School’s out, the weather’s warm and, after a lockdown-filled 2021, homeowners across Southwestern Ontario are ready to enjoy every moment of their summer.
(We deserve it!)
Knowing your home will be your hub for indoor and outdoor fun and relaxation from July-September, and wanting to avoid ANY additional complications this year, it’s important to put in a little maintenance work upfront.
Here are ten simple home maintenance tasks for a complication-free summer:
We all know how important AC is during the summer – especially when the 35C humidex kicks in!
Keep your system humming by replacing old air filters, removing any brush that may be obstructing the AC unit, and listening for any loud noises when the unit starts and stops. And, if you haven’t done so in a while, consider a professional tune-up.
With a little proactivity, you’ll avoid an ill-timed AC breakdown (and the resulting meltdown).
Repair Window Screens
AC is critical, but on summer mornings and evenings, nothing beats opening the windows and letting the breeze roll in (this is also important for your home’s air quality!). But, you’ll want to keep the rest of the outside world — which includes mosquitoes, flies, and other insects — where it belongs: outside.
Check all screens for rips. If they’re small, you may be able to patch them. If large, consider replacing them.
Inspect Your Roof
Water management is going to be a recurring topic throughout this article, mainly because of the collateral damage it causes and the high costs typically involved with repairs.
Your roof is, as you’d expect, your #1 line of defense when it comes to keeping water out of your home. Take some time and check your roof for signs of wear and damage and repair issues accordingly to ensure your interior remains bone-dry.
Clean The Gutters
Your gutters, along with your roof, are a critical part of your home’s water management system. If they’re clogged with debris — often comprised of leaves and asphalt granules from your shingles — they can’t do their job: routing water AWAY from the home. This can lead to water pooling in the gutters, potentially making its way into your home, or spilling over and pooling around the foundation.
If you haven’t already done so this year, take some time on a sunny morning and clean your gutters (and, if you’re not comfortable doing it yourself, hire a pro. It’s worth it!)
Prune Those Trees!
What’s that noise on the roof? It’s not Summer Santa; it’s tree branches striking your roof during a storm.
Aside from the noise, when trees touch your roof repeatedly, they can damage shingles which can lead to water intrusion.
Prevent roof damage and avoid larger issues by trimming overgrown or hanging trees that could make contact with your home.
Check Your Grading
When it rains, it pours. And when it pours, you’ll want to know that water is moving AWAY from your home’s foundation. If it’s not, you could find yourself with an unexpected splash pad in your basement.
Walk your home’s perimeter and make sure the ground slopes downward and away from your foundation. And, while you’re at it, consider trimming any shrubs growing close to your home so that they’re not touching your foundation (shrubs retain moisture).
Test Your Sump Pump
This is something you should actually do in the spring before the rainy season hits. If you haven’t done this — even if there have been no issues — take some time now and test your sump pump to make sure it works properly.
Here’s a quick how-to video from our friends at Activa Homes:
Hit The Deck!
There’s no better place to be with friends, family (and a cold beverage) than your deck.
Knowing it’ll get A LOT of foot traffic this summer, and also that the kids will likely be running around on it, now is a great time to make sure it’s safe and sturdy.
Pressure wash it, check for signs of wear, remove and replace defective nails and damaged planks — and protect it with stain or seal.
Repair The Driveway
Hot, cold, wet, dry: we get all extremes in Southwestern Ontario. This can wreak havoc on your driveway, causing cracks that, if not sealed, can get worse over time and lead to more extensive repairs or replacement.
Summer is the perfect time to pressure wash and repair cracks before they have the chance to expand.
Check Your Home Safety Systems
Above all else, you’ll want to ensure the health and safety of those living in your home.
Check your smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors, and fire extinguishers to make sure they’re working as intended. Also, make sure your water and gas shut-off valves are unobstructed and easy to access in the event of an emergency.
Protect Your Investment
With your home being such a valuable asset, not only financially but in terms of the enjoyment it brings, it’s important to ensure your key systems are in proper working order.
As the old saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. By taking some time to identify and fix small issues today, you’ll not only sidestep costly and invasive repairs this summer, but you’ll also be able to rest easy knowing your home will be your complication-free oasis for years to come.