“When it comes to home maintenance, the adage ‘An ounce of prevention is better than cure’ is particularly apt,” John Campitell wrote in an email. Campitell is Production Manager for InSite Builders & Remodeling in Bethesda, Maryland. “In the summer, it’s especially important for a home maintenance plan to focus on the outdoor elements. With warmer weather and warmer temperatures, a lot can be seen and a lot can be done to set up your home well for the rest of the year,” he said.
We asked Campitell and George Noble for summer maintenance tips. Noble works in business development for WilderWorks, a home improvement division of Anthony Wilder Architecture in Cabin John, Md. The two responded via email. The following has been edited for length and clarity.
Checklist for summer maintenance:
1. Clean or replace filters and screens. Replace furnace filters, clean return air grilles, kitchen hood vents, etc. Such items should be done quarterly. Replacing and/or cleaning filters allows equipment to operate at optimum efficiency and throughput while avoiding stress to the point of failure, Campitell wrote.
2. Have your roof inspected. If your roof is over 10 years old, it’s time to have it checked for damage, Noble wrote.
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3. Adjust doors and tighten loose handles. Temperatures and humidity influence the functionality of doors and handles, Campitell wrote. In summer, humidity and humidity can cause doors and handles to expand and stick together, and in winter, drier and colder conditions cause doors and handles to shrink and loosen.
4. Check your windows, screens, storm windows and doors. Make sure they close and seal properly, Noble wrote.
5. Inspect showers and tubs and replace caulking if necessary. Inspecting showers and tubs and replacing broken or missing caulk prevents water from seeping into the walls where it remains hidden until the water damage has settled. A $6.95 caulking replacement is better than a $695 repair for moisture damage behind walls, Campitell wrote.
6. Check your landscape. Make sure trees and shrubs don’t scrape or touch the roof or sides of your home because they could cause damage during a storm, Noble wrote.
seven. Perform an exterior visual inspection. Look for any issues that need fixing before the fall season, Campitell wrote. “When the weather conditions are favorable, it is easier to inspect problems with bridges, roofs, gutters, mortar or foundation cracks, and warmer temperatures are also favorable for carrying out repairs”, a- he writes. “In cold weather, materials like roof shingles can become brittle.”
8. Inspect gutters and downspouts. Make sure they are free of debris, secure, and drain properly. add gutter guards or screens to keep debris out, Noble wrote.
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9. Check the slope around your house. Make sure the ground slopes away from your home and downspouts drain away from your foundation to prevent water from seeping into your home, Noble wrote.
ten. Do a safety inspection. Clean your dryer vent, check your washing machine hoses, check your fire extinguishers and your toilet supply line, all of which are important items on the safety checklist. “Washing machine hoses are under considerable pressure all the time,” Campitell wrote. “If they are old and need to be replaced, a simple inspection can prevent a major water/house flooding situation.”
11. Check your attic. Inspect and add attic insulation, Noble wrote. “It should be R-38 or better in this area,” he wrote. “Make sure your attic is well ventilated; this will extend the life of your shingles and reduce attic heat and humidity.
12. Consider pressure washing. Pollen, dirt and environmental factors have detrimental effects on a home’s exterior, Campitell wrote. Pressure washing siding, windows, masonry, walkways, brick and flagstone patios prevents environmental chemicals from breaking down mortar, paint, gaskets, seals, which protect a home from leaks humidity.