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Benjamin Franklin said, "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure." While we may think of health when we hear these words, the famous American quote has a lot of wisdom for modern homeowners.

Routine maintenance and care could make the difference between a home sweet home and a homeowner's nightmare. And since Spring is here and you're cleaning the windows, dusting the baseboards and organizing that kitchen drawer, you may as well add these home maintenance chores to your Spring Cleaning list. They're simple, inexpensive and may save you a lot money.

  1. Roof - Visibly inspect your roof. Look for tiles or shingles that are lifting, pieces of flashing that may be damaged or missing. Look at the fascia board to make sure none is damaged. If you aren't comfortable getting on the roof, inspect from the ground or call a roofer. 

  2. Exterior Walls - Check for signs of water damage especially around downspout and gutters. Also inspect for holes and crevices that insects may use to burrow into the home. Have a look at your awning and shutters to make sure they are affixed properly.

  3. Foundation - Make sure trees and bushes aren't growing too close to the home and that water doesn't pool against the foundation. Depending on the size of the tree or shrub, plants should be at least 2 feet from the foundation. Water should drain quickly away from the home.
     
  4. Windows - Make sure the windows open and close properly and the lock mechanisms work. Repair any cracked or missing sealant. A good seal will help keep your cooling costs down in the coming Summer months.

  5. Sinks - Inspect for leaks under the kitchen and bathroom sinks. Make sure the pipes are dry.

  6. Air Conditioner - Change the filter, check the hoses for leaks, make sure it's draining properly. If you think you may need some professional service, this is the best time to do it. Air conditioning companies get busy in the hot summer months and that could mean waiting for service and paying a premium.

  7. Appliances - Make sure all your appliances are working properly. Give them all a thorough cleaning. Check the connections on anything with water - ice cube makers, washing machines, dishwashers.

  8. Ceiling - Have a good look at your ceiling - especially around chimneys and near the outside walls. Check for discoloration or bubbling or warping. These may indicate a leak.

A little routine checking and maintenance can mean the difference between a minor do-it- yourself repair and a major, costly home repair, or even insurance claim. Looking out for signs of problems and taking care of them when they arise is the ounce of prevention that could save you a pound of cure.
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