HOME MAINTENANCE - SUMMER
When the weather is temperate and the hours of daylight are longer, take some time to both maintenance and to build improvements onto the exterior of the home. Avoid large expensive projects by keeping up with a seasonal maintenance schedule.
Our maintenance guideline is designed to help the homeowner think about how to care for the home's exterior and its possessions during the summer season.
The roof should be checked regularly; especially if the roof is older than five years and if the area has had a significant dose of adverse weather within recent years.
• Keep track of the recommended time for which the roof tiles are rated. This can be done by checking the warranty. Usually a roof will need to be replaced once the warranty wears out.
• If the roof needs to be replaced, consider an upgrade especially if it needs to be replaced sooner than expected.
• Research roof tiles and recommended amounts of insulation that can be placed underneath if planning a full replacement.
• Always check for loose or damaged shingles that can be replaced one by one without replacing the entire roof.
SUMMER IMPROVEMENT PROJECT IDEAS
Adding decorative accessories to a home can give the homeowner a sense of pride and a renewed sense of ownership.
• Coordinating exterior lighting systems along with new landscaping can greatly improve the image and the security of the home.
• A European-inspired idea is to add window flower boxes.
• Evaluate the exterior and consider either adding shutters or replacing older faded models.
• Even the smallest detail such as new house numbers can be an improvement.
• Mailboxes take on so much wear and tear. Whether the unit is on the street, or attached to the home, there are many new styles and even lockable features that can make a new mailbox a useful and attractive feature.
A home's landscaping is nearly as important to the property's image as the building itself.
• It may seem like a luxury to install an irrigation system, yet a wisely designed system can even reduce water usage. Check to see if an existing system needs to be maintenanced and repaired.
• Summer is a great time to think about installing an invisible fence for pets.
• Consider redesigning the landscaping, either as a DIY or a professional project.
• An outdoor kitchen and fireplace is heart-warming, a social focal point, and adds significant entertainment features for both adults and children.
• Maintain trees during the summer months according to the tree and shrubs' recommendations. As a rule of thumb, most trees should be ready for a homeowner to prune off dead wood, water shoots, and suckers. Wait until the trees are dormant in the winter to do structural pruning.
• When adding new plantings to the landscape, read each plant type's recommendations prior to purchase.
Outdoor Wooden Structures
Outdoor wooden structures, such as decks and porches, add practicality and beauty to the home.
• Depending on the wood type, clean thoroughly and apply a fresh coat of sealant yearly.
• If the structure is at least 3-4 years old, taking the time to resurface the structure can add to its lifespan.
• Building a new shed can help organize the entire household by alleviating garage storage and adding to the amount of household storage space. Be wise to think about how to plan for added storage space wisely rather than simply adding quantity.
• An arbour is a great social focal point and a beautiful feature for the landscape.
EXTERIOR SUMMER RECOMMENDATIONS
About Hiring Professionals
When the projects go beyond DIY, hiring professionals is a safe choice.
• Take care to verify that the professional is licensed, bonded, and insured. If an accident should occur on your property and the professional is not insured, your homeowner's insurance policy would be liable to cover the costs.
• Make it a rule of thumb to get three quotes from three different professional companies before hiring one of them.
• Always ask the professionals a lot of questions about their materials and methods when doing your research.
Remember "safety first" for all projects whether small or large.
• Take precautions when climbing tall ladders and when working on the roof.
• When in doubt, hire a professional for projects that are considered a little more dangerous.
• Always wear eye and ear protection.
• Read all instructions and warranty details for all newly materials and items. Keep these in a safe file and send in warranty cards.
• Keep in mind that a building permit is designed to protect the occupants' safety. Contact your local building department for a permit. They will review your plans so that they pass up-to-date code requirements and they come out to review your work to verify that it is safely constructed.
As always, consider sustainability when planning and purchasing materials for each project.
• Hiring a sustainability professional to conduct an air check will verify whether or not energy-efficient windows and doors would improve the home's performance.
• In a similar way, a professional can conduct an air check to evaluate cracks in walls that should later be patched and repaired.
• The warmer weather months during the summer are a great time to add insulation to exterior walls and to the underside of the roof.
• Since many homeowners are now recycling, consider organizing the trash system to accommodate this new habit.
• Build a compost container for the home, at least twenty feet from the foundation's perimeter, so that the rich soil can augment the landscaping and vegetable garden.
• A rain barrel is a practical way to save water by using naturally gathered rainwater to use for watering the landscaping.
• A current sustainable landscaping trend is the "no mow" design. Though a radical idea, investigate some inspiring design ideas.
Summer is a great time to evaluate your home's security system.
• Either conduct your own analysis and research or hire a professional to summarize the home's security efficacy.
• Check all the home's doors and windows to make sure they cannot be easily penetrated. Pre-manufactured glass block units are helpful for garage and basement windows.
• Install automatic timers and motion sensors for both the interior and exterior.
• Make sure all the windows are covered with blinds and curtains. • Install a completely new alarm system that is monitored via a website that is accessible from anywhere.
• When on vacation, make plans for a neighbour to keep an eye on your property, to pick up mail, and to even park in your driveway occasionally.