Summer is a time for fun and sun, but sometimes the extreme heat can have adverse affects our homes. Use this checklist to make sure your home is truly prepared for summer while there’s still time to complete these quick DIY projects.
Check Your Air Conditioner
It’s always a good idea to double-check your air conditioner to make sure it’s working properly before things heat up and before summer is a great time to get this taken care of. Be sure to:
- Change the filter
- Check the hose connections for leaks
- Check that the drain pans are draining properly
- Vacuum any dust from the unit and connections
All of these things can affect the performance of your unit and cut down on its efficiency. If you notice a more pressing issue, be sure to contact a professional to check it out.
Invest in Pest Prevention
If you are like us, you love summer but you hate the bugs. To help prevent unwanted pests. First make sure that your home is properly sealed up by checking for gaps around windows and doors that give insects an entry point. Next, whether your preference is an all natural solution or professional grade, invest in a pesticide. When choosing a pesticide, be mindful of any individuals or animals who may come in contact with it and abide by the manufacturer’s recommendation. Spray the proper pesticide(s) both outside and inside your home around doors, windows, baseboards and sinks.
Inspect for Ventilation Leaks
Before the temperatures get too hot, it’s a great time to double-check your home for any ventilation leaks. It would be a shame to pay a high cooling bill only to find out it wasn’t necessary.
The most common places to check for ventilation leaks are:
- Gaps around windows and door. If you do find gaps here, seal them up with a product like Red Devil’s LIFETIME® Ultra -230 Premium Acrylic Sealant.
- Attic and basement insulation. If you have never inspected your insulation, our pros recommend doing so to make sure your home isn’t under-insulated or in need of new insulation.
- Around pipes and ductwork. To maximize the benefit from the energy your home’s HVAC and plumbing system is using, make sure that they are properly insulated and any gaps around them are filled in with a closed cell expanding foam like Red Devil’s Foam & Fill® Expanding Polyurethane Sealant.
Ventilation isn’t the only way that your home may be wasting energy. Perform a home energy audit to find out the ways your home may be saving or losing you money.
Change Your Ceiling Fan Direction
Double-check which direction your fan is rotating and if it’s not counter-clockwise, it’s time to change it. During the warmer months, the counter-clockwise rotation helps to better circulate the cooler air in your home. In the winter months, the clockwise motion helps distribute the warmer air that has risen. Your fan should come with a button or switch near its base that allows you to change the direction of its rotation.
Paint Your Home’s Exterior
The winter weather can wreak havoc on the exterior of your home so before summer is a good time to give it a little attention. In most regions, the weather this time of year offers the optimal conditions to dress up the outside of your home with a coat of paint and repair any damage that may have happened during the winter months.
Exterior Painting Tips
- The optimal temperature range for paint can vary depending on the paint brand and type. Temperature will affect how well the paint binds together, which reduces cracking and peeling. Most pros will tell you that it’s best to apply latex paint between 50º-85º and oil-based paint between 40º – 90º F. Humidity matters too. Your paint will dry best if the humidity is 40% to 70%. If you’re painting on a sunny day, be sure to remember that the temperature on a sunny surface may be higher than what’s forecasted. Try to organize your time so that the side of the house you’re painting is in the shade.
- If it has rained recently, be sure to check your surfaces to make sure they’re dry before you paint. A good rule of thumb is to wait at least one day after it has rained to allow the exterior of your home to fully dry. Porous surfaces like wood or masonry may require a little longer of a dry time.
- Remember direct contact with moisture is not the only way your surfaces can become wet, dew from the night before can affect your paint success.
Need more exterior painting tips? Check out our expert home expert home painting tips.
Check Your Driveway
The driveway is often a forgotten part of your home, but this is a great time to give it the once over. Whether it was the winter weather, oil and gas spills, changing temperatures or damage from the sun, your driveway may need a little TLC. If water has found its way into the cracks of your driveway and sections of your asphalt are breaking down, it’s time to address it. Pros recommend that you address cracks in your driveway as soon as possible for its preservation. To further help extend the life of it, use products like Red Devil’s blacktop sealant to fill in holes and cracks.
Inspect Your Deck
Spring is the time to prepare for the outdoor fun summer brings. If you have a deck, survey it for any loose, splintered or warped boards. Give it a good once over and remove any dirt, leaves or debris that may have found its way on to your deck. If you want to go the extra mile, consider staining or restoring your deck to make it look new again. Learn tips for this project here.
Prevent Water Damage
Just in case summer brings storms your way, make sure your home is protected from the threat of water damage.
Our Pros recommend checking the following areas as a preventive measure.
- Inspect your basement for cracks or leaks. Check for evidence that water has or could find its way into your basement. Address the issue on the inside by sealing small cracks with a sealant like Red Devil’s Masonry & Concrete Acrylic Sealant. On the outside, make sure you set up precautions to direct runoff away from your foundation. Options for this can be grading your backyard to reduce runoff or installing grates around the exterior of your home. If choosing the grate, our Pros recommend getting grates that are one inch per foot of your backyard.
- Check your roof. Replace any cracked, broken or missing shingles. Also look for the signs of potential points of entry for water like cracked caulk, shingles that are buckling or curling, rust on your flashing, or damaged or missing chimney or vent pipe casings or covers.
Find other tips to protect your home from storms here.
Check Your Grill
To be ready for cookout season, be sure to double-check that your grill is operating at peak performance. Give your charcoal grill a good cleaning to remove any left over grease or ash. On your gas grill, check that your gas hose connection is fitting properly and that your burner jets are clog-free.
While you have a chance, make sure your home is prepared for everything summer may bring its way. Don’t forget to relax. Maybe taking a fishing trip. Check out a few fishing tips here.
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