7 Safe Summer House Repairs, Plus Maintenance Musts
Keep your home in good shape with these tips
Winter can be hard on a house, so now that the snow has melted and days are long, it’s time to inspect your home for damage, and then tackle repairs. After all, your house represents the largest single purchase you’ll likely ever make. To help you with this chore, we’ve compiled some fixes and seasonal maintenance musts.
1. Fix torn window and
Use a screen patch kit to fix larger holes, or fingernail polish to fix small
tears. You’ll also want to clean your house’s window screens. One way is to remove
each screen, lay the screen on a flat surface, wash with soapy water, rinse,
set in an upright position to air dry and then put back into place.
2. Repair a leaky
points out that silent toilet leaks can account for up to 300 gallons per day
of lost water, costing you more than $500 dollars a year. Check for silent
leaks seasonally by adding 10 drops of food coloring to the toilet tank; color
appearing in the toilet bowl after 10 minutes indicates a leak. One common cause is
a warped rubber flapper. To replace an old one, first shut off the
water supply valve under the toilet, flush the toilet to drain water, unhook
the old flapper and replace with a new flapper by following the package’s
installation instructions, advises The Family Handy Man, which also
provides tips for fixing other types of toilet leaks.
3. Fix doors. As part of summertime
home maintenance, take time to inspect doors and windows, then address any
issues. To silence a squeaky door, spray the hinges with a silicone spray
lubricant - or remove one hinge pin at a time, rub with petroleum jelly,
reinsert and wipe away excess, advises the City of Phoenix. Replace any worn weather-stripping
around doors; you can get detailed instructions from the Department of Energy. If a door is too
warped for weather-stripping to seal air leaks, you will want to replace it.
4. Clean stains from your driveway and garage floor. A simple way to
clean a small stain, according to the City of Phoenix, is to sprinkle a thick
layer of cornstarch or baking soda on the stain, let stand for 12 to 24 hours,
scrub with soapy water and rinse with a hose. To clean a large area, use a power
washer, and mind these safety tips.
5. Reseal the deck. If your outdoor
deck is peeling or no longer repels water, you’ll need to reseal it to protect the
deck, as well as your house’s walls and foundation, from moisture buildup. Lisa
Turner, author of House Keys: The Essential Homeowner's Guide to
Saving Money, Time, and Your Sanity Building, Buying, Selling, and Maintaining
a Home, offers these tips: First
clean the deck with a power washer, then allow the deck to dry completely.
Next, apply stain or waterproofing, being sure to wear proper personal
protective gear as recommended by the manufacturer. Also, take some
time to inspect your deck for safety issues with these steps.
6. Fix a loose gutter. Gutters can come
loose under the weight of ice, snow and rain, which can result in water running
down the side of the house and damaging the siding, walls and foundation. Popular Mechanics suggests homeowners purchase gutter hangars meant to fit
their gutter type, then snap them into the lip along the gutter’s front with
the clip side on the back, and drive the attached screw through the hanger, gutter
and into the fascia and rafter. Be sure to clean the gutters as part of your seasonal
While you’re thinking about the roof, you’ll
also want to inspect the roof for damage, and the easiest way is to stay on the
ground and use binoculars. The National
Roofing Contractors Association
recommends looking for
buckling, curling or blistering shingles; damage around chimneys,
pipes and other penetrations; and shingle granules in gutters, which can
suggest damage. If
you notice any of these signs, contact a licensed roofing contractor.
7. Replace or clean your HVAC filter. The EPA recommends that every month, homeowners inspect and change the HVAC system’s filter, or clean it if it’s the reusable kind. In addition, if you haven’t already, be sure to schedule a professional HVAC contractor to service your system for summer, which involves a multi-step process, including maintenance on the condenser. This seasonal servicing will help keep your system running efficiently and help to head off costly repairs – and it’s something best left to a professional.
Although it can be tempting to put off seasonal chores, keeping up on home repair and maintenance will extend the life of appliances, help avoid big repair bills and help keep your family safe, so be sure to tackle your house-related to-dos without delay.