How to inspect, repair, and get your home ready for warmer months
Weatherproofing methods for pre-summer maintenance of home (A/C, check gutters/windows, secure entrances to prevent insects)
Service your HVAC system
When summer temps climb, you want your HVAC system to be ready to kick into high gear. But after sitting idle for the long winter months, your air conditioning may need a little love and attention to ensure it's working perfectly on that first scorcher of a day. (You can DIY or have a pro look after your AC unit; if you do it yourself, be sure to follow safety precautions such as switching off the power to the condenser at the service panel)
The main things you'll want to look after?
Make sure your AC filter is cleaned or replaced with clean filters. If your filter is coated with dust, you'll have reduced efficiency in your unit and that dust will recirculate inside your home.
Be certain your condenser coils are clean. Your condenser unit is outside, and the fan can get clogged with leaves, caked dirt, or other debris that keep it from functioning efficiently.
Check your coolant lines. The refrigerant tubes or pipes that run from the evaporator on the air handler to the condenser outside are typically covered with foam coolant line insulation to prevent them from losing energy; check to make sure these aren't frayed and that the insulation looks solid and intact.
Inspect roofing and siding
If your roof is less than five years old, a quick visual inspection for loose or missing shingles or signs of leaks will usually be sufficient. But if you live in a more extreme climate or have an older roof, it's good to call in a pro. A roofing pro will:
- Check for loose, missing, or curling shingles; stains; moss; rust; and missing flashing or fasteners; and check for gaps in seals around vent pipes.
- Check your interior walls and attic for signs of mold, stains, or other indicators of leaks.
- Make sure that the workmanship on your roof is top-notch, including properly installed flashing, sealants, etc.
For siding, you'll take a similar approach, doing a visual inspection or hiring a pro to look for peeling paint, rotted wood, cracked or missing panels, gaps, bird or insect nests.
Clogged gutters can create big problems by allowing water from your roof to spill over the sides and down your walls instead of draining safely away. They can create drainage problems that result in water in your basement, or even provide a place for mosquitoes to breed or bees and wasps to nest.
To clean them, you'll need to safely access your roof with a secure ladder (or hire a pro).
Remove leaves and debris with a trowel.
Flush the cleaned gutters with a hose to wash out remaining dirt and ensure water drains properly.
Paint and seal
Winter weather can do a number on paint and shoveling can be rough on your deck or porch. To keep your home's exterior fresh and functional:
- Do a visual inspection for holes, peeling paint, cracks, or bare spots on your siding, porch, and deck.
- Use a ladder to inspect upper siding and trim.
- Use a wire brush to remove flaking paint and clean any damaged areas.
- Stir and test old paint or take it to the store to be matched.
- Touch up any of the affected areas.
Homeownership requires maintenance, but these simple seasonal checkups and fixes can ensure your home's exterior and systems are working well, and that you're protecting the value of your home for years to come.