Happy summer, friends! Though school’s been out in Middle Tennessee for almost a month and the temperatures have been soaring, yesterday was the first official day of summer. Now that the days are getting longer, let’s take advantage of the extra sunlight to get some important seasonal chores done around the homestead! Summer is notoriously hard on our homes. Hot temperatures and lower rain totals mean that our homes and lawns will take a beating. Imagine being out all day and night without your 50 SPF! That’s essentially what our homes and lawns are facing, but with a little help, they can weather the hot weather with ease. Here’s what the experts say about summer-izing your home!
- Your roof is one of the most weather susceptible parts of your home. After a cold winter with freezing temperatures and a wet spring with wind, rain and maybe even hail, you might have roof damage you can’t see. Call a professional and ask them to inspect flashing around chimneys, skylights and overhangs to ensure they are securely sealed. Repair broken seals and missing shingles so summer won’t be ruined by costly interior leaks!
- Gutters, gutters, gutters. Most people think of cleaning their gutters in the autumn after the leaves have fallen, but it’s a really good idea to give them another once-over at the beginning of summer. Twigs, branches and all kinds of natural blockages can find their way into our gutters during winter snow and wind storms. Animals love to use our gutters to stash their post-hibernation snacks. In addition, gutters and downspouts might have taken a hit from heavy ice and snow. Ensure they are still securely attached and connected to your home.
- Like the roof, your home’s siding, concrete and even brick and mortar have been expanding and contracting throughout the previous seasons. Siding can come loose and must be repaired or replaced quickly. Cracks in mortar, your driveways, sidewalks and steps must be patched up before water and humidity can seep in and cause damage. Also, check that windows and doorframes are property sealed and watertight.
- If you’ve been thinking of painting your home’s exterior, now is the time! A new coat of paint not only gives your home a boost of curb appeal, but a good, quality exterior paint will protect wood, trim and shutters from exposure to the elements. Heat and humidity can cause exposed wood to warp, buckle and crack, so an ounce of prevention in the form of a few coats of new paint is well worth your time, effort and money.
- If you have exterior or underground drains (gardens, patios, garages, etc…), check them for blockages. Backups in your drains can cause nasty, costly flooding. Make sure that the grading of your yard slopes away from your home’s foundation. It might seem excessive, but cold weather, compressing snow and a constantly freezing and thawing ground can cause your yard to actually change shape. Specifically, make sure that the ground around your foundation has not sunk or settled in a way that would allow summer storms to create a moat around your home.
- Last, but not least, arrange for a detailed HVAC inspection. A qualified technician can service your units properly, give you a heads up on possible summer complications and make the best recommendations to ensure the interior of your home is nice and cool all summer long. Be sure to replace HVAC filters, too.
Most of this to-do list is “inspection” only, so it shouldn’t take long for you to climb up and around to make sure your home is ready for summer. If necessary, make a few phone calls to home maintenance professionals and then retire to your porch with a big glass of sweet tea, knowing you and your home are ready to greet summer with open arms!