Summer is officially here! Now is the time to undertake some preventative maintenance on your home to prepare it for the months ahead and prevent damage that can occur in hot weather. Below is a checklist of essential summer home repairs.
Prevent Water Damage
Summer often means heavy rains and thunderstorms, so protecting your house against water damage may be one of the most important things you do. Start with your foundation; check your basement for cracks and leaks.
Check gutters for breaks or low spots that allow water to pool near the house, potentially damaging the foundation. Ensure that downspouts are in good repair and direct water away from your house by at least three feet. This can be done with a gutter extension or splashguard. Inspect your windows and doors — anywhere there is trim — for cracks, leaks, or wear in the caulking.
Give your HVAC system a good checkup before cranking the cool air. Change the air filters monthly so the system runs efficiently. Clear grass, leaves, and debris away from the condensing unit outside, which could cause it to malfunction. Remember to disconnect the power before you begin cleaning, and be careful not to bend the cooling fins.
Touch Up Paint
Paint isn’t just for aesthetics — it protects wood from water and other natural elements, so chipping or peeling paint on siding and fences leaves wood vulnerable to things like mold and rot. Take the time to spot repair and retouch before it becomes a much bigger job.
Trim Trees and Shrubbery
While shade can reduce AC bills, be sure to cut any tree limbs or shrubs that touch your house. Over time, the wind will cause these to rub on your roof or siding, resulting in potentially dangerous and expensive damage.
Don’t forget to protect one of your greatest summertime grilling and entertaining assets. Seal your deck with an outdoor wood stain, sealant, or paint to ensure its longevity. Remove dirt and grime with a power washer or deck cleaner before you apply the product, or it won’t adhere properly to the wood. A well-maintained deck should last most of your lifetime; a neglected deck may only last a few years.
Check the caulking around doors and windows, both inside and out to prevent insects from coming in your home. Replace cracked or worn weather stripping on doors (this may lower your energy bills, too). Next, spray the outside of your house — around the foundation, windows, and doors — with a preventative insecticide, creating a perimeter the bugs won’t cross.
Inspect concrete slabs for signs of cracks or movement. All exterior slabs except pool decks should drain away from the home’s foundation. Fill cracks with a concrete crack filler or silicone caulk. When weather permits, power-wash and then seal the concrete.
Make sure to remove firewood stored near the home over the winter. Firewood should be stored at least 18 inches off the ground at least 2 feet from the structure.
Summer is a season for fun and relaxation. Take the time to inspect and maintain your property so you can enjoy the months ahead. A few maintenance tasks at the beginning of summer can save you a lot of time and money in the future.