters are the source of many problems such as paint failure, leaks, wood rot and sagging gutters. Improper downspout outlets are also a problem that can cause water in the basement and cracked foundation walls. Make sure the downspout outlet drains AWAY from the house on soil that is sloping away from the house. If downspouts are allowed to drain into the house or into crocks that run to the basement or foundation, water problems can occur including ground settlement resulting in cracking of the basement wall.
  • Brick Wall: Make sure that the brick wall is solid and in good repair. Replace damaged brick including cracked brick and tuck point any missing mortar joints.
  • Foundation: Repair any cracks in the foundation wall. If you see cracks check that the downspouts are not draining into the house foundation and footings. Downspouts and the yard should drain away from the house. If the basement wall cracks are severe, you may need structural repairs including foundation underpinning. This is serious and you need to consult an expert foundation repair contractor.
  • Plumbing Fixtures: Check that the plumbing fixtures are in good working order. Identify the type of faucets you have and replace any leaking washers or cartridges if the faucet leaks. Check the drainage of toilets and sinks and unclog as necessary.
  • Electrical System: If you have only 60 Amp service this will need to upgrade your electrical service panel to 100 Amps. Make sure all switches work and all outlets are properly grounded (if your home has 3-prong outlets) and that GFCI outlets are installed as per code in the Kitchen and Bathrooms. If you have 2-prong ungrounded outlets in your Kitchen or Bathrooms, upgrade to GFCI outlets in these areas.
  • Furnace: Make sure the furnace has clean air filters and is in good working order by performing a seasonal furnace checkup.
These are just some of the key home repair and maintenance areas. There are many more, but you get the idea. Take a good look at your home from a critical buyer’s perspective and you will see what basic home repairs are needed before venturing onto cosmetic home improvement.

Deborah McKenna
Senior Construction Project Management / Interior Designer
Wo-Built Inc.

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