In this series of articles, Ownersite Technologies looks at home maintenance by the seasons to see how each period in the year brings a new set of responsibilities for maintaining your home. These valuable tips are all part of the company’s unique online home maintenance and inventory system that can help you maximize your biggest investment.
When temperatures start to rise, it’s time to make sure that certain appliances and equipment around the home are in working order. Otherwise, it will be a long, uncomfortable and unpleasant summer. Since you most likely have plans to spend the majority of the season outdoors, you will want to focus your cleaning and maintenance projects on these areas.
Keep Your Cool with Preventative Maintenance
Listed below are a number of areas that need your maintenance attention during the summer months. These are all suggested areas that can help you maintain your house in the best condition possible so you can minimize repair bills and maximize summer fun.
- Air Conditioning
The most important piece of equipment that most people could not do without – despite rising utility costs – is the air conditioner and, in some cases, a swamp cooler. At the first sign that the weather is beginning to warm up, it is time to prepare your air conditioner for daily use. Check out the following aspects of your air conditioner:
- Clean and replace filter.
- Inspect hoses and identify any possible leaks.
- Remove any debris from around the unit that could clog the coils.
- Store the cover for the unit that you used to protect it through the cold and rainy months.
Taking care of these small tasks should help keep you from seeking professional help, waiting for an appointment during peak months, and getting stuck with a large bill for high-priced parts.
- Outdoor Surfaces and Equipment
If you have wood structures on your property, such as decks, steps, and railings, this is the time to clean, possibly repair and re-stain, and seal them to protect and preserve the wood. While the thought of these projects may put you off the idea of any type of maintenance, it really does pay to take care of these items now so you can enjoy them during the summer months and avoid any expensive repairs or remodeling projects.
The heat can wreak havoc on other outdoor surfaces, such as concrete or asphalt, so this is a good time to repair holes or cracks. This will prevent further damage as well as minimize any accidents if kids are playing sports on these surfaces and protect anyone from tripping or twisting an ankle.
This is also the opportune time to clean and inspect any outdoor cooking equipment, such as a barbecue, and pick up a fresh propane tank so that you can keep on grilling all summer long. You also want to look over patio equipment, fire pits, and outdoor fire places for any maintenance issues, including checking gas lines and inspecting for any possible leaks.
- Swimming Pool and Spa
For those of you that are lucky enough to have an in-ground pool and/or spa, there is a lot of work to do to get your oasis ready for the summer months. Many of you may live in areas of the country where winterizing your pool is quite common. This could either involved draining all the water or simply treating the water with special winterized chemicals and then covering it up during the cold months.
While some take time to refill, condition, and start their pools up in the spring months, it is the start of warm weather that sends the signal to step up the maintenance on your pool and spa. If you do not keep up with the maintenance, you will be faced with a swampy, sludgy mess that becomes a dream home for frogs and a wide variety of algae. Summer maintenance involves the following weekly tasks:
- Check chemicals with a test kit.
- Add necessary chemicals, such as chlorine, soda ash, and/or muriatic acid.
- Vacuum pool.
- Brush the sides and tile of the pool and spa.
- Scoop out leaves and other debris from the surface or within the water that that vacuum did not get.
- Top up the water in the pool (if you do not have an auto-fill mechanism) so that it is a few inches above the tile line.
The pool filter should also receive regular maintenance, including cleaning all filter grids and adding sand or diatomaceous earth (depending on the type of filter you have) back into the pool’s filtering system, at the start and end of the summer season to keep it sparkling and inviting during the season.
- Landscaping, Insects, and Septic Tanks
The summer months bring some unpleasant guests – and it’s not just the in-laws. While you may feel obligated to have some people over for a barbecue, there are certain flying insects that you do not want to invite. This means checking for and removing any signs of wasps or hornets that you spot, particularly under the eaves of the roof. You may want to consider calling in a professional who can also take care of other pests, such as termites, gophers, mosquitoes, and any impending invasion by an army of ants. Ignoring these may cause you to spend more time indoors than you would like.
Get ready for weekly lawn mowing, trimming, and blowing (unless you have a desert landscape plan or other low-maintenance yard). The weeds will also return with a vengeance, so you will have to tend to those pesky garden dwellers as well as check all your sprinkler heads for any necessary repairs to keep your watering system on the right track. If you have not done so already in the spring time, it’s best to inspect all your lawn and gardening equipment so it is in working order as soon as the grass starts growing after its winter hibernation.
If you have a septic tank, this is a good time to get it pumped out or inspected by a professional. Otherwise, you and the stench could become the talk of the neighborhood. You may also be faced with a nasty surprise in the form of sewage that re-enters the house because the tank is full or blocked. Suddenly, what would have been a small maintenance issue has turned into an expensive and massive clean-up project. Don’t let it go!
Your Partner in Maintenance Record-Keeping
Ownersite Technologies is making it their business to help you maximize the investment in your home through a valuable Web portal where you can record and track all types of information related to the maintenance and care of your home. Their low-cost site membership provides you with a helping hand that takes the tasking effort out of tracking your home maintenance records.
Home Ownersite bar provides an easy way to quickly set up a home maintenance schedule to keep your home looking like new. The more you put into the care of your home, the longer its original beauty will last. Not only will this improve the quality of your daily life, but proper maintenance and record-keeping will yield a desirable re-sale property and a tidy profit.