Owning a home requires year-round responsibilities, but you don’t need to dread these tasks. Home maintenance is easier than you might think. The key is to take seasonal preventive measures that are manageable and certainly less expensive than the costly repairs that’ll be needed if you neglect your property. Here’s a guide to the essential tasks you’ll want to complete this summer.
Summer is the perfect season to make sure your home systems are in proper working order. The warm weather makes it easy to take care of outdoor tasks to deter pests and minimize the potential for property damage later in the year. Here are five essential home maintenance tasks you’ll want to complete this summer:
Test your ground fault (GFCI) outlets. Bathrooms, kitchens, and other areas exposed to moisture should be equipped with Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter outlets, according to local building codes. These outlets are designed to prevent electrical shocks and minimize the possibility of fires by stopping the flow of electricity when a hazard occurs. The easiest way to test that your GFCI outlets are working properly is to plug in a lamp, turn it on, and press the outlet’s test button. If the light goes out, the outlet is working as it should. If it stays lit, the outlet needs to be replaced.
Secure your outdoor furniture. Violent summertime storms can send things flying – patio furniture, trampolines, even swing sets! Secure these items to the ground or deck with bolts, anchors, or rope, and properly store them when they’re not in use. It’s also helpful to construct a wind barrier around furniture by installing a decorative wall or planting shrubbery.
Add anchor bolts to your doors. Experts say over 25% of the home insurance claims in the summer are related to wind damage. High winds can cause house and garage doors to fail, but anchor bolts secure doors to the structure. They’re especially useful in areas where tornados are common. If you’re replacing your front door, consider installing one that opens outward. That way, high winds will seal it shut tightly, rather than pushing it open.
Cut back overgrown vegetation. Keep those pests at bay by trimming or removing plant life close to your house, experts advise. Left unchecked, that greenery attracts and conceals rodents, insects, and other wildlife.
Trim low-hanging branches and remove unhealthy trees. Tour your property and look for overhanging limbs, broken branches, or dying trees. Trimming these branches and removing problem trees in the summer can help prevent a tree limb from damaging your home or vehicle during a storm. Experts recommend maintaining a 10-foot clearance between the house and tree limbs wherever possible.
Taking a little time and investing a little effort now will ensure that summer retains the outdoor charm and fun we all love, and not a home maintenance headache. And, if we haven’t said it enough before now, summer is also the perfect time to replace your HVAC system’s air filter if you haven’t changed it lately. That way, your central air conditioning system will run at peak efficiency and keep your family cool and comfortable when you’re indoors.