THE BEGINNING OF SUMMER IS A TIME OF REBIRTH AND RENEWAL, A TIME TO ADORN THE EXTERIOR OF YOUR HOUSE WITH PLANTERS AND HANGING BASKETS, CREATING WATERFALLS OF COLOR. EARLY SUMMER IS ALSO A GREAT TIME TO CATCH UP ON LESS GLAMOROUS PROJECTS AND MAINTENANCE AROUND YOUR HOUSE.
TAKE A GOOD LOOK
Now is a great time to assess winter’s damage to your home. Notice the condition of your driveway; is it in need of upkeep or repairs? What about your yard? Do you need to sod or reseed some areas that suffered damage from our harsh winter?
Jeff Feece, owner of Jeff Feece Designs, suggests homeowners, together with their landscape professional, “Take a walk around (the property) and survey conditions to determine next steps.” He adds, “Be proactive to head things off.”
If you have an irrigation system, it must be maintained to be kept in good working order. Ben Petro, general manager of SprinklerMan, recommends, “Have a good system inspection to check for damage that occurred over winter from snowplows/snow blowers and rodents.” For regular ongoing maintenance, Petro advises, “Run a short test cycle every two to four weeks giving every section and zone a once-over to make sure no leaks have developed. Also, as seasons change, reset the controller or install a smart controller to automatically adjust the settings based on conditions.”
TRIM THE BRANCHES
It’s time to get out in your yard and identify any trees or shrubs that need to be trimmed before the full growing season is upon us. Things
to consider are branches that are hanging down or, appear to be damaged and any branches that are close to the roof of your home that need to be removed.
Ryan Hegland, owner of Hegland’s Creative Landscapes, advises, “Shrubs near your home are a good hiding place for critters and criminals who may be eyeing your home for a break-in. Hire a tree trimming specialist to trim your trees and shrubs.” Tree trimming can be dangerous work, and these pros are trained to trim trees safely.
MAINTAINING WINDOWS AND SCREENS
In addition to keeping your windows and sills clean, it’s a good idea to inspect the overall condition of the window frame and sash. Look for signs of rot, which can indicate moisture intrusion. Also, if you notice moisture or haze within double and triple pane windows, it is an indication of a failed seal. The seal in a window performs an important function by contributing to the insulation capacity of the window.
To prevent ill-fitting, torn or dirty screens, keeping your screens in good condition will help you enjoy having your windows open on pleasant summer days. Basic care includes keeping the window casings clean and free of debris and gently cleaning your screens with a soft brush at least once a year. Any screens with tears or fading (which indicates an imminent failure) need to be rescreened.
KEEP UP ON YOUR HOME’S UPKEEP
Staying on top of home maintenance is critical throughout the year. Routine upkeep is less work and certainly less expensive if you follow a seasonal schedule. Deferred work that gets shuffled to the bottom of the to-do pile can eventually result in hefty repair bills and/or big-ticket replacements. For example, a leaky roof, maintained early on often includes pesky repairs; however, left alone that leaky roof may eventually turn in to the need for an expensive new roof or possible interior water damage.
Setting a home maintenance schedule—and following it—can save time and money. Decide which tasks you can tackle yourself and give yourself permission to hire a professional for those tasks that fall outside your comfort zone. Either way, a well-kept home will retain its value so you can continue to enjoy living in it for years to come.
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.