Tuesday, August 15, 2023 / by Bell Home Team
13 Summer Projects To Do Before The End Of August
It’s hard to think of home maintenance when the beach is calling your name. While you’d most likely want to grab a refreshing drink and head outside rather than grab your tools and do some maintenance, there’s work to be done this summer.
General Summer Home Maintenance Tips
1. Stay Out of the Attic
Attic temperatures can reach 120 to 150 degrees in the summer. These temperatures are hazardous, so save any attic maintenance projects for the fall or winter.
2. Stay Indoors or Do Your Maintenance in the Morning
There are many summer home maintenance projects you can do indoors. However, if you are adamant about working on the exterior of your home, do it in the early morning to beat the summer heat.
3. Take Advantage of Companies That Are Slow in the Summer
Chimney sweeps, gutter cleaners and dryer vent cleaners come to mind. Usually, most homeowners wait until the fall and winter to call these professionals. Likewise, they often have deals to offset their summer slowdown. Take advantage of these savings by scheduling your service before the end of Summer.
Basic Summer Projects to Do Before the End of the Summer
1. Check Your Carbon Monoxide Detectors and Smoke Alarms
Change the batteries and replace any detectors older than ten years old. According to Juan Jimenez, owner of A House on a Rock Home Inspections, “At a minimum, carbon monoxide alarms are required on each floor of your home, and in the immediate vicinity of the bedrooms. However, many industry experts also recommend installing one in each bedroom.” If you don’t have any, or if you don’t have enough, now is the time to add them.
2. Set Your Ceiling Fans to Spin Counterclockwise
In the summer, you’ll want them to push air down to create a cooling breeze. In the winter, you want them to pull air up to force the trapped heated air into the rest of the room. Now is also a good time to clean those ceiling fan blades. They can become dusty and unsanitary throughout the year.
3. Flush Your Water Heater
Nasty sediment builds up in the bottom of your water heater and must be flushed at least once a year. Otherwise, your tank can’t store as much hot water, and the water will be dirty. As long as your water heater is not in your attic, the summer is a great time to flush it.
4. Check for Leaks
Look under all sinks and around all toilets for leaks. It’s best to plug your sinks and fill them up to check for leaks. Additionally, you should flush your toilets a few times and look around the base and tank for leaking.
Crawlspace Summer Home Maintenance Tips
Contrary to popular belief, the crawlspace under your home is much cooler than the outside temperatures. In addition, certain crawlspace defects only present symptoms in the summer, making it the perfect time to head down there.
5. Close Your Crawlspace Vents
Your crawlspace vents should be closed all year long. Building science experts debunked the old-fashioned advice of opening them in the summer and closing them in the winter. Open crawlspace vents invite heat and humidity into your crawlspace, causing condensation and mold.
6. Inspect Your Crawlspace for Leaks
There are generally many pipes in your crawlspace. Turn on all the water in your house, and check the pipes carefully for leaks.
7. Look for Foundation Cracks
There will typically be vertical hairline cracks. This is normal. For anything more significant, you’ll want to contact a professional for further evaluation.
8. Check for Anything Else out of Place
Look for falling insulation, damaged ducts, mold, water damage or anything else that might need repair. Alternatively, you could call a professional to check your crawlspace.
Outdoor Summer Home Maintenance
Outdoor projects in the Summer should be limited to the morning when temperatures are cooler. Don’t tackle a job like repairing a deck unless it’s absolutely necessary. Additionally, jobs that keep you cool, like pressure washing, are a good idea.
9. Pressure Wash Your Siding
Now is a good time to tackle if you have a lot of algae, moss or mildew on your siding. If you use chemicals, make sure to protect your plants. Also, never pressure wash your roof. You will remove granules and reduce the life of your roof. Lastly, be careful with painted surfaces because the pressure can remove the paint.
10. Check Your Sprinkler System
Your sprinklers should only run in the early morning anyway. Make sure they’re all popping up and have good steady pressure. Next, look for any sprinklers hitting the house or deck and adjust them away. Lastly, check for runoff water in the street, indicating you are running them too long.
11. Clean Your Air Conditioner
The outside coils (the big box with the fan) can get dirty, reducing efficiency. Likewise, this increases your cooling bill and decreases your comfort. All you need is a can of coil cleaner and a garden house. You can pick up a can of air conditioner coil cleaner from any hardware store. Simply follow the directions on the can.
12. Paint Your Front Door
Painting your front door protects it and extends its life and it also boosts your curb appeal. Bright-colored doors are trending right now. Just make sure you check with your HOA first.
13. Do Any Necessary Hurricane Preparation
Hurricane season is usually from June until November. The most severe storms are generally in September. This means you’ll want to handle all of your hurricane preparation by the end of the summer. Check out this comprehensive hurricane preparation checklist to make sure you’re ready.
An ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure. Every season you should be spending some time on preventative maintenance. Keep your home in tip-top shape to prevent large costly repair bills.
By Juan Jimenez, Lexie Pelchen