Winter has its ice storms and freezing temperatures that shock your home. Spring has its abundance of rain. And fall has its mountain of leaves, wreaking havoc on the gutters. Summer, in general, is supposed to be the season you can lay back and enjoy your home – free from nature’s more extreme impulses.
Unfortunately, even summer can affect your home. The heat, coupled with the occasional torrential downpour can have both immediate and secondary effects on the overall health of your home. In this post, let’s look at some proactive steps you can take to fix, maintain and improve your home ahead of the hot summer.
Check for Inefficient Doors and Windows
Low emissivity windows, as well as windows and doors that aren’t properly weather stripped, are going to be inefficient at keeping out the heat (or, put another way, at keeping in the cool air). Over time, this means that you pay more out of pocket to cool your home. It’s never a bad idea, therefore, to check for inefficient doors and windows, replacing them or weather stripping if necessary.
Fix an Improperly Vented Roof
Warm air rises. An improperly vented roof – a roof that doesn’t let warm air escape – means that all that warm air collects in the attic, eventually moving back downstairs. This hot air can even damage the shingles from the inside of the ceiling.
And, like energy inefficient windows and doors, it can mean that you’re paying more to air-condition your home. If your roof lacks ventilation, visit a roofing expert like the ones at professionalroofers.com and chat about ventilation options. Show heat the exit with a properly ventilated roof.
Understand the Wide-Ranging Effects of Winter Storms
Winter storms hit your home in a number of ways. First and most obviously, the rain hits your home, taxing your plumbing, testing your waterproofing and rushing the gutters.
But there are secondary effects as well: storms cause felled branches, which can collect on your roof, damage your home’s siding and back up your gutters. Storms can also displace wildlife, causing them to take shelter in your home – under your balcony, roof or, in extreme cases, indoors.
Call in a plumber to check that your sump pump and backwater valve are in working order. Talk to a roofer about leak repair. Clear your gutters ahead of the rainy season, and consider installing a metal cage over your vent to keep any rodents or animals out of your home.
Don’t Let Bugs Bug You
Bugs are, for better or worse, an inseparable part of the summer experience. At best, they pollenate the garden or keep other insects at bay. At worst, they invade your home and refuse to leave.
There are all sorts of folk wisdom tidbits on how to prevent bugs from the home. Some suggest that you should sprinkle coffee grounds at the entrances to keep ants away. But then you’re just left with coffee grounds everywhere. Honestly, the best way to prevent bugs is to seal off the source; find any and every crack and opening they might get in from, and either caulk or seal it.
Keep Mold at Bay
You may not enjoy the humidity in your home, but you know who does? This microscopic mold spores collecting on everything from your drywall to underneath your rug. Luckily, mold prevention is usually a quick fix. Most mold cases can be prevented by simply opening a couple windows to create a cross-ventilating stream of air. Mold proliferated in moist environments, and fresh air can restrict its access.
Unfortunately, opening the windows on the hottest days of the year isn’t really a feasible option. It can wind up costing you a fortune in cooling costs to overcompensate. In these cases, consider purchasing a dehumidifier, which draws the ambient moisture from the air, leaving little for the mold to snack on. Couple your efforts with some mold-resistant paint and you should be set!
Watch out for HVAC Issues
The ideal time for HVAC maintenance is before the hot weather arrives, but if you didn’t get around to scheduling your recommended annual HVAC servicing in the spring, don’t leave it any longer. There are a few reasons experts recommend an annual HVAC check-up:
- Regular maintenance increases the life of an HVAC system
- Regular maintenance ensures an efficient system, saving you on energy bills
- Clearing out dust and debris accumulated over the winter results in fewer indoor pollutants
- Checking the air ducts will spot any growing mold or pet dander that you don’t want infiltrating your air.
Once a year may seem excessive, but it’s important for maintaining a long-lasting system and a healthy, happy home.
Don’t Just Brush off Your BBQ Issues
The moment the warm weather hits, the grilling tongs come out. Your BBQ gets a lot of use over the summer, and you want to make sure it’s taken care of. Contrary to what some might think, a BBQ is not self-cleaning. A little heat and a wire brush can get you a relatively debris-free surface, but it can’t really tackle smaller bacteria or larger deposits of carbonized oils.
Once in a while, before you start grilling, remove the grate and give it a thorough cleaning in soap and water. Work the insides of the grill dome as well, which can collect oil and, eventually, contribute to off-flavors in your cooking. If you have a charcoal grill, take time every once and a while to clear the soot from the bottom of the cooker with a brush.
Summer may not come with quite the same weather baggage as the other seasons, but a little common-sense prevention and maintenance still goes a long way. Pay particular attention to the big issues like your roofing problems and plumbing, and then work your way to down to smaller issues like bugs and BBQ maintenance.
With a little elbow grease and a contacts list of reliable contractors, you can easily avoid these summer home pitfalls!