Summer Maintenance Tips For Your Home
Summer's Here and It's Time to Get To Work
Okay homeowners, it's summer. And, with each season comes a new list of chores that should be done. These jobs are perfect for the summer because you can do them with open windows or take advantage of the dry days outside for outdoor projects. It's always better to keep on top of these lists, you'll feel a lot better if you do. So, follow this helpful home maintenance checklist. After you're done you'll have more peace of mind and you can spend more time doing the things that you love the rest of the year. Check off this list as you go.
These are the quick maintenance procedures that you can do very quickly:
- Check all smoke detectors to make sure that they are working and that they do not need fresh batteries, There should be one on each floor of your house. And, they should really be tested monthly.
- Check your multi-purpose fire extinguisher for accessibility, make sure that it is filled and ready to go. If you do not have one, you should buy one to keep for small fires in cases of emergency.
- Go outside to your clothes dryer vent. Clean all of the lint and debris that has built up over the Spring. If possible clean the tubing from your dryer to the wall and underneath your clothes dryer.
- Clean or change your furnace filter, depending on what kind you have.
- Check water heater for leaks and corrosion.
- Remove all dead trees in your yard, and keep healthy trees and bushes trimmed back. Be careful to stay away from utility wires.
- Check Carbon Monoxide detector to make sure it is in working.
- Clean all of your Ceiling Fans
- Clean Your Grill
Moving On To The Bigger and More Time Consuming Items
These maintenance procedures are bound to take a little more time. Most of these should have done in the spring, but if not try to work on this list, maybe on the weekends, so that you can enjoy the summer, because it will be August again before you know it. Enjoy the sun and try to relax while you're checking off the list.
- Cracks in the Concrete: No one likes to trip and fall on the concrete. Most concrete cracks in the winter when water gets under it. When water freezes, it expands. If it has no place to go, it will lift your concrete and cause cracks. So, how do you fix these cracks? For most cracks less than 1/4", applying concrete caulk is the best way to make repairs. Just clean the crack out with hose with high pressure, let it dry and then apply the caulk into the crack. With larger cracks it is better to use concrete as a filler. Remember, if you don't repair the cracks, when water gets down in between the cracks it soften the ground causing more movement. And, when winter rolls around again, any small crack will become large cracks before you know it.
- Rain Gutters and Downspouts: Pull leaves and debris from gutters and downspouts. If you have an area that is clogged with leaves or helicopter seeds from maple trees , try using barbecue tongues first to pull them out. If that doesn't work, run a hose down the clog. Just know that you are probably going to get wet. Reattach gutters that have pulled away from the house buy using long screws instead of nails, they will hold a lot better and longer. Use the hose and look for leaks, if you find any you will need to dry the area and use caulking or epoxy to seal the leak.
- Air Conditioners: If you feel comfortable doing this on your own then that's fine. If not, you might just want to have your air conditioner serviced by a Heating and Cooling company. Disconnect electric power to the outdoor condenser on your air conditioner and clear it of leaves and debris with a power blower, garden hose, or the brush attachment on your vacuum cleaner. If the cooling fins are exposed, be careful not to bend them. Vacuum the grille and register inside the home to ensure good airflow. And change your furnace filter as stated earlier. Once finished, you can reengage the power. If your air doesn't seem cold enough, it's time to call someone in. They will need to add refrigerant to your air conditioner.
- Wooden Deck: Look for any structural decay where the deck is attached to the house. This could be due to ongoing water leakage. If you have any doubt about the structural integrity of the deck, call a professional to investigate. Next, inspect your deck for moss and mold. Pressure washers are effective for removal of molds. But be on the lookout for raised fibers on the wood, this could be damaged wood. Put more distance between you and the pressure washer when you see this or you could further damage the wood. There are also deck cleaners available. However, after using them, you may need to re-stain your deck due to the bleaching effect
- Roof Check: First examine ceilings on the inside of your home for any discoloration as this could be an indicator of a leak. You can also see from the street view if there are missing tiles or curled tiles. Asphalt shingles typically last 20 years. If you have roof damage it is best to have it repaired by a professional.
- Siding: Clean siding with a pressure washer to get rid of or keep mold from growing. Check all wood surfaces for weathering and chipping paint. If wood is exposed, start the repair by sanding the area and applying a primer coat before painting. If paint is peeling, scrape loose paint and follow the same directions.
- Pool Maintenance: You should start this as soon as you can, maybe two weeks before swim season starts. You'll need to clean it up, depending on what kind of shape you left it in the previous year. Fill it up. Make sure all of the pumps are cycling and aren't leaking. Then add your chemicals. I usually take some water in for free testing the first few weeks after opening my pool. I recommend it if it's available in your area. If you have any leaks, you may just need a new valve or something simple. But, it's better to find out now, so you don't waste water and electricity.
- Self-Termite Inspection: Go to the outside of your home and look at the foundation. Do you see any cylindrical tubes about the width of a pencil, made out of mud? Look around the whole foundation. Do you have any wood on or near your house that is being hollowed out. If so, you have a termite problem and you need to call a professional.
- Fertilize Your Grass and Plants: Go ahead and feed the grass and shrubbery. Make sure that you follow the directions carefully. Some people have been known to kill there greenery with kindness. You can also get the kind that has week killer mixed in with it.
Other Things Summer
Have you ever thought about hanging a bird house or a clothes line? Or how about planting a garden? There are so many things that you can do in the summer months. I like to have a project every year. This year I am going to try to replace my brick patio with mosaics. I'm not sure how I'm going to do it yet, but I think that will be my project.
Look at some magazines to get ideas. Even things for inside. Reorganizing or revamping a room. I think summer is a great time for making changes to your house! Have some fun with it.
What is your most hated maintenance job on your house?
Mr. Handyman talks about home maintenance
Someone to Call If Needed
It's a great idea to have someone like a handyman for maintenance work if you are unable to do some of the tasks. Especially, cleaning out your gutters, cleaning your siding and working on the deck. These three tasks require a lot of work and if you're not up to it or don't have the time, I suggest hiring a handyman for the job. Most are listing in the phone directory. But, first try asking around. For this kind of work, word of mouth referrals are always best.