“The summer night is like a perfection of thought.” ~Wallace Stevens
10 Tips to Maintaining Your Home
Summer, our season of sultriness, is, upon us. The days are longer, the air sweeter, the sun shines brightly, and the weather encourages outdoor fun. For some, Summer means the beach, camp, BBQ’s, pools, gardening, Baseball, or other outdoor activities. But with the warmth and sun that breaks us free from the shackles of indoor confinement, that same sun shines a light on gutters clogged with leaves, sidewalks with trip educing cracks, or flower beds filled with plants of seasons past.
Before jumping into Summer with both feet, let us assist with Summer Maintenance Tips to Maintaining your home with a game plan and focus, certain chores that you may forget, so you can fully enjoy the beauty of the season with a jovial attitude.
1.) Check your Gutters for Leaks or Loosening
Make sure all of your gutters and drains are free from debris and leaves. Improper draining could lead to flooding of the basement and property devastation. While clearing the gutters, make sure they are securely attached. A 5 cent screw is far cheaper than siding, roof, or landscape damage, or worse, injuring on a loved one or neighbor. Make sure your gutter drains are clear as well, so water may drain away from the house, instead of inside.
2.) Fill in Areas of Unleavened Yard or Foundation
In the Winter, harsh weather can cause lawn levels to become unbalanced and areas surrounding a home’s foundation can become low. While keeping that in mind, with Spring comes rain. We all know the rhyme. With rain comes flooding, which can lead to water damage around the foundation and, come Summer, those pools of water become breeding grounds for insects and put a damper on a Summer party.
3.) Check Window and Door Pane Wood
Use a screwdriver to see if there’s any separation in wood on windows, door jams, decks, or railings. If there are gaps, now is the time to repair, before spring rains damage them further and expose more wood.
4.) Check Your Roof
While standing in your yard, check your roof from afar, no need to bust out a ladder if it’s unnecessary. Look for any damaged or missing shingles from the winter weather. Now is the time to check, as the harsh summer sun can be extremely damaging to roof shingles. So check for split, loose, or missing pieces need to be replaced. You should also check to see if shingles need to be repaired surrounding chimneys or vents, if they do, don’t be a hero, get an experienced roofer to fix these areas. If you need vast repairs, now would be a great time to begin budgeting money to fix your roof.
5.) Check Your Chimney
After the thaw of Winter, your chimney has often taken 4-6 months of abuse from need to stay warm. Do yourself a favor and have a certified chimney sweep, to clean out your flue and inspected. Also check the chimney itself for damage and have it repair.
6.) Inspect Concrete Tabs For Movement
This is the time of year to inspect all the concrete slaps around your home to find movement. In the winter, freezing water causes matter to expand which may cause them to move. Concrete slaps should drain away from your home, but if the gap becomes to wide, fill in the gap with cement or silicone chalk after power washing out the gap before sealing.
7.) Remove/Replace Firewood
If you own a home with a wood-burning fireplace, firewood is necessary. Most people store it outside throughout the winter, but after the season ends, get rid of that dead wood. The weather has made them either water logged or other problems that cause them to be useless. The best practice for storing firewood is, covered, 18 inches off the ground, and at least 2 feet from a structure.
8.) Check Hoses For Damage
After the winter chill, now is the time to check your outdoor water faucets for freeze damage. To check, place your thumb over the opening of the faucet, turn it on, if your finger stops the flow of water completely, there is most likely damage to the interior sections of the pipes and needs replacement. If the hose itself isn’t stored properly, you may need to check your hose for dry rot. If there is, just replace the entire hose.
9.) Clean Your Cooling System
Now is the time to hire an air conditioning specialist to clean coils and air filters in your air unit to keep it working at peak performance. Why now? Because as soon as the heat increases, more and more people will notice theirs is not working as it should and will call said professional, making it difficult to get an appointment and leaving you to sweat it out.
10.) Check Fuel
And Lawnmower Blades
Now is the time to stock up on gas, batteries, chargers, or sharpen blades. Whether it be your lawn mower or BBQ, stock up on fuel (propane or petroleum), fill them up now and never worry about it until next year. The same goes with lawn mower blades. Give them a good sharpening now in the spring, when it’s pleasant outside, and don’t worry about it come August, when mowing the lawn alone is already an endurance test. No need to add more activity in the blazing heat.
Now that these Simple Steps are Done, Take some time to smell the roses and enjoy the cool summer nights that poets write about, painters paint, and nature embraces.