- Posted by hinged
- On April 14, 2017
When it comes to buying a home it’s all about location, location, location. Once you’ve made the purchase, caring for your home is all about maintenance, maintenance, maintenance.
I have learned the hard way that little things done on a regular basis can save thousands in repair costs.
For instance, why take off your screens for the winter and put them back on in the spring. It is time consuming, and usually involves dragging out two of my least favorite tools, ladders and hoses. If you have double hung windows with screens on the outside, letting the screens winter snuggly in your basement or garage will extend their lifespan by years. This alone is a savings, but there is risk for damage and potential for even bigger savings.
One year we were busy and I just never got to removing the screens myself or finding someone to do it for me. I wish Hinged was around back then. I didn’t lose sleep over leaving the screens up, thinking that worse case, I might have to replace the screens a year earlier. That winter we had one of those storms that start with high winds and snow that turns to sleet, then rain, then hell freezes over and the temperature stays in the minus range for a few weeks.
The wind drove snow through the screens piling it up against the window panes. The rain saturated the snow and the cold snap turned it all into an ice block that on the north side of the house lasted until April, thawing but not totally melting and refreezing on a pretty much daily basis. Eventually spring came, everything melted, and the screens were still intact, just a little dirty. By fall it was hard to look out and see the yard through all the dust and grime on the screens and the ladder came out and down they came.
When I got the screens off I noticed some black stuff on the window sills and bottom of some of the sashes, but the big game was about to start so I didn’t bother to investigate. Spring came and one warm Saturday, still hot from soccer, the kids and I pulled out the hoses and made a game of cleaning the screens with a soapy sponge that involved extra points if you could get the sponge to land on the screen on the first kick. Before we reached game over we wrecked one and our dog wrecked another. Should have used the pros, but think of the work ethic we were building in the kids and truthfully the screens weren’t in the greatest shape at that point. The real cost of not doing the simple maintenance came when I went to put the screens back on. The black stuff on the window sills from last fall had morphed into moldy rot. Before the sawdust settled we had to replace two windows all together and rebuild three more. The thousands of dollars we had to spend could have been totally avoided if we had just had the screens taken off and stored in the fall.