clock June 27, 2017 comments No Comments flowchart Homeowners InsuranceOur Blog tag Property Maintenance
a man following our summer home maintenance tips

The warm weather has finally arrived! While it’s great to be able to get out and relax in the warm sun, don’t forget about some of the home maintenance tasks that should be taken care of, too! Here’s a quick checklist to help you get started.

Check Windows & Doors

The seals around windows and doors take a beating during our cold Rhode Island winters. Caulking and weather stripping can crack or loosen over time and, even if they’re intact, they’ll probably be very dirty.

Poorly sealed windows and doors let in hot air which makes your fans or air conditioning work overtime. Use a small paintbrush to clean in hard to reach places and then caulk any gaps on the inside and outside of windows and doors. Replace damaged or missing weather stripping and make sure that your windows and doors close with ease. You may need to lubricate hinges or replace tired hardware if it is too far gone.

Create Shade

It’s easier to keep your home cool if you don’t let the hot summer sun beat in through the windows. UV blocking shades, curtains, and window films can make a significant difference to your cooling costs during the summer.

If the style of your home permits it, also consider awnings outside. Retractable electric awnings can roll out with the press of a button when it’s hot and tuck away again when the weather cools.

Switch Your Ceiling Fans

Clean the blades on your fans, and then switch the fan so the blades spin counterclockwise. This pushes the air downwards to cool you and your home.

If the blades wobble, some of the screws holding the blades may have loosened or the blades themselves may be unbalanced. You can usually buy replacement blades or balancing kits from the manufacturer, and it’s typically a pretty easy repair.

Power Wash & Touchup

Power washing the exterior of your home, decks, and patios allows you to see where damage occurred over the winter. Cover electrical outlets, doors, windows, and plants before you begin.

The power washing process removes dirt, mildew, insect webs and nests, and many stains. If you see peeling paint or chipped siding you can easily repair these problems before they become major issues.

Decks and railings may need a new coat of stain, too. Otherwise, you’ll face expensive repairs or replacement when the wood starts to deteriorate over time.

Clean the Gutters

Summer is an ideal time to clear away winter leaves and other debris so water runs freely through your home’s gutters. Powerful summer thunderstorms can unleash torrential downpours, so ensure downspouts direct the water at least 3 feet away from the foundation, ideally towards an area that slopes away from your home.

If you live in a wooded area, you may want to install a gutter guard system to keeps debris out of the gutters. You may still need to clean them twice a year, but it reduces the likelihood of major obstructions.

Tune-Up the HVAC System

Nothing’s worse on a hot summer day than switching on the air conditioning only to find it doesn’t work. An HVAC inspection and tune-up is important for functionality and energy conservation.

An air conditioner with too little refrigerant will run, but it will not cool your home properly. A qualified technician will inspect and clean the fan and check the wiring to ensure everything functions well and does not present any potential hazards. They will also change the filter, which can greatly improve performance. If you use you’re A/C daily during the summer, you should change the filter monthly.

Inspect the Roof

Inspecting a roof is a job you may want to leave to a professional contractor. They have the correct equipment, experience, and liability insurance to do the job properly without damaging your home or your yard.

Regular roof inspections are an excellent way to detect small problems before they turn into disasters. A qualified local contractor can fix many minor problems quickly and inexpensively. On the other hand, water damage remediation is expensive and time-consuming. Experts recommend annual or semi-annual inspections. You receive a written report you can use if you need to make an insurance or roofing material warranty claim to show you did your part to care for the roof.

Service the Pool

Preparing your pool for the busy summer months includes cleaning, adding water, checking and servicing pumps and filters, and balancing pool chemicals. Don’t wait until the last minute to treat your water. Most manufacturers recommend they sit for at least a week before you swim.

If your pump doesn’t work the way it once did, consider replacing it with an energy-efficient model to lower your electricity bill during the hot summer months.

A well maintained home is not only more comfortable to live in, it’s also less likely to need a major repair that you’d need to submit an insurance claim for. Fewer claims = reduced premiums = more money in your pocket that you can spend on enjoying the summer!

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