Summer is here in the DC area and it looks like it's here to stay! It's time to start thinking about how to get your home (and your kids) ready for summer break. To continue our Top 6 Home Tips series, let's take a look at a few ways you can keep your home up to date with the changing temperature.
Maintaining a home is no easy task. From appliances to floors and windows, a home owner's job is never done. That's why it's important to keep up with routine home maintenance and to prepare in case there's a major job that needs to be done. We know winter is finally over when we start planning summer camps and other activities on weekdays! Here are our Top 6 Home Tips to ensure you are ready for summer.
Check for Drafts
If you have to struggle to open windows or you can feel a draft, it might be as easy as patching the seal. Unfortunately, it could be something larger than that. Save energy and stay cool by checking windows and doors for cracks. If you find one, caulk it. If your windows haven't been replaced and you've been living on the property for over 15 years, it's likely going to be a better investment to replace the windows in their entirety. If you don't plan on moving soon, you can consider replacing the front of the house and the back of the house separately for cost reasons.
- Top 6 Home Tips: How to Prepare for Fall & Winter
- Top 6 Home Tips: How to Prevent a Break In
- Get your House Ready to Sell with these 5 Decluttering Tips
In previous blogs we've discussed how to remove clutter from your home and the potential return on investment it has on your property. We can't state it enough - decluttering is great for a home sale. Do you have a place where you keep the important documents regarding home's health? Having a bin or a safe where you store important documents such as home warranty paperwork, insurance paperwork for appliances, and any repairs done is a helpful step in making sure your home stays current and takes care of some clutter you may have on a desk somewhere. Clutter can also be outdoors! If you have too many trees or bushes in your front yard, consider trimming them back or removing them entirely. Pull out weeds and plant flowers, or call a landscaper to do it for you!
Check the Air Conditioning Unit (including Air Filters)
If you've been living in your home for a long time, it might be second nature to just flip the switch on to air conditioning when the temperatures rise. It's important to keep an eye on your unit to avoid fires and avoid paying more than you need to due to inefficient conditioning. Units can last anywhere from 10-15 years with regular maintenance! What do we mean when we say regular maintenance? Have your warranty company come out and do a visual inspection to address the key components of your system and make sure they look to be running smoothly. Replace air filters. If you find yourself coughing and sneezing, it might not be a cold – it could, in fact, be dust particles from an unchanged air filter. That defeats the purpose of an air filter, doesn’t it? Air filters and water filters also need to be changed anywhere from 6 months to 1 year, depending on your living situation, if you have pets, and if anyone in the home has allergies.
Inspect your Gutters, Roof, and Siding
Your gutters and drainpipes need to be cleared in order to prevent clogging in the rainy summer months. Check your outdoor faucets, too. If you turned them off during the winter, now is the time to turn them on again (if you haven't already) and prepare the sprinkler system! Check your roof. If you had a particularly bad winter, you might start to notice the wear and tear. It’s better to discover your leaky roof now, while there’s time to fix it, than to have a massive issue in the rainy months.
Re-pave or Seal your Driveway
It’s recommended you seal your driveway every two to three years. According to AAA Seal coating and Paving, the average lifespan of a driveway without sealing is only 15 years. Take a walk down your driveway and notice if there are any cracks that need to be filled or repairs that need to be made. If you have an asphalt driveway, you should think about replacing it entirely every 20-25 years if you maintain it properly. Don't expect to see a major return on investment for replacing the driveway, though, as it's an aspect of the home that only becomes an issue when selling if it's in poor condition. Unfortunately, it's not likely to be noticed if it's in proper condition.
Prepare your Deck
Your deck and patio will be used the most during the summer and, depending on where you live, it might have taken a beating with storms and snow! It's in your best interest to check for loose boards, railings, and protruding nails or splinters in any outdoor spaces. Take a look at your deck supports and check for peeling paint. It might just need a fresh coat or you might need to help the foundation. Consider your retaining walls, too, as they may have taken a hit during the winter months. My own home in particular is undergoing maintenance right now to repair our retaining wall beneath our deck.
If you or a loved one have any questions regarding home maintenance, we have a large number of certified, trusted home improvement companies listed in our Preferred Vendor Guide.
Home maintenance will allow for a healthy home. If you think you've neglected maintenance for a little while and you're planning to sell in the future, it's okay! Give us a call at 800.900.9104 for a free home evaluation and we can discuss options, including selling "as is".