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Make a summer time to-do list Special To The Star-news | Sat, Jun 18 2011 12:00 PM

Warmer days can inspire homeowners to go outdoors - to garden and perhaps do a little grilling - but before you get to relax and enjoy your yard, you may want to inspect the outside of your home for winter damage.

At least once a year, it's a good idea to walk slowly around your home with a notepad and make a repair to-do list.

Here are a few things to look for:

* Gutters. You will probably need a ladder for this chore but make sure that your gutters are not clogged with leaves. Extend leaders five feet from the house.

* Check outdoor paint. Rain and snow can cause paint to flake, chip and peel. Blistering and peeling of interior and/or exterior paint can be caused by excessive temperature or high humidity due to poor attic ventilation. Make a note to sand off any peeling and repaint.

* Check the deck. Look for water stains where the deck intersects with the house. Water leakage can lead to wood decay. Use a pressure washer to get rid of moss and mold. If your deck requires a lot of upkeep, consider replacing it with a new low-maintenance composite deck, such as one of GAF's Dura-Life premium decking products that provide protection against mold, mildew, staining and fading.

* Clear your air conditioner. If you have an outdoor air-conditioning unit, clear it of leaves and debris. Be sure the power is off.

* Examine your foundation for fissures and cracks. Minor cracks are not a big deal but they are something to monitor in case they get worse. If cracks spread, be sure to call a professional to examine your foundation.

* Look up to your roof. Inspect the roof for cracked, curled or missing shingles. This can signify that the shingles have reached the end of their life.

* Check for leaks by looking in the attic and at the rafters. Leaky or inadequate shingle underlayment or deteriorated flashing can damage structural beams and promote the growth of dangerous mold.

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