How to Care for Your Home Once the Heat of Summer Has Gone!
Ah, Summer. The season that everyone looks forward to…and then can’t wait to see leave. There’s a certain allure to BBQ’s and pool parties that somehow makes us forget what hot weather really feels like. That is, until we’re smack dab in the middle of August complaining about how hot the Summer is to all of our friends on social media.
The end of Summer means that Fall is right around the corner. The cooler days can also be a great opportunity to prep, repair, inspect and do some general maintenance on your home. Items needing upkeep that are put off at the end of Summer can equal backbreaking work during the icy, cold winter months. Worse yet, there are many preventative items that can become repair nightmares when exposed to the elements over a harsh winter.
Now that we’ve sufficiently frightened you with the dire consequences, read on to discover the top, end of summer maintenance projects you should be doing right now.
Summer Indoor Home Maintenance
While the outside of your home will take the majority of the beating come winter, the inside needs some TLC too.
- Fall Cleaning – Fall is a great time to go subject your home to a thorough cleaning and organizing binge. Find storage for all of those trinkets brought home from the Summer vacations. Swap out warm weather clothes for the cold weather sweaters you may have stored in the attic. If you’re feeling craft, try your hand at canning. Summer produce, picked at the height of freshness, makes some of the best preserves and pickles.
- Visit the Attic – Expansion due to extreme differences in hot outside and air conditioned inside temperatures during the dog days of summer can create all kinds of minefields in attic spaces. Check for any visible daylight in your homes roof. Pay especially close attention to the flashing around vents, chimneys or pipes where the baking summer sun can take its toll on sealants and caulks.
- Pest Proof Your Home – The end of Summer is a great time to take care of those little varmints that may be lurking in the corners, cracks and crevices of your home. Rodents love to use whatever entryway they can to take up residence in your cozy home over the winter. Fleas, ticks, spiders and other creepy crawlers will become more active as the weather cools. Consider hiring an experienced exterminator to seal up any access from the outside and to treat with pet and kid safe chemicals.
Summer Outdoor Home Maintenance
Now that you’ve battened down the hatches, it’s time to address the exterior of your home. Out of sight can equal out of mind with basic issues in the yard, driveway or garden. Here’s a few from our must-do list.
- Driveway, Sidewalk or Other Concrete Repairs – Moisture during the fall or winter, followed by freezing temps, can wreak havoc on cracks in your driveway, sidewalk or other concrete structures. Since water expands when it freezes, a seemingly small crevice can lead to a major repair project come spring thaw if not treated. What is a very visibly damaged sidewalk in the fall can be an injury hazard during the winter when its buried under six inches of snow. Seal any cracks with concrete sealant and repair and replace any loose bricks to save you, and your back, some major pain.
- Inspect the Roof – Similar to inspecting the attic for any breaks or gaps, you, or a qualified profession, should walk the roof and perform a visual inspection for loose or missing shingles that could cause water damage during fall and winter storms.
- Yard and Tree Care – The last thing you need during a cold winter snow storm is for an heavy, snow covered branch to come crashing through a window of your home. The end of Summer is the perfect time to do any major pruning. Most trees and bushes have finished flowering and ready for a quick trim.
- Gutters – Let’s face it. Cleaning the gutters of your home is one of the least fun of the regular maintenance tasks. You should, however, root out those gutters every season to avoid potential leaks or water damage and to allow the gutters to function properly.
Odds and Ends
There are some home maintenance items that don’t necessarily need to be done at the end of the Summer. But the turning of the seasons seems like as good a reminder as any that these important items need to be addressed.
- Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarms – Batteries and functionality on smoke alarms and carbon monoxide filters should be checked every few months. Get into the habit of replacing these items with every turn of the season and you’ll never have a dead alarm again.
- Air Filters – Air filters on HVAC or other air intake units can accumulate dust, dirt and allergens over time. Changing your air filters in your home with every season change ensures that you’ll have clear air year-round.
While Summer may be over, some of our favorite times of the year are still to come. Make sure your home is in tip top shape for the Fall and Winter by performing some basic maintenance now. Your undamaged, de-pested and leak free home, will thank you for it with years of carefree living and enjoyment.