Summer Home Maintenance Tips
Five Summer Home Maintenance Tips
If you are a homeowner or you plan on buying a home soon, you probably know that maintenance is something that you will have to keep on your to-do list. Many of us think about winter fixes and spring cleaning, but summer and fall are crucial times to work on your home as well.
There are some things you can do in the summer that may be less expensive and faster than if you waited until the fall or winter. For instance, a furnace check-up in the warmer months is much easier to schedule than if you wait until you have an emergency or the weather is chilly and rainy.
Remove dirt, debris, and weeds from home systems like a/c units
Your furnace, humidifier, air ducts, air conditioner, and chimneys can all get dirt and loose objects in them that can clog up the system or worse, damage the unit. Checking these items every season is a good habit to have because you can save yourself money in the long run.
A little housekeeping goes a long way because it gives you the chance to inspect your units for any visible signs of damage like cracks, wear, and holes. You will also want to pay close attention to unwanted trees and shrubs that are growing too close to the house to make sure that leaves do not build up.
Trim trees while the weather is warm
Cutting back dead or overgrown branches from your shrubbery is not only good for keeping the leaves and needles away from the house, but it also helps you keep your yard looking nice. When your plants start encroaching on the house, roots can get under or into the foundation and break down the slab under your home.
When this problem continues for several months, the roots can create foundation cracks or sagging walls that are much costlier to repair than removing a few trees. Preventative maintenance is the key to staying on top of repair tasks and minimizing out-of-pocket costs. Replacing mulch each year reduces the chance of mold growth, fading, and gives you time to check out the foundation at ground level.
Promptly fix any issues with standing water
When you have low-lying areas in the yard, you can get puddles of water that take forever to evaporate. Not only can you have problems with mold and mosquitoes, but this moisture can be dangerous if it sits against your foundation.
Water at the base of your home will find a way inside eventually. You can inspect the yard after a subtle, soaking, and torrential rain to see how bad the problem gets. Watching the water recede and recording how long it takes for the ground to dry if it drains completely, is one way you can tell how deep the water is and how far out it reaches.
Standing water can cause numerous problems that can affect your family's health and safety. These issues are often costly when they are not found quickly.
Repair roof problems like loose shingles
One of the most common causes of roof leaks is missing or broken shingles. This problem has an easy solution because it only takes a couple of minutes and a ladder to spot any issues. The most visible sign of loose tiles is uneven edges or a discoloration where the shingle underneath is newly exposed. It is good practice to also do a fast check of your roof after heavy winds or severe storms.
You can do this quickly by walking out far enough away from the home to take pictures of all sides of the roof. You can use your cell phone to take the photos and then zoom in to look for any sign of damage or debris that needs removing.
A pair of binoculars will do the trick too. By finding little things that need fixing and taking care of them quickly, you can save yourself the time, hassle, and cost to repair bigger problems like sagging roofs. It only takes one loose shingle to allow water to get under the material and begin working it's way to your roof deck.
Then, the moisture can cause hidden issues that you may or may not find right away. This unseen damage can harbor bacteria allowing it to flourish before you know there is a problem.
Immediately inspect and remedy condensation in the basement
When you are thinking of buying a home, then you may want to make sure the home inspector looks for any moisture in the basement. Besides any wet spots on the walls, you will want to check that pipes have the correct insulation and are not sweating or dripping.
Often, plumbing systems that have condensation need more ventilation or have improper insulation against weather changes. Your floor is another area that can pull in moisture. If you have a dirt or concrete basement floor, then there is a possibility that the material can soak up water.
At least once every season you may want to take the time to check the padding, carpet, or floor bottom to see if it is wet, has a musty odor or shows visible signs of mold. Any porous material that you cannot clean should be replaced with new items after the problem is found and repaired. For nearly all homes to be sold, they must meet state and local safety & health codes.
An inspector, contractor, or local property management firm can answer questions about building regulations. They can also instruct you on how to fix any problems you might find during your summer maintenance check.
You can likely do a quick inspection of the home and clean up around the foundation in a couple of hours. By looking for problems in the summer, you can save yourself a big headache. The best part is that you will likely save yourself money in the short and long-term by finding problems sooner rather than later.