Life in the Pacific Northwest is not for the faint of heart, especially when it comes to home ownership. Moisture is the enemy of most fixtures, including roofs and crawl spaces, and this climate provides ongoing challenges in removing and diverting water that can cause enormous damage.
At Benny Sandrini Construction, owners Benny and Debbie Sandrini have seen it all, including a lot of preventable damage that occurred when people failed to do basic maintenance on their homes and it ended up costing them big.
“I care about our customers,” says Debbie. “Wouldn’t you rather save that money for a kitchen or bathroom remodel?”
Here are the Sandrinis’ top six suggestions for preventative maintenance for homeowners.
- Clean your gutters.
Regularly inspecting and clearing out your gutters will ensure that they don’t overflow and eventually fall off your house, says Debbie. Equally important, make sure your drains are working and the water is flowing freely. “When people think about their gutters, a lot of times they forget about the drains. Debris can get stuck in them, which makes the water puddle up and go under your foundation,” she explains.
- Clear your roof of moss and debris.
“Get up there and sweep it off,” says Debbie. “It will keep water from flowing into your gutters and it usually grows on the edge of your home, which will cause your fascia boards to rot and your roof to deteriorate faster.” She recommends Moss Out, a concentrate that can be used on roofs, decks, walks and patios. Two cans will cover an entire 2,500 square foot house, she notes.
- Change the filters in your furnace once a month.
“The easiest way to remember is to do it when your electrical bill comes,” says Debbie. “Even if you just suck them out with a vacuum cleaner, it will help them to work more efficiently.” For people with Cadet wall heaters or baseboard heaters, the grates need to be removed and cleaned.
- Put Rid-X in your septic system once a month or every sixty days.
For homeowners with septic systems, regular treatment will prevent them from backing up, especially during the cold and flu season, says Debbie. “When more people are sick, your sewer tends to get backed up.”
Shock your well at least once a year.
If your water comes from a well, dump two to three cups of bleach right at the wellhead and then run cold water through all the taps for at least 30 minutes, she recommends, especially the faucet that is furthest from the well. “It’s important to keep your well healthy. Most people shock their wells before they move into their house and then they never do it again. The earth moves, things shift, and it’s important to get bleach through all of the pipes.”
- Keep vents underneath the house open.
“This is very important,” says Debbie. “Homeowners are famous for closing off those vents. Don’t do that. The area underneath the house needs to have airflow in order to breathe. If those vents are blocked, the house will get moisture and dry rot, which will start to crawl up the walls. If the house doesn’t breathe, it’s not going to make it.”
For more information about Benny Sandrini Construction, visit Benny Sandrini Construction’s website or call 360-266-1302.