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Summer Home Maintenance Guide

Homeowner beware: Summer does not mean vacation when it comes to your house. It’s easy to put off regular home maintenance during these long, lazy days of summer. But a little bit of effort now can save you a lot of time — and money — down the road. Here are five must-dos for summer home maintenance.

The following is a guest post by William Dukes

Homeowner beware: Summer does not mean vacation when it comes to your house. It’s easy to put off regular home maintenance during these long, lazy days of summer. But a little bit of effort now can save you a lot of time — and money — down the road. Here are five must-dos for summer home maintenance.


LAWN CARE

Summer lawn care basics are the same, no matter where you live. Mow regularly, Water deeply and keep an eye out for pests and diseases. Those tasks and a little weeding should keep your lawn green and lush. Different kinds of grasses, whether warm-season or cool-season, need different amounts of water and mowing heights. Lawns in warmer, humid areas are more prone to fungal diseases. A good rule of thumb to ward off fungal diseases such as brown patch is to water early in the morning. It allows the water to seep into the roots and the soil, but the remaining water droplets will evaporate during the daytime heat.

This is also the time to trim your bushes and shrubs. Before you start removing all the dead and damaged branches, make sure you have the right tools, and you know how to cut at the right angle. Improper pruning can stress the shrubs.

HVAC

Most people sleep better when the room is cool. Science shows adults sleep best when the room is between 60 and 67 degrees at night. Keeping your bedroom cool is just one reason why you need to keep your HVAC in tiptop shape. Don’t wait until something malfunctions. Have an HVAC technician make regular maintenance visits. The technician will not only keep things running smoothly but can often tell you if you have a major repair or even a replacement on the horizon. Regular HVAC visits save you money and often give you time to budget for a replacement. It also prevents you from tossing and turning through a sweaty summer night.

INSPECT/REPAIR HOME EXTERIOR

Take a slow walk around your house and pay special attention to the exterior. Is the siding cracked? What condition is the paint in? Is there any apparent damage? Now’s the time to get things fixed. A little bit of damage to your siding can be a DIY project that’s easy to do. Summer is the time to touch up paint, or power wash your home’s exterior and driveway and take care of any projects before the winter weather gets in the way.

SEAL WINDOWS

A significant amount of your home’s energy loss happens around your windows and doors, making your home more expensive to cool in the summer and heat in the winter. Summer is a great time to seal and caulk your windows, and any other small holes that you might find. Take a close look near your kitchen exhaust fan or fireplace flues. Summer is also a great time to replace your windows with more energy-efficient models. Window replacement is pricey, but it will save your home a lot of energy loss and make it easier to keep the temperature comfortable.

OUTDOOR COOKERS

A summertime backyard cookout is peak American. Whether you have a gas grill, a charcoal grill, a smoker, or any other outdoor cooker, you can increase their efficiency and lower your risk of food poisoning by cleaning them. For gas grills, turn on the grill and let it heat up for about 20 minutes, then turn off the gas and scrub the grill with a barbecue brush. For a charcoal grill, remove the grill and scour it with a metal brush, or even a ball of aluminum foil and get the ash, rust, and gunk off of it. Remove and empty the ash can and wipe out any debris on the bottom of the grill. But you don’t want to aggressively scrub a smoker. The oily, smoky coating is important in the low and slow cooking process. You’ll want to remove the ash and grease regularly and be sure not to disturb the smoker’s seasoning.

It doesn’t take a lot of effort to keep your home running smoothly during the summer months, and repair any damage that may have happened over the cold months. Remember, maintenance and minor repairs are always less of a headache than major repairs and replacement!

William Dukes is a freelance writer and home decorator. He spends most of his time landscaping and fixing up and flipping old houses. He and his wife enjoy home DIY projects and recently built a new barn for their ranch.

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