7 End-of-Summer Maintenance Tips
There is a high level of comfort and freedom that comes with owning a home. However, taking care of a home requires more responsibility and effort. The summer heat can damage your roof, windows, and driveways, and you might even end up with clogged air filters. At the end of summer, there are various maintenance activities that you can do to keep your house in shape to prevent expensive repairs in the future. Here are seven areas around your home that need attention.
1. Clean the Gutters
Start by clearing off any leaves, twigs, and other debris on the gutters. When ignored, such obstructions can cause the gutters to clog. Roofs have a slanted edge or an incline leading to the gutters. This is to enable heavy rainfall to drain down to the gutter. When the gutters get clogged, the rainwater will stagnate, and it can seep through some weak shingles causing severe water damage to your property. Clogged gutters also encourage plant growth, and the pollen may trigger asthmatic reactions and allergic reactions. In general, cleaning your gutters at the end of summer will extend the life of your roof, will prevent interior damage, and will discourage pests nesting.
2. Clean or Replace the Air Filters
You need to check your air filters at the end of summer. Depending on the model you use, you can either clean or replace them. People run their ACs for prolonged periods during summer, meaning more air passes through the air fitters and deposits debris. The humid summer conditions can also encourage mold growth in a clogged filter. If you suspect that the air filters are dirty, turn off the unit, take out the filter, and check through all the vents since there can be several. Use a hand vacuum to suck out loose dirt from the filters. Next, soak the filters in an equal portion of water and white vinegar for about an hour. After this time elapses, rinse the filter gently using a hose, let it dry, and replace it. For the replaceable models, buy a similar air filter, and replace the old with a new one.
3. Check the House Insulation
Insulation is a critical component in keeping your home energy efficient. Check around the house for areas that require weather stripping or caulking. Begin from the attic, and add a layer of insulation to protect your house from outside elements. Pay attention to the exterior walls, and install the appropriate insulation. Insulate the ductwork, windows, and doors. Do not forget the floors also, and fix any cracks that can lead to surface deterioration. Openings can allow heat to escape from your house during fall and winter and can even allow water to get into the house. These leaks will lead to higher utility bills and will compromise the structural integrity of your house.
4. Repair the Driveway and Walkways
The summer heat and humidity can cause excess damage to the walkways and driveways. The abrupt temperature changes cause the concrete to expand, resulting in cracks. Therefore, you need to check the walkways and driveways at the end of summer and fix any leaks before the winter rain erodes the surface further. Use a broom to sweep off leaves and dust particles from the drive or walkways. Pull out any grass that has grown over the stones, and reposition them. Fix the cracks on the surface using a driveway patch, clean the driveway once more, and seal the edges with a sealant and brush. Alternatively, pour the sealant along the width of the driveway, and use a paintbrush to create an even layer. Allow the sealant to rest for about 24 hours, and then apply a second coat if you have an old driveway.
5. Clean or Upgrade Old Windows and Doors
Dust particles, grime, and other debris can accumulate on your windows during summer. At the end of the season, it’s a good idea that you clean all the windows and doors in your house to enhance its appearance. This will also allow the flow of more natural light into the property. Pour a few drops of dish soap in a bucket of water, dip a towel, and use it to clean the windows and doors. Rinse the cloth in clean water, and wipe off excess soap from top to bottom. When cleaning the windows and doors, inspect them for faulty locking mechanisms, broken glass, or other elements that can cause accidents. Fixing the windowsills, casings, frame issues, or damaged screens early will protect you from accidents and expensive repairs in the future. One of our technicians may also recommend that you upgrade your old doors and windows to those made with modern materials to improve the efficiency of your house and to cut energy bills.
6. Inspect Your Water Heater
You need to ensure that your water heater runs efficiently and reliably at the end of the summer season. Note that water heaters have a lifespan of 10 to 12 years. If your heater is beyond this age limit, prepare to get a new one soon. Inspect the heater also for leaks. If you notice water dripping or pooling around the unit, seek professional assistance. Other signs of a faulty water heater include rumble noises from the system, smelly or discolored water, and inadequate hot water supply. Have such issues addressed early enough before they escalate into major problems. If your heater is in working conditions, keep the water temperature at around 120 degrees Fahrenheit to avoid burns. You can still experiment with various temperature settings in different seasons to see what suits you best. Keep in mind that setting the temperature too low can also encourage bacterial growth within the pipes.
7. Check the State of the HVAC System
The end of summer is one of the best times to have your HVAC system inspected and serviced. If you wait until late fall to have your unit serviced, the technicians will be very busy, meaning that there might be fewer appointment slots available. Also, if your HVAC system requires extensive repairs, the end of summer provides ample repair time rather than during the rush hours. The technician will lubricate moving parts, clean off dust from the system, replace worn-out belts, inspect ducts for mold and dust and change the batteries. This will help improve indoor air quality, keep your family safe, prolong the equipment lifespan, and lower utility bills in the next season.
Need Assistance With End-of-Summer Maintenance? Call the Experts
At the end of the summer, check your house for areas that require maintenance before the cold weather hits. There are some simple maintenance tasks that you can do on your own, but if you don’t have the experience to handle water heater and HVAC systems, seek professional help. While it’s true that maintenance requires some money, you will save a substantial amount in the long run, and you will increase your property value.
If you need assistance preparing your home for the forthcoming fall and winter seasons, get in touch with C & C Heating & Air Conditioning. Our company offers furnace and AC installation, repair, and maintenance services. We also provide duct cleaning, indoor air quality, humidifiers, ductless mini-splits, and water heater services in Detroit and the surrounding regions. Give us a call today, and book an appointment.