Summer Home Maintenance Tips
With the end of summer looming on the distant horizon (we aren’t excited either) there are some things we can do to help maintain and improve the value of our home.
1. Check your roof and your home’s exterior and make any necessary repairs.
Your roof system is the second most expensive component in a house (next to your foundation) and protects not only the structure but also the home’s contents. Start with inspecting around the eaves for loose debris that might have accumulated there. Whenever you see gunk or leaves, collect and remove it. Next, inspect your roof’s flashing or metal strips typically found around chimneys, vents, satellite dishes, and skylights. It can loosen during a harsh rainstorm or hailstorm, causing potential water leakage. Finally, inspect the covering itself – the shingles, tiles, or metal panels. Check for impact damage, loose sections or fasteners backing out. If you do climb up there – please be careful or hire a competent professional to check it out on your behalf.
2. Give your deck a once-over.
Check your deck system for any rot or age-related damage. Have them replaced. Pour water on your deck to see if the boards should be resealed. If the water beads into small puddles, it is okay. If it sinks into the wood, you should reseal it to protect against water damage. This is also a good time to check for loose fasteners or evidence the deck could be pulling away from the house.
3. Clean your grill
Gas grills: Close the lid, turn the heat up high, and let the grill cook for about half an hour. Then, let the grill cool. Use a grill brush to sweep the inside and wipe down the outside with a sponge and cleaner. Then clean out all the drip trays.
Charcoal grills: Empty the grill racks and wipe away any dust or residue. Use hot water, dish soap, a scrub brush or sponge to clean both the outside and inside of the grill. Be sure to let your dry all surfaces before using it next.
4. Give your lawnmower a tune-up
Keeping your lawnmower in top shape will help avoid performance issues and help increase reliability. The grassy buildup in your lawnmower can invite rust and clog the discharge chute, leaving clumps on your lawn. Routine cleaning can help ward off future problems, so take time this month to do a checkup. Disconnect the spark plug and remove the blade before dislodging debris with a putty knife and wire brush. Use a hose to spray away any remaining clippings.
5. Upgrade old windows and doors. Replace damaged screens.
Windows should shut properly to maintain temperature control. Check the caulking or sealant around indoor and outdoor windows and replace if necessary. Also check for water stains on with windowsills as well.
6. Schedule a cleaning for your HVAC system
Reaching out to your HVAC contractor now could help increase air conditioning efficiency and nip any heating issues before it gets too cold outside. Ensure that the fan is functioning well, the coils are clean, there isn’t faulty wiring that could cause a fire and pay particular attention to the noises the appliance is making. If it doesn’t sound correct – it probably isn’t! Don’t forget to change your filter. Here is a great website digging a little deeper into HVAC maintenance.
7. Power wash the outside of your home.
The Tennessee heat and humidity can cause mold and mildew to grow faster on your home’s exterior, particularly if you have vinyl siding. Use a power washer with a mildew remover compatible with your siding.
8. Prune your flowers, bushes, and trees. Add new additions to your garden.
If you were unable to get to your home’s garden during the spring, it’s not too late! The summer is a fantastic time to work on your green thumb, to beautify the appearance of your home. Consider adding mulch to the garden beds, which create a clean appearance. Mulch reduces weeds and locks in moisture, keeping plants healthier during the hot temps. Also, prune flowers, bushes, and trees, so they’re away from your home’s exterior, roof, and central AC unit.
9. Check your home’s insulation.
This is particularly important for homes more than 15 years old. You can find insulation issues pretty much anywhere throughout your house, from the front door to the attic, to cracks in your garage door (especially if the garage is attached). With higher cooling costs in the summer, now is time to seal any insulation gaps you may encounter. Adding insulation is a great low-cost method of lowering your heating and A/C bills.
10. Inspect your attic and crawlspace
Check both the crawlspace and attic for evidence of pests, insects, water damage, mold, or mildew. Turn off the lights to check for any sign of peeking daylight. Sunlight visible through gaps in flashing could allow insects or water intrusion. Crawlspaces are particularly prone to humidity-related issues as well.
Be an all-season homeowner with these useful tips. Maintaining your home during the heat of summer is just as crucial as other seasons. If you would like a professional inspection of your home to help guide you in maintaining your home, please book an inspection today!
Thomas Recke, ACI
ASHI Certified Inspector
Owner of 3 Arrows Property Inspection
I like what you said about how heat and humidity can affect your home’s exterior and interior. I think the humidity here has caused our wood to expand. I’ll have to consider hiring a building inspector check out my house.
Awesome feedback Tex! I appreciate your insight!