Home maintenance: It's a lot. You could be forgiven for not knowing where to start. The long days of summer, however, give us time to inspect and fix as necessary. You shouldn't neglect regular maintenance because the consequences are steep.
How steep? Well, it is estimated that you could lose 10% of your home's value by neglecting three critical areas. "Maintenance is essential to preserving the value of your home—without it, your home could lose 10% of its value. Regular, routine maintenance enhances curb appeal, ensures safety, and prevents neglected upkeep from turning into costly major repairs," writes Nicole Richmond for HAR.com, a residential property search website.
The critical areas are the foundation, the HVAC system, and the roof. All areas of the home contribute to its property value, though. Rather than drill into what you should do for each area, we have divided important home maintenance tasks into seasonal lists. Here is our list for summer.
Summer Home Maintenance
"For a home, the hot summer sun can be as harsh as a cold winter night," says the American Society of Home Inspectors. "Peeling exterior paint, worn roof shingles, and rotting wood are all more visible." Set aside time to inspect your home for the following problems.
✔ Kick out uninvited summer guests.
Summer's abundant heat can bake up an awful smell in the attic if pests have made their nests there. Make a visual inspection, and also follow your nose.
You can dispatch many pests with a trap from the hardware store, but for stubborn infestations you may need the help of a professional. Either way, once the pests are gone, their nest must be eradicated. Replace the insulation to ensure that you get rid of the chemical welcome mat that could invite new guests. Wear a mask and gloves, as the ASHI advises taking extreme caution around feces and urine and you don't want to wait until you have uncovered those to don your PPE. You want to be wearing it already.
If you find no pests today, they might still show up tomorrow. Make it difficult for critters to gain entry by trimming overhanging trees. Walk around your home on the lookout for shrubs and other plantings that are close to or touching the home.
✔ Inspect and repair the roof.
"Summer is the best time to get roofing work done," according to the ASHI. "Shingles lay better and will adhere to each other better when they're warm."
Take time in the cooler morning hours to inspect and repair your roof.
Look for cracks in caulk or rust spots on flashing. Are any shingles missing, buckling, or curling? Check for cracked or worn rubber boots around vent pipes. Don't worry about black mold stains, which are cosmetic, but moss or lichen could be a sign of decay under the roof.
How much does maintenance cost?
Major replacements, like a new roof, can cost $10,000, but other chores require only elbow grease. Average annual costs are about $3,300 per data from the U.S. Census. Experts say you should budget 1%-3% of initial home price for yearly maintenance.
✔ Scrape and paint where necessary.
Inspect your home's siding and trim. Look for stains on the siding, which could indicate a water problem. You can repair rotted wood if the area is small enough. Scrape, prime, and paint as necessary.
As you walk around the house, "take note of where paint is peeling, brick mortar is missing, or stucco is cracking on the house's siding," advises This Old House. While you're at it, examine the foundation for cracks and bulges.
When it comes to painting, be mindful of the strong summer sun. While you shouldn't paint dew-kissed wood in the cooler morning hours, you also shouldn't paint in direct sunlight. Wait to paint until the sun has dried the wood and moved behind a tree or to another angle on the house.
✔ Have the deck inspected.
Decks are the epicenter of summer entertaining. Obviously if you feel loose boards, you should fix them. No only are loose or cracked boards unsightly, but they could cause someone to trip and fall.
But not all deck problems are obvious. "A deck that looks good from the top can have serious safety issues underneath," says the ASHI, especially older decks that were built without inspection. "Experts recommend that a qualified deck inspector inspect decks at least every five years."
Summer presents us with a lot of distractions more appealing than a DIY home inspection, whether it's a cookout with friends and family, a lazy river run, a day at the beach, or a matinee in a chilly movie theater. Definitely do those things. But in between those fun pastimes, pay attention to summer's home maintenance items.