AS WE HEAD INTO THE PEAK OF SUMMER, YOU’LL WANT TO KEEP UP WITH ROUTINE MAINTENANCE AROUND THE HOUSE. WHILE MAINTENANCE IS SELDOM ON TOP OF ANYONE’S TO-DO LIST AT THIS GLORIOUS TIME OF YEAR, YOU WILL BE REWARDED BY HAVING A SMOOTH-RUNNING, WELL-CARED-FOR HOME. HERE ARE A FEW TIPS TO HELP GUIDE YOU THROUGH THE END OF SUMMER.

PESKY PESTS

Keeping ahead of pest infestations is always best, but it’s not always the way it works out. There are some signs you can look for to be proactive. Verissa Jonsgaard of Reliable Pest Management in Rushford advises, “Pest management (service) is important to have to stay ahead of issues before they start by having inspections to seal up holes for insects and rodents. Other signs to look for would be moisture conditions inside and outside of the home which could lead to centipedes, millipedes, spiders just to list a few. Extreme heat can also be an issue due to pests trying to escape the extremes earwigs love to show up with high heat and humidity.”

Jonsgaard adds, “Termites, believe it or not, are here in the Midwest.” To know what to look for with termites, she says, “Keep an eye open for any soft, damaged wood, mud tubes and the swarmer termites themselves where you can see their discarded wings in the damaged areas.”

KEEP YOUR COOL

As your air conditioner begins to groan under the weight of our steamy Minnesota summer, be sure to keep it well-maintained so the temperature and humidity levels in your home remain comfortable. There are some simple things you can do to improve your air conditioner’s performance. Mike Wiersma of Tonna Mechanical advises, “Keep shrubs trimmed away from the A/C, clean off the outside condenser with a hose and watch for frost buildup on the lines to the outdoor unit. Frost buildup is an indication of low refrigerant in the system.”

Even though it is summer, now is also a good time to schedule your annual furnace maintenance with a qualified licensed technician. Regarding the furnace, Wiersma says, “The most important thing is to change the furnace filter regularly.” Other things to watch for that could be an indication of a potential problem include abnormal noises coming from the furnace. Also, the batteries on digital thermostats need to be changed regularly—otherwise if the batteries stop working, the thermostat won’t be able to

communicate with the furnace.

FRESHEN UP INSIDE AND OUT

Painting the exterior of your home, deck, garage, fences or other projects is best completed when the air temperatures are warm enough to adequately dry the paint. Too often, we have the best intentions of completing a painting project, but time has a way of getting away from us—don’t be that person trying to squeeze in one more outdoor project as winter approaches. For paint to adhere and dry properly, the outdoor air temperature needs to be at least 45 degrees.

While interior painting can be done year-round, it’s best if you can open the windows and ventilate the room. Summertime is a great time to complete that lingering painting project: Maybe you’ve been thinking about changing the color scheme in your house or perhaps you want to tackle a smaller project. Either way, painting is an easy way to completely transform a room and help you remember why you fell in love with your home.

There is a lot involved with maintaining a house. However, when you break it up into several smaller steps, it is less overwhelming. The trick—truly—is setting a schedule and staying on top of routine tasks before they take on a life of their own.

Cindy Mennenga is a freelance writer and along with her husband, John, owns Conspectus Home Inspection Services, LLC based in Rochester. Visit conspectusmn.com for more information.

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