"The Inside Information" from Barry at Bretton Inspection, Inc.

Summer is finally here! Time to enjoy Michigan from the beaches, lakes and forests to our own backyards. What a great State to live in if you like to be outdoors. Before you pack the wagon and head for fun in the sun now is the time to knock off a few chores so you can enjoy that beach burn guilt free!

Seems like there’s always something to do around my yard…the “beartanical gardens” but I keep it simple and make a list of items to keep me on track and I follow the advice I give my Inspection clients…even though you leave for work in the dark and return late or are running the kids around….take time to look at your house. Start by looking up…especially before and after storms.

bulletChimney – Check for repairs that may be needed to brick and mortar work. This can be done with binoculars if the roof is steep. If you have a wood burning fireplace now is a good time to have the flue cleaned so your ready when the snow flies. The guys that do this work do it in the summer for a reason.
bulletRoof – Look for missing or damaged shingles…wind has a way of stealing shingles or dropping branches on them. Trim back branches that may be sweeping the shingles. If you see missing shingles on your neighbors roof …the light should be coming on.
bulletGutters – It’s an important “WATER  MANAGEMENT SYSTEM” designed to keep water out of the basement or crawlspace. Don’t wait until you see Maple trees growing out of them. Keep your gutters clean and secure, extend the downspouts away from the foundation 4-5 feet, alot of “stuff” including balls and toys find their way into the gutters in spring and summer… not just leaves in autumn. If the gutters are jammed with enough junk to start a garden that weight combined with water will start to pull the gutters off the house. If the roof isn’t steep use a leaf blower, it only takes a few minutes. Do this before having a “cold one”. 

Notice how we’re working our way from the top down, yep it’s a system!

bulletLandscape - Trim the overgrown bushes and trees away from the house so it can dry after a rain and prevent mold, mildew and wood rot and now you can see what needs to be painted!
bulletWalls and Trim - A good paint job is all about prep work, read the label on the can. If you paint over rotted wood you’ve just given the bugs a new coat on their house! Replace soft, punky, rotted wood trim or siding…this is a tip… prime all 6 sides of the board before you put it on, keeps it from warping. Now you can use a premium caulk and move on to the finish coat your significant other has selected. Be careful with those ladders around electric wires!
bulletGrade  - This is not fun but it will build a nice set of stallion pipes! The dirt or “grade” around the house should slope away from the foundation taking water with it and keeping it out of the basement. Don’t just use woodchips or topsoil, keep the dirt 8” below the siding and install window wells if needed. If it’s a big issue you may need to hire a landscaper to regrade it for you. There goes that new Harley.

That’s enough “house fun” for now, it’s time to enjoy summer, so load up the wagon with the kids and coolers and hit the highway... anybody want to seal coat the driveway before you leave, it would be the perfect time! Just a thought…don’t wear flip flops when seal coating.

If you have questions, let me know …I’ve got answers.


Ahhh,  summer, a yard guys Nirvana…time to groom the lawn!



Barry Whitehead
 Certified Inspector

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Contact: Barry Whitehead
Bretton Inspection, Inc.
White Lake, MI 
Phone: (248) 698-4462,
  Fax: (248) 698-4629



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