8 of the Most Important
Summer Home Maintenance Tips
The long, hot, Texas summer days don’t just mean it’s time for swimming pools and frozen drinks – it’s also time to check a few important summer home maintenance to-dos off of your list.
The summer isn’t the only thing that’s hot in San Antonio – as reported by SmartAsset, San Antonio ranks in the top 10 best cities for first time home buyers (again)! Whether you’re looking to cash in and upgrade your home, or beautify and maintain the one you have, these simple summer home maintenance tips can help increase your home’s curb appeal, while also preventing serious future problems.
Here are 8 of the most important summer home maintenance tips:
1. Inspect and Touch up Exterior Paint or Stain
Summer is the perfect time to inspect your exterior paint or stain and touch up if needed, since the days are long and dry. According to experts at This Old House, the perfect temperature for outdoor painting is under 90°F and above 50°F (which is no trouble in central Texas!). Here are some great tips for exterior home painting in the summer months:
- Follow the sun around the house. Paint the north side first, the east side of the building late in the morning, the south side in the middle of the afternoon, the west side late in the afternoon.
- Apply two finishing coats, each within two weeks from when the previous is completely dry.
- Use oil paint for trims, as it gives a beautiful shine.
An exterior paint touch up can significantly improve the exterior appearance of your home. If you can’t remember the exact color of your NewLeaf home, please contact us, and we will be happy to help you.
2. Clean the Exterior of Your Home
Over time, stains, moss, and bacteria can accumulate on the outside of your home, contributing to degradation and causing a loss of curb-appeal. A dirty home exterior affects not only your home’s appearance and lifespan, but it can also cause a lot of interior household problems. For example, if your roof is dingy, it may be stained a darker shade, which attracts significantly more sunlight than a clean roof – adding to your summer energy bill.
There are a few options to cleaning the exterior of your home, including pressure washing and soft washing. Soft washing is a safe, eco-friendly option that can improve the look of your home, contribute to energy savings, and extend the lifespan of your home. It’s recommended to hire a professional to soft wash or pressure wash your home.
3. Clean Your Gutters
With hurricane season upon on, clean gutters are a top priority in the summer months. Gutters control the flow of rainwater to protect your roof, walls, foundation and landscape. When neglected, gutters can cause serious issues, like a leaky roof and water damage to the interior or exterior of your home. Clogged-up gutters also make nice homes for pests, rodents, and mold. Here are a few tips to consider when cleaning your gutters:
- Wear a shirt with long sleeves and wear rubber gloves.
- Have a good extendable ladder available. Standoff stabilizers are a great way to keep the ladder from damaging the gutter.
- Use a small plastic scoop to remove gunk. Buy a gutter scoop from the hardware store or try a child’s sand shovel.
- Spare your lawn by dumping the stuff onto a plastic tarp.
- After you’ve cleared the muck, flush the gutters and downspouts with a garden hose — also a great way to spot any leaks.
4. Inspect for Water Leakage
Before leaving for your extended summer vacation, make sure to inspect your home for any sign of water leakage. If a water leak happens, it can cause extensive damage quite quickly. Inspect the hoses behind your washing machine, dishwasher, icemaker, and refrigerator for any signs of leaks, cracking or wear and tear. You should expect to replace these hoses every 3-5 years, and it is important to regularly check for any signs of active leaking. Even a tiny drip can add up to a big waste of water, and can cause extensive water damage and mold. Pinhole leaks in hoses can be covered up by winding regular electrical tape around the dry hose in overlapping layers. Worn, old hoses and/or those with large leaks should be replaced completely.
5. Clean Window and Masonry Weep Holes
Weep holes are the way windows drain water to the outside. Clogged weep holes can prevent excess water from draining and over time. Standing water can damage your windows, leading to structural damage from mold and wood rot if water enters the wall cavity. And the summer humidity provides optimal conditions for the fungi to grow and thrive.
To clean window and masonry weep holes:
- First vacuum and clean any unwanted dirt or dust in the window sill, track system and weep holes.
- Make sure that weep holes are clean of all debris, stucco, sand or other blocks.
- Use a small cloth or toothbrush to clean weep holes if clogged.
- If the exterior perimeter of window frame is cracked, seal with a good grade sealant to prevent water intrusion.
6. Touch up Caulk
According to the US Department of Energy, sealing air leaks with caulk can results in 10-20% home energy savings!
Caulking fills gaps and cracks to keep air, water and bugs out of your home, typically around windows, doors, pipes, plumbing and wherever there’s a break in siding. All small holes and cracks should be filled in, and deteriorated caulking should be scraped out and replaced to keep hot air out of your home and cool air in.Here is a great how-to article from Lowe’s to get you started.
7. Lube Garage Overhead Door and Tighten Bolts
On average homeowners open and close garage doors 6 times every day and even more during the summer when the kids are home. All this opening and closing for bicycles, pool toys, lawn equipment and more, contributes to wear and tear, especially on the garage door rollers.
The first thing to do is open the door while standing underneath it to inspect for any signs of trouble, then clean all the rollers with a rag and spray them with garage door spray lubricant. Lastly, check all the roller hinges for loose bolts. For a more comprehensive garage door maintenance, check out this article from Home Repair Tutor.
8. Clean Your Air Conditioner Filter
Every air conditioner has a filter that should be cleaned out monthly, especially if it is running at an all-time high. You can clean the filter of dust by washing with warm water or using a vacuum cleaner. If your air conditioner is newer, it may have a self-cleaning function.