Give Your Home Some TLC This Summer With These Home Maintenance Tips
Now that your spring cleaning projects are out of the way, take some time this summer to tackle these simple home projects that will make your home feel new and save you a bundle in costly repairs down the road.
Give Your Home a Fresh Coat of Paint — Not only does a new coat of paint make your home look clean and new again, it also serves as a protective skin against UV light from the sun as well moisture.
Check for Irrigation Leaks — Cold weather can cause your irrigation system to freeze, while water pressure and UV light do damage of their own. Checking your irrigation system — including all hoses and timers — for leaks, pooling water, breaks and clogged sprinkler heads can prevent wasted water and save you money. If you are unable to make repairs yourself, call an irrigation service company to do the work for you.
Touch up the Curb Appeal with Fresh Mulch — Simply layering one to three inches of mulch on your flowerbeds can spruce up the curb appeal of your home. Mulch also helps keep weeds at bay and holds moisture in the soil during the hot summer, saving water (and money).
Seal, Stain or Paint Wood Decks — Time, sun and weather can do a number on your wood deck. If it’s looking a little dull, it’s probably time to seal it and give it a new coat of stain or paint. Start by pressure washing the deck to remove dirt. Then apply sealant and a new layer of stain or paint. This should be done every one to three years, depending on the climate where you live, but it’s well worth the effort and can save you money on replacing your deck if the wood rots.
Clean Gutters — Gutters should be cleaned once or twice a year, depending on how quickly they fill with leaves and debris. Blocked gutters and downspouts can lead to major problems, including water damage in your home, so be sure to check this task off your list this summer. If you don’t own a solid ladder tall enough to do this job, borrow one from a neighbor, or rent one from your local home improvement store. And remember to grab a buddy to hold the ladder steady on the ground while you do the work.
Insulate Water Pipes and Inspect for Leaks — Save heat and money by insulating water pipes with pre-slit, hollow-core “sleeves” made of polyethylene or neoprene foam. While you’re at it on the plumbing, inspect pipes and the water heater for leaks and seal up or repair any leaks or cracks you discover.
Shine Your Windows — Clean windows can make your house look as good as new, without costing you a bundle. All you need is a vinegar-water solution and crumpled newspaper. If you prefer, a few drops of dish soap in a bucket of warm water can also help you achieve a streak-free shine.
Seal Windows and Doors with Caulk — Cut your air conditioning bill this summer by applying caulk around the windows to help keep indoor air in and outdoor heat out. Caulk can also help prevent leaky window frames, which can lead to rot and allow water to seep into your walls.
Replace Your Furnace Filter — It may not be getting used this time of year, but now’s the time to remove and replace your old furnace filter so it will be good as new and ready to go when Old Man Winter returns. Use your vacuum cleaner hose to clean out openings throughout the furnace system, including registers, ducts and vents.
Inspect and Clean the Dryer Vent — A dryer vent that is blocked with trapped lent is a serious fire hazard. Remove the lint filter and use a vent brush to clean out as much of the dryer vent as you can. To ensure the dryer vent is clean, turn on your dryer and go outside to look at the vent. If you can see exhaust air coming out, the vent is clean and clear. If you do not see exhaust air coming out, that means there is a blockage in the vent or exhaust duct.
Clear Out Yard Debris — A pile-up of debris in your yard, particularly near your house, is a welcome invitation to unwanted pests. Take a walk around your home and remove anything that might provide shelter to insects, rats, mice or spiders. Trim bushes and relocate any plants that might be too close to the siding or foundation. Remove vegetation and debris from under decks and steps.
Inspect the Attic — It isn’t uncommon to find pests and rodents taking shelter inside the attic of your home, but wild animals living in your attic can damage electrical wires and insulation and spread diseases. Get into the attic and inspect for any signs of invaders, such as droppings and torn insulation. Repair any damage, spray and set up mousetraps to deter future pests. If you have signs of larger animals, such as squirrels, raccoons or pats, contact your local wildlife agency or animal control to help remove the pests. Use our blog, Did You Hear That?, as a guide to identifying house pests in your attic and walls.
Update Exterior Light Fixtures — Installing new light fixtures on the outside of your home can boost curb appeal and also improve safety and security. If your street is poorly lit, a motion-sensor light over your garage and on the side of your home can help deter unwelcome visitors.
Clean Rugs and Upholstery — It can be a big job, but it’s a must. Keeping floor rugs, carpets and upholstery clean is especially important if you or anyone else living in your home suffer from allergies. Rent a DIY carpet cleaner or call in the carpet cleaning pros to tackle this one for you.
Though some home projects are more enjoyable than others, these routine home maintenance tasks are important and can prevent headache and costly repairs in the future.
Is moving to a new home on your to-do list this summer? Contact a PrimeLending home loan expert to get you prequalified for a home loan.
From the PrimeLending blog by Mandy Jordan