ATTENTION HOMEOWNERS! Summer vacation is interrupted to bring you this public service announcement: Your home needs you. While you’re relaxing and having fun, your house is working hard to keep you safe and comfy. But in return, it needs a little TLC from you. Summer is the perfect time to take care of the following 5 essential tasks on your home maintenance honey-do list.
- Get your roof in shape. The bright midsummer sunshine is wonderful, but not when you can spy it twinkling merrily through the holes in your roof. Roof holes mean leaks, and leaks mean the looming possibility of serious water damage in your home’s near future … not to mention the negative effect that mold and mildew can have on your family’s health. So take action now and get your roof in shape – repaired or, if necessary, replaced -- before the cold and snowy season (yes, we’re talking winter) comes around once more.
- Install energy-saving windows and entry doors. Have brand new energy-saving windows and entry doors installed this summer and you’ll reduce your carbon footprint and save on HVAC bills all year round. Obviously, you will find it more comfortable to tackle this type of project in July than in January when your hands will be freezing. Equally important, though, is the fact that installation in warmer temperatures will also permit your caulk to adhere properly, sealing up air leaks and making your new windows or doors even more energy-efficient, in summers and winters to come.
- Update your driveway. Is your concrete driveway showing signs of wear, such as cracking, pitting, or spalling? Or don’t you have a drive at all? Summer is the ideal time to install or resurface a driveway (not to mention a concrete parking pad, patio, sidewalk, or garden path). Why? Well, concrete needs the right weather conditions to cure properly. (Curing refers to a process of controlling the water content after installation, which strengthens the concrete and avoids cracks due to shrinkage.) A stretch of several dry days with the temperature above 50 degrees is just right.
- Repair or replace your garage door. After months of routinely opening your garage door only twice a day as you drive to and from work, suddenly these days you seem to need to get into the garage all the time – working on summer projects, taking out bicycles and kiddie pools, or hauling out the lawn mower and other garden equipment. If you notice that the opener is not working as smoothly as it should … or the whole door is becoming sun faded and worn … consider repair or replacement. Besides the fact that this will make the garage more convenient and safer to open right now, a new insulated garage door can help you cut heating costs when all that's left of this summer are happy memories.
- Un-invite insect and rodent “guests.” While you are happily entertaining friends at a gala summery barbecue, your home may be forced to host visitors of the less welcome variety. Insect and rodent pests such as termites, cockroaches, and mice will damage property and may even carry disease. Others, like bed bugs, are just plain annoying. And no, generally these critters will not die off even when the temperature drops. They are happily living inside your house, remember? Effective pest control treatments often require airing the house out afterward – which tends to be an awful lot pleasanter in balmy weather than in a blizzard.
Laura Firszt writes for networx.com.