When preparing for summer as a new homeowner, you may have many new tasks before you. You might not have ever had to consider things like roof maintenance or repairing a fence. This summer will the first of many when you may need to do some home maintenance in order to account for the change of seasons.
With summer comes hot weather and, in many places, storms. In some cases, summer storms can be severe. You should take into account the climate and weather where you live and the severity of summer storms when you are thinking about preparing for summer around your house.
Here, we’ll provide a general list of tasks that all homeowners can benefit from, but specifics will vary from place to place. For example, not everyone will need hurricane shutters, but those in certain parts of the country shouldn’t go without them.
Think about your specific climate and needs while checking out these 7 tips for preparing for summer.
1. Make Sure Your Air Conditioning Works
In most places around the U.S., summer means hot weather. The heat can even be severe in some parts of the country. So our first tip is to check out your air conditioning unit and make sure you don’t need AC maintenance.
You don’t want to find out too late that you need to do maintenance on your air conditioning unit. This is a great thing to get on top of before the hot weather really arrives. If you neglect this task too long, you could find yourself suffering in the heat with no relief in sight.
You might also find that your new home has no air conditioning at all. This is totally possible, especially if you bought an older home. Check to see if you might need AC installation. This kind of service will be in high demand as people start preparing for summer, so get to the top of the list by scheduling your ac installation early.
If you have no air conditioning, or perhaps insufficient air conditioning, you have several options for changing that. Window units are a tried and true method of cooling down your house in summer. They will also be less expensive than a central heating and cooling system. Depending on where you live, they might be sufficient for beating the heat.
You can also go with a fancier system or upgrade your current system in order to meet your cooling needs in summer. This is a more comprehensive, but also more expensive option. However, if you live somewhere where heat gets extreme in summer, it may be a worthwhile investment.
If you already have air conditioning in your home, you should check it out before summer arrives to ensure it’s in good working order. Take a look at your HVAC unit and change out the filter. Filters easily get clogged and dirty, which forces the whole system to work harder. Even if the unit is still functioning, you could be wasting money simply by having a dirty HVAC unit.
You should give your HVAC unit a test run before summer arrives. Ensure it starts up properly and that you can feel cool air in the house.
If you don’t or if the unit doesn’t start up properly, you might need to think about AC repairs. Some repairs – such as changing a filter – are things you can do yourself. But there are things you will want to contact a professional for. Because your HVAC unit is connected to your electric, it can be dangerous to do repairs if you aren’t sure what you’re doing.
2. Repair Drafty Windows
Regardless of what kind of air conditioning you have, you should also check out your windows while preparing for summer. Drafty windows aren’t only a problem in winter. You can waste a ton of money by turning on the air conditioning in summer and having all that cool air escape through drafty windows.
Not only that, but windows get dirty in cold months, very dirty. While we are all shut up inside, gunk has a chance to build up on the glass and screens. Spring and early summer are great times to take out the screens and thoroughly clean your windows. With the hotter temperatures, the air flow through your home can be refreshing.
Make sure you know how to take out and reinstall your screens before removing them for cleaning. This can also be an opportunity to assess any damage your windows may have taken during winter. Are the seals around the windows still good? Does caulk or weather stripping need to be replaced?
Even some minor window repair can go a long way toward your heating and cooling costs by ensuring that you aren’t letting cold air escape. You can do many of these repairs yourself with just some Windex and some caulk. However, if your windows or screens took any serious damage during winter, you may want to seek out professional window repair services to help.
3. Do Roof Maintenance
The roof is another major area to look to when preparing for summer. Roofs wear out over time and can take a lot of damage in winter. If you live in a place where you get snow and ice frequently, that can certainly wear down the integrity of your roof.
Spring and summer are nice times to get on a ladder and take a look at your roof. Some damage that requires roof maintenance will be pretty obvious. Even as a first-time homeowner, you’ll be able to spot right away if tiles are damaged or missing. Take note of these right away, as they could be letting moisture get under the roof to do damage within your home.
You will also want to look for shingles that are out of alignment or cracked. If you see any rust, this is another thing that could be concerning when it comes to preparing for summer and keeping your home in good condition.
There is a lot you can do on your own, such as removing rust or caulking between cracks. However, you will need residential roofing services to help you repair serious damage to your roof. This happens to all homes in time, so keep it in mind as you are preparing for summer.
The choices you make about your roof can have major ramifications on your home. For example, choosing the proper roofing material could decrease your energy needs throughout your home by up to 30%. That results in major savings when it comes to summer air conditioning.
4. Get Ready to Do Some Landscaping
Your lawn will also need attention as the weather improves. You may not have done any landscaping at all during fall and winter. Now is the time to get out the lawn mower and clippers and start pruning.
While doing your landscaping, look for things like trees that are overgrown and weeds that have snuck into your property. There are plenty of plants that keep on growing in winter and you might be surprised by their presence as you’re checking out your home and preparing for summer.
You can do more than just trim away mess while preparing for summer, though. This is also a great time to take a look at things like flower beds. It might be time for a few new plants.
Flowers, vegetables and fruit can all be great plants to get going in spring or summer. Different plants have difference seasons when they do best, but don’t be afraid to experiment and try something new. You might even get to eat some of what you plant if you tend vegetables and fruits. Many take little maintenance and are relatively simple to keep alive, even in extreme summer heat. Look for plants suitable for the time of year and the climate where you live.
5. Fix Your Fence
Much like your roof, your fence might have taken a beating during all that nasty winter weather. Check for wood that is rotting or loose.
You might find while looking at your fencing that you have warped or rotted boards. You can test these simply by pushing on them and seeing how well they hold. This is especially important for the posts and pickets.
If you need to replace fencing, summer is a good time to do it. Get new boards in or replace the fence entirely while the weather is warmer and drier. This will help you prepare not just for summer, but for next winter as well.
If you live in a neighborhood with a lot of young children, it is extra important to look after your fence. You don’t want them running into your yard when you don’t even know it and potentially getting hurt. With schools out, children might be playing throughout the neighborhood during the summer.
6. Make Sure Your Garage Door Works
You may have not used your garage much during winter. Unless you were trying to protect your car from the weather, you garage may have gone largely ignored during all that cold weather.
Therefore, while preparing for summer, take a quick look at your garage. Make sure the door still opens and closes easily. Springs can get rusty, especially if moisture is getting into the garage. The battery in garage door opening can also die while you don’t even notice. Check to make sure things are still working as you expect.
Also check for damage on the surface of the door. As with your fence, you may find that your garage sustained some damage from being exposed to winter storms. That may get even worse if you have summer storms as well. Look for damage, chipping and places where water has leaked into the garage.
If you need a new garage door, consider getting that done during summer. It’ll be more convenient than doing it during winter when bad weather might get into the garage if it is left exposed. You also might be going in and out of your garage more in summer if that’s where you store things like patio furniture during winter. So you will need to ensure that door is in good working condition.
7. Know Your Local Weather
So far, our suggestions have been general and able to apply to just about any home anywhere. However, as you are preparing for summer, you should take some time to think about the specifics of where you live and what the climate is like there.
For example, if you live in a place that experiences a lot of snow, that could be a concern for things like your landscaping and roof. That snow might stifle some plants from growing. Even in summer, it might mean you live in a place where certain types of plants simply aren’t going to thrive.
When it comes to your roof, snow can be heavy and leave damage even after it all melts away and summer arrives. You should pay particular attention to your roof if you have experienced heavy snows that sat on the roof for some time.
On the other end of the spectrum is places that experience extreme warm weather. For you, preparing for summer might mean taking a really hard look at how to cool your home. There are places where summer temperatures can get so extreme that having a working air conditioner is not merely a matter of comfort but also of safety.
You should also know if you live in a place that is prone to hurricanes. As these can often arrive in the fall, summer is a good time to do things like installing hurricane shutters. You don’t want to find yourself without these when storm season arrives.
Ultimately, preparing for summer is highly specific to your home and where you live. However, you can take these general guidelines as a good starting point. No matter where you live, for example, you will probably need to do some landscaping as the weather warms up. Exactly what kind of landscaping will depend on the specifics of your circumstances.