5 Easy Summer Home Maintenance Tips

summer maintenanceSummer means recreational activities, backyard lounging on long, lazy days and—let’s face it—home maintenance.  Getting a few upkeep matters done this summer can help preserve your investment as well as prevent year-round issues like water damage, mold contamination and higher energy costs.

  • Maintain gutters. When clogged gutters overflow during heavy rain, water cascading down exterior siding seeps into the wall cavity, causing water damage and mold contamination.  Check the gutters and clear blockages. Make sure downspouts discharge far enough from the house so water doesn’t penetrate foundation or basement.
  • Check the A/C condensate drain. Your central air conditioner produces gallons of condensate daily. It collects in the condensate drip pan beneath the indoor air handler.  Check the pan for standing water that indicates a potential clog. To discourage algae growth that causes clogs and damaging condensate overflows, pour two cups of 50/50 mixture of water and bleach into the pan.
  • Inspect appliance water lines. They don’t get much attention yet are a potential source of water damage. Check  lines connected to appliances including the washer, dishwasher and refrigerator icemaker. Look for cracking, loose connection and other wear and tear. Replace now if necessary. Replace rubber washer hoses with braided stainless steel lines if they are five years old.
  • Evaluate insulation. Department of Energy recommendations for optimum attic insulation have probably been revised upward since your home was built. Measure depth of insulation in the attic and compare it to DOE specifications. If you need more, laying pre-cut fiberglass batts atop existing layers is a DIY project most homeowners can handle (during cool morning hours.)
  • Flush the water heater. Prevent corrosion that could cause tank rupture and indoor flooding. Turn off the heater and shut off cold water at the inlet valve on top. Connect a garden hose to the drain valve at the bottom and extend it outdoors. Open the valve and allow the tank to fully drain while turning the inlet valve on and off several times for an agitating effect. Close the drain valve, open the inlet valve and re-light the heater per manufacturer’s instructions.

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