Question: Hi Robert, I am a first-time homeowner, young and without much handyman experience, being a tech-type guy. I am also new to your articles so not sure if you’ve covered this before, so please forgive me if you have. Would you mind please, listing things I should know to do to/for my home, for the rainy season? I hear that there are things to be done but am not aware of the actual list of things. I know we aren’t in a four-seasons area, but does this still apply? Thanks for your insight.
— Joshua W.
Answer: Joshua, congratulations on your first home purchase — you’re off to a great start for your future. This is a perfect question for someone like you and yes I’ve covered this each season, but it is never repeated enough — all great reminders even for the most experienced homeowners. Life gets busy and sometimes even us old guys forget some of the maintenance tasks. Here you go, my main list:
First, roofing. If you are able, access your roof carefully and examine the condition. You’ve likely had this recently inspected due to your purchase and (likely) inspection. It is a great idea for you to get your eyes up there and get an idea of what a roof looks like that is in good condition. You should see all tiles intact and in place, all penetrations (where vent pipes or any other items come out of the roof or are attached) sealed and without cracks in the sealant. Any issues like this, you will need to use Henry’s No. 208 to seal the cracks, then you can spray paint over it to match and reduce color differences.
Once your roof is clear of issues, check the gutters on the home. They should be intact, sloped properly and clear of debris.
Next, move down the house to examine any planters or adjacent areas to see that they are in good repair. By this, I mean you need to check that the planter soil/items are not above the weep screed area. This is where the foundation and either siding or stucco area meets. All soil needs to be well below this area, to prevent water intrusion. If the soil is above this, lower it immediately, before heavy rains come. Make this a priority.
Check trees in your yard — make sure they are in good health and that any winds will not have them fall onto your home.
Yards should have good drainage, away from the home. If they have area drains, give these a good test of water flow, making sure that there are no clogs of either roots or debris. Any blockages of area drains could lead to a backup of water in the yard and, ultimately, into your home from the above-mentioned weep screed area.
If you check these areas annually and immediately take care of any areas lacking, you should have emergency-free seasons.
Best of luck to you, and always keep up on your home maintenance — it’s the single biggest investment most people make and often take for granted, when it comes to maintenance. Be well.
Robert Lamoureux has more than 40 years of experience as a general contractor, with separate licenses in electrical and plumbing contracting. He owns IMS Construction Inc. in Valencia. His opinions are his own, not necessarily those of The Signal. Opinions expressed in this column are not meant to replace the recommendations of a qualified contractor after that contractor has made a thorough visual inspection. Email questions to Robert at [email protected].