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Regular Upkeep Makes Fix-Up Jobs Easier
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Spring is an opportune time for thorough cleanings and home maintenance that could prevent costly repairs later.
El Nino can even get the blame this year for a dirty house. The wet winter has likely left enough soil on carpets to justify a thorough spring cleaning. Changes in the seasons always offer a good chance to clean closets and discard old clothes.
"Much of the home maintenance is checking around the house to see what damage a season of bad weather and storms could have caused," said Dr. Frances Graham, housing specialist with Mississippi State University's Extension Service. "According to research, more than 50 percent of home repairs can be done by the homeowner."
Some basic check points include paint chipping, loose or missing roof shingles, attic vents with leaves and nests, drainage away from the house and clogged gutters and downspouts.
"Homeowners should make regular trips around the inside and outside foundation walls of their house to check for termite tubes and damaged wood," Graham said. "Brick homes are not immune from insect damage either. Watch for flying termites, and remove excess lumber and firewood from around the base of the house."
She said homeowners should realize that some home maintenance work and repairs are best left to the professionals.
"Don't attempt to undertake a major job you may not be capable of adequately finishing," Graham said. "A mistake by a do-it-yourselfer could end up costing much more than hiring a professional in the first place."
The housing specialist said spring is the ideal time to have a service call for inspection of all heating and cooling systems. Check for creosote build-up in the lining of the chimney. Chimney cleaning eliminates creosote buildup which could cause dangerous chimney fires.
For more information on home maintenance, contact the county Extension office and request publication No. 1505, "Checklist For Maintaining Your Home."