$ SAVING REPAIRS FOR HOME AND YARD
As fall approaches the Brazos Valley, we look forward to cooler temperatures . More and more people will venture away from the comfort of their air conditioners to enjoy barbeques, picnics, hiking…..and the rest of us, who chose to put off working in the heat, will be forced to resume our dreaded “honey-do” list. This is the stuff around the house that we know we need to do, should have already done and, of course, want to get done before cold weather sneaks up on us.
You may have noticed a few eye sores around your home that need to be addressed like old paint, a worn deck, or saplings sprouting from your gutters. Here are some smart fixes that might save you some time and money.
- If you have old, flaking paint, it doesn’t just look ugly but it can let in moisture, exposing the wood to the elements and promoting structural rot. Before you paint, it’s important to prep. Be sure to scrape and sand off the old paint and carefully power-wash the surface so that the new paint will stick. ( If your house was built before 1978, anyone you hire should be certified by the Environmental Protection Agency and follow safety precautions for lead.) A gallon of paint can cover about 400 square feet, so to save money on the big jobs, use a paint that can satisfy as a primer too and buy it in 5 gallon containers. This can cut the cost in half!
- If paint is not your problem, you may have just a worn out finish on your deck, stairs or handrails. Worn, flaking finishes no longer protect the wood, leading to fading, cracking, splintering (OUCH!) and mold. Opaque finishes last longest but form a coating on the surface that might need to be sanded before a new finish can go on. Semitransparent and clear finishes wear off sooner but they penetrate the wood and rarely need sanding. That’s a plus for decks built before 2004, normally made with arsenic-laced CCA lumber!
- And, if your sights are set little higher, clogged gutters may be demanding your attention. They should be cleaned annually to avoid any debris build up causing rain to flow over the side. A free-flowing gutter should also have leaders off the ends of the downspouts that extend at least 5 feet out from the house and the soil around the foundation should slope at least one inch per foot for 6 feet or more. Water should not be allowed to collect around the foundation, as this could lead to unwanted settling, cracks and leaks. Gutter guards are the best way to go. The screens resist debris and torrential rain and cost about 30 cents per foot to install yourself.
By doing regular home maintenance we can avoid expensive home repairs that can occur with continued neglect.
For your real estate needs in Bryan/College Station please call David and Debbie Whitener at 979-587-9979.