With summer just around the corner, there are some areas around your home that have probably been neglected during the winter and spring months. Once we get a hint that summer is about to be here, our minds jump to images of being by the pool, cook-outs and road trips. This is also an opportune time to catch up on some housework that may have fallen by the wayside over the past few months.
Check your AC Unit
There’s little to no warning when the heat waves start, and you start looking for salvation through your AC unit. Even if you’ve been using it mildly during the spring, getting the entire system checked out before you run it at full speed all summer is highly advisable. You can start by doing the following:
Clearing away any grass, leaves, and debris that may be hanging around the condensing unit outside. Clearing the area of any standing foliage will ensure that items will not cause your unit to malfunction.
If you suspect your unit may need more than a quick sweeping, find your owner’s manual and check on how to properly clean your unit. There are many different methods used to clean AC units, so it’s important to know the recommendations for your particular unit.
When working around the condensing unit outside, remember to disconnect the power before you start cleaning.
Stain & Repair the deck
Summer means spending time outdoors, and if you have a deck, that’s probably where you’re going to be spending the majority of your time. Before your deck becomes a graveyard to bikes and pool toys, schedule a weekend to make any pertinent repairs to the deck’s structure and apply a fresh stain. Protecting the wood that forms your deck is just as important as protecting the wood inside and outside your home.
Your deck is going to stay exposed to the harsh elements during the summer months. Keeping it sealed and finished will help shield it from the sun and storms. Doing this annually will help ensure the longevity of your deck's lifetime. Blast away built-up dirt and grime with a power washer before applying the new finish, or it won't adhere properly to the wood. A well cared for the deck can last you through every summer of your life; a neglected one may only last a couple of years.
prevent water damage
Depending on where you live, you can probably expect some intense thunderstorms during the summer. Help save yourself time and money later down the road by having the following areas checked before the rains arrive: the roof, gutters, windows, doors, and foundation.
Roof: If your roof is older, pull out a ladder and climb up to examine the singles and flashing on your roof. Depending on the type and condition of your roof, there are particular areas to inspect and things to look for. If you are uncertain about these specifics and even after some quick online education you feel uncomfortable assessing the condition of your roof, reach out to a professional for proper advice.
Gutters: Moving down from the roof check your gutters for low spots or breaks that could allow water to pool near the house. Left untended these leaks will eventually erode the area underneath the damaged gutter, leaving water close to the foundation. When it comes to your downspouts, check to make sure they are in proper order with no blockage. It is also advised to have water carried off from the downspout about three feet or more from the house. This can be easily achieved by purchasing a splash guard or gutter extension.
Windows & Doors: Anywhere there is trim around windows or doors should be inspected. Check for cracks, leaks or wear in the caulking. If you notice any problem areas, head over to the hardware store and pick up some protective caulking and patch the problem areas.
Foundation: Inspect the areas around your foundation both inside (if you have a basement) and outside for cracks, leaks or anything suspicious. If you notice anything large or beyond your knowledge and skill, reach out to professional to make sure you find the proper solution.
You know your home better than anyone, so it’s up to you to remember where that leak is and if it’s time to be fixed. Inspecting major problem areas when it comes to flash flooding can save you more than just a headache later on down the road.
Prepare for the war on insects
Stopping a plague of June bugs from flying into your mudroom every time you open the door at night is going to get exhausting. There are certain preventives one can take to help keep insects outside during what seems to be their busiest and most social time of the year.
Before the bugs start to swarm your home, try spraying the exterior of your home with a preventive insecticide. If your windows or doors have screens, check their condition by looking for any tears or holes in them. If you find any issues, patch or replace the screen. Also, replace any screen that might have gone missing or been severely damaged in recent months.
Inside the home, look under the sink and other warm areas for cockroach nests. Pick up a bug bomb or call an exterminator to handle the situation before there’s a chance for an infestation to break out.