Summer is here! Before you pack the car for your family vacation, don’t forget about the routine maintenance that should be performed on your home this season. This summer home maintenance will help lower energy bills and save you time, effort, and investment of future home repair.
1. Monitor the humidity in your home. Too much humidity, which can happen in the summer months, can lead to moisture on the windows and damp or musty basements. Humidistats can be placed throughout the home and give you a better reading of the humidity than just the humidistat on the furnace alone. If your humidity level is too high (we recommend maintaining a humidity level of 35-45%), consider using a dehumidifier.
2. Water your street trees. Street trees need TLC in the summer, especially if they were installed that spring. Water street trees throughout the summer – approximately 5 gallons per day for the first 2 weeks after the tree was installed and 10 gallons per week thereafter.
3. Get warm, moist air out of your home. On a day when the humidity and temperature is low, open the windows to let fresh air in and to give your home a fresh start, especially if your home’s been closed up and has had the A/C cranked for a few weeks.
4. Check the plumbing traps for water. The plumbing trap is the curved pipe by your sinks, toilets, etc., and holds water to prevent sewer gases from entering the building. If you come home after an extended vacation to find your home smelling like sewage, it’s likely the water in your traps evaporated while you were away. To fix this, simply run water in all of your sinks to refill the traps.
5. Use silicone spray on the windows. Vinyl windows can expand in the heat. Silicone spray is a lubricant and will help you open and close the window more easily this season.
6. Check your gutters for debris. This may seem like a job for the fall, but it’s smart to check your gutters periodically throughout the year. Make sure your gutters are clear of debris so they can handle the season’s heavy rainstorms.
7. Inspect weather-stripping around all doors. As the seasons change, you may need to make minor adjustments to door catches to create a tighter seal between the door and weather-stripping.
8. Check that painted exterior items are in good condition and touch up or re-paint as needed. These items may include your front door, porch post, architectural moldings, garage door, steel lintels over windows and doors (in brick areas), and main gas service supply.
9. Disconnect the duct connected to the dryer and the wall and clean all connections of lint. Be sure to clean the dryer vent’s outside hood, as well.
10. Hire a licensed contractor to seal all exterior concrete surfaces. We know cold, snowy days are far from your mind, but sealing will protect the concrete from harmful salt tracked in on vehicle tires and boots during the winter.