Summer is here! While the weather is great, it’s the perfect time to chip away at home maintenance projects. Whether it’s your home, cottage, or seasonal property, these maintenance tips can help you keep your property in tip top shape this season.
Getting started: common repairs around the house
Summer is the ideal time to inspect your property for any safety hazards that arose over the winter and spring months. Inspect both interior and exterior parts of the house and fix anything that looks like an accident waiting to happen. To get started, refer to the following general list of things you can do around the house during nice weather:
- Reset pavers and bricks along walkways or patios. The ground can shift over the winter months and can create tripping hazards.
- Sand, stain, repaint and reseal your deck, as well as other area on your property where there is chipped, cracked, or faded paint.
- Identify and repair cracks or potholes in your driveway.
- Inspect steps, supporting structures, and siding. Fix anything that is not structurally sound.
- Clean the faucet traps.
- Inspect and clean or power wash any outdoor play equipment.
Delving into deeper maintenance
There are additional areas of your home that require more detailed maintenance, like the roof, air conditioner, weather-stripping, ventilation and pest control. We’ll dive into how you can inspect and maintain these specific areas.
Roof inspection tips
Whatever type of roof you have, it’s important to do a visual, from-the-ground inspection twice a year. Most asphalt roofs are expected to last around 25 years, however, changing weather patterns and daily exposure to the elements can take its toll. You can hire a professional to inspect your roof to ensure it can withstand severe weather during the harsh winter season. However, there are some things you can look out for on your roof this summer:
- Loose or missing shingles.
- Loose or exposed nails.
- A sagging area of your roof, which could indicate structural problems requiring further investigation from inside the attic.
- Signs of cracking, leakage, split or damaged sealants around the roof flashings, chimney and roof joints. It’s also important to watch for rust and corrosion around the flashings.
- Damage on the chimney cap.
- Review gutters or downspouts.
- Survey the condition of the siding around the roof.
You can also perform the following maintenance tips to prolong the life of your roof:
- Clean your gutter and remove blockages in the gutter system. Clogged gutters and piping could cause water backup into the attic and living areas.
- Trim any overhanging branches. They may scratch or gouge your roof materials.
- Check your attic and ensure its properly insulated to allow for good airflow, and while you’re there, check for water stains inside!
If you notice any damage, it is best to call your insurance broker. They will ask you a series of questions to learn more about your situation and whether you have coverage for the damage before you start the repairs.
Clean your home’s central air conditioner
At the start of the summer season, it’s a good idea to have the outdoor unit of your central air conditioner professionally cleaned. Regular air conditioner maintenance can extend the life of your unit and may reduce the need for costly air conditioner repairs. Below are some items to consider while performing regular maintenance on your air conditioner’s outdoor unit:
- Routinely replace or clean your air filters.
- Clean the air conditioners coils. The air conditioners evaporator and condenser coils collect dirt, especially if the outdoor environment is dusty or there is a lot of foliage. Over time, this can reduce airflow.
- Remove any debris or foliage from the unit. Grass, leaves, dirt can build up on the outside of your unit decreasing system capacity and reducing airflow.
- Check and straighten the coil fins. The fins can be easily bent and can block airflow. Gently use a butter knife or a fin comb to straighten the fins.
Inspect weather-stripping and vents
Walk through your home and check that weather-stripping and caulking around doors and windows are in good condition; it will help keep your home from losing heat in the winter.
Perform a visual inspection:
- Look for cracks and gaps where air leaks may occur, this includes knee walls in your attic, dryer vents, outdoor faucets, attic hatches, sill plates, and outer walls, doors and other openings.
- Check that the flappers and protective mesh on exhaust vents aren’t blocked and remove build up from the dryer vent.
- Clean and dust the debris off the tracks of sliding doors and windows.
Perform a home pressurization test
- Pick a cool and windy day to perform this test. Close all windows, doors and fireplace flues.
- Turn off all appliances that create air disturbance.
- Turn on all exhaust fans that blow air out of the home, including clothes dryer, and bathroom or kitchen fans.
- Inspect common points of air leakage using a lit incense stick or candle to detect direction of airflow through rooms. This can identify any openings or drafts that are occurring.
- Make note of the areas that indicate air drifting toward the outside and return for closer inspection and sealing.
Inspect, Control, and Prevent Pest Infestations at Home
Insects, rodents and other pests make their way inside in search of cooler refuge away from the sweltering summer heat.
Walk around the perimeter of your home (and shed) to identify any problem areas, such as:
- Tree branches or shrubs touching the structure.
- Areas of lawn debris such as grass clippings, or leaf or wood piles.
- Areas of standing water.
- Blocked or obstructed gutters.
Pests like to make homes in these types of environments so it is best to clean up your yard and house perimeter.
Also look for possible entry points around your home, including holes or cracks around windows, venting, and door frames; tears in window screens; cracks in the foundation, especially near windows and doorsteps.
Call a professional pest control expert if you find signs of unwanted entry by these little critters.
Get the right coverage for your home via BrokerLink
Although summer is a time to relax, the beautiful weather creates the perfect opportunity to chip away at your home maintenance projects. We hope this information provided you with a good starting point to make your summer a productive one.
One more way to ensure your home is protected is by having the right home insurance coverage. Our insurance experts at Brokerlink will take the time to get to know you and find an insurance plan that makes sense. Contact a local broker about home insurance today!
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Summer Home Maintenance FAQs
Is the summer a good time to renovate your home?
Summer can be a good time to renovate your home. For specific projects like a kitchen renovation, you can BBQ outside if your kitchen is inaccessible. Window or door replacement is more bearable when you don’t have to tolerate frigid temperatures. Although, the summer heat can take its toll; if you’re doing a renovation, be sure to take a lot of breaks and drink plenty of water.
How should I treat my lawn in the summer?
In early summer, it is best to mow your grass high. Taller blades of grass can develop deeper roots perfect for sourcing underground water. It also helps to shade the soil, keeping it cool and moist longer. Feed your soil with fertilizer to help strengthen the lawn for more extreme summer weather like heat and drought. Also, after a cut, leave the clippings where they land -- they’ll break down and feed your lawn.