The only thing more satisfying than a cool beverage on a hot summer’s day is knowing your home is free from issues that could cause surprise breakdowns and repair costs.
Before you get too relaxed, knock out these quick summer home maintenance tasks.
Safety is always first; your checklist should be no different!
Change the batteries in your smoke detectors, clean the dryer vent, inspect fire extinguishers, install window guards and deadbolts, replace old extension cords or power strips, and make sure your house number is visible on your house as well as your mailbox in case an emergency vehicle needs to find your home.
These are relatively simple tasks that many homeowners overlook. Take a little time to address these safety concerns and rest east knowing you and yours are safe.
Scan for mold
Nearly three out of every four homes have mold. Knowing that mold LOVES heat and moisture, make sure to spot check water-prone areas:
- Behind appliances
And, scan ceilings and walls for dampness. This could be evidence of a leaky pipe, roof, drain or faucet creating dampness and potential for mold.
If you come across mold, you’ll want to deal with it professionally. The faster you detect and mitigate mold, the cheaper and less disastrous it can be.
If it’s been a while and you’d like to refresh your interior, there’s no better way than to repaint..
If you want it done quickly while you’re enjoying the sun, consider hiring a professional.
Service Your HVAC
Air-conditioning units can be a lifeline during a hot summer. However, air-conditioning units do more than just keep us cool. They decrease humidity in our homes, reduce mold, improve air quality, diminish airborne allergens, and protect electronics and furniture from over-heating.
If you haven’t maintained your HVAC system, you risk overworking the AC to failure. Make sure it’s serviced by a professional once a year.
Clean the Air Ducts
When you crank up the AC, the last thing you want is to breathe in the dust, pollen, pet dander, and other allergens that have been collecting in your ducts for years.
The EPA recommends duct cleaning as part of a proper maintenance plan to maintain good air quality. If you haven’t done so in the past 3-5 years, consider hiring the pros to clean them out.
Check for Pest Damage
Pests like to get going in the summertime. Termites, carpenter bees, carpenter ants, mice and other pests eat away at the structure of your home including wood, insulation, and wiring. Termites alone damage around 600,000 homes a year, and cause on average a $3,000 repair bill.
Inspect siding, wood beams, the basement, garage, or attic, the foundation, the eaves, the porch and decks. Look for small holes in the wood, small piles of wood dust or shavings, pest droppings, chewed wire housings or wall boards, or nests. If the pests have already done damage to your home, call a professional to come perform an inspection of the damage and help you plan for repairs or replacement.
Clean the Gutters
If you didn’t clean your gutters in the spring, you’ll want to do so early in the summer.
The gunk that accumulates inside – leaves, needles, dirt, moss, etc. – can erode foundations, flood basements, cause leaks in your ceilings and walls, damage and break the gutters, and harbor infestations of insects.
You can do this yourself if you don’t mind heights. Hiring a professional is recommended.
Clean and Refinish Your Deck
Wood decks are constantly exposed to the elements and can degrade quickly.
To extend its lifespan, pressure wash your deck once a year to remove dirt and mildew. And, given decks usually need to be repainted once every two to three years, you may want to consider a fresh coat of paint or varnish to preserve the wood.
Inspect and Clean Your Siding
The winter and spring months are brutal to the outside of your home. Siding can take a beating with bad weather and can become dirty and lose its curb appeal. Regularly having your siding inspected and cleaned can significantly prolong it’s life. Because a good majority of the siding on your home is out of reach, it is a good idea to hire a professional to inspect your siding, replace any damaged pieces, and professionally power wash it to keep it looking brand new. You will be amazed at what a simple cleaning and maintenance of your siding will do to the appearance of your home!
Reseal Doors and Windows
Nothing will drive up your summertime electrical bill more then inefficient windows and doors. If your windows and doors are not properly sealed, the cool air from your AC will rush outside into the heat causing your HVAC system to work harder to keep the house cool. This can cost you up to an extra $465 dollars in energy costs. Have an expert inspect your doors and windows for broken seals, cracks, or gaps. If needed, now is a great time to replace broken or damaged windows.
Inspect and Clean Your Fireplace
It’s easy to forget about your chimney when you are basking in the summer sun, but summertime is a great time to get your chimney inspected and your fireplace cleaned. Fireplaces and chimneys should be cleaned annually, as the primary cause of fires in a chimney or fireplace is quite simply not keeping it clean. Have a specialist look at your chimney for damage including crumbling masonry, ripped or missing flashing, cracks or pests and have any issues repaired. They will ensure flues are safely capped and have no evidence of blockages such as bird nests. The fireplace will have all ash and dangerous creosote buildup removed.
Trim Trees and Shrubs
Do you have shrubs, trees, and other greenery growing close to your home’s exterior? You’ll want to trim it so it’s not touching your home. Why? They hold moisture which can damage your foundation, invite pests that can cause infestations, and have limbs and branches that can damage your home during a storm.
Slap on some sunscreen, get out the trimmers, and cut back your greenery!
Contact us today to have our licensed and insured Pros knock out these and any other project on your home improvement checklist.