Summer is finally here! Its time for lounging in the front porch swing and backyard BBQs! But first we need follow up on our preventive maintenance tasks from Spring. So sit back, and let My Old House”Fix” walk you through all your Summer Preventive Maintenance tasks, in and around your Old House. Let’s get to work, its really not as hard as you might think!
Summer preventive maintenance checks are much like an abbreviated “whole house” inspection (at time of purchase), previously covered HERE.
SO, WHAT IF I’M NOT HANDY AROUND THE HOUSE?
- Thats ok! Home inspections aren’t just reserved for real estate transactions. If you aren’t handy around the house, and are left wondering if your home may need a little TLC to keep it in tip-top shape, by all means, hire a home inspector. They will evaluate your house, give you a detailed to-do list, and even perform a follow-up inspection to ensure the work was executed correctly, and to code.
- Find out more from US Inspect HERE and check out the previous blog on this topic.
So what is preventive maintenance? According to Grainger
Preventative maintenance is defined as regularly scheduled inspections, tests, servicing, replacements, repairs and other tasks intended to help reduce the impact and frequency of equipment failures. This includes scheduled preventative maintenance, predictive maintenance and inspection activities.
The objective of preventive maintenance is to repair or replace a component (caulk, grout, siding, shingles, etc) or system (plumbing, heating, cooling, electrical, etc) BEFORE it fails or experiences unexpected downtime.
Whether its your house, car, or lawnmower, preventive maintenance is key to extending service life, and reducing life cycle costs, repair, and premature replacement.
For example, it is much easier to maintain exterior caulk and paint, rather that ignore it for years and now the siding, framing, and structure are now rotten and compromised. You would now face a major repair bill.
Also, if you ever plan to sell, it is much easier/cheaper to keep a house maintained along the way, than to have a long laundry list that needs to be completed quickly before closing, and at a great expense! This could delay or prevent the sale once the home inspector shows up and documents years of neglect.
So, given this info, My Old House”Fix” has formulated a plan to provide you with a proactive approach when it comes to Summer preventive maintenance! For this, we drafted a specific checklist, broken down into smaller tasks, and always by season! Summer picks up right where we left off with Spring inspections. Now that its warm enough, repairs (such as priming and painting) can start, based off the spring inspections.
MY OLD HOUSE “FIX” SUMMER PREVENTIVE MAINTENANCE CHECKLIST
My Old House”Fix” has a checklist just for you! CLICK HERE to download and print your own PDF copy to use for your Summer preventive maintenance inspections.
SUMMER PREVENTIVE MAINTENANCE
Chimney and Flashing – Repair damaged and/or missing bricks, mortar, and flashing. Any gaps, cracks, and penetrations can cause water leaks into the attic.
Roof Flashing – Repair any lifting, separated, damaged areas of flashing, and ensure it has full coverage over the roof decking material to prevent wood rot and pest/insects, etc from entering soffits and attic.
Roof Shingles – Repair any roofing nail heads popping through shingles and patch as needed. Repair any lifting, worn, curling, missing, or delaminated shingles.
- Roof Misc. – Cut back tree limbs touching, or near the roof surface. This can cause roof wear and damage over prolonged periods.
Gutters and Downspouts – During rain shower, when safe, make sure they are clear of debris, and drain properly. Esure downspouts and joints are not clogged and water is draining away from the foundation/house
- Exterior Walls (wood/brick) – Repair and re-point mortar for stone and brick, as needed. Maintain shrubbery and trim limbs to prevent contact with walls.
- Exterior Trim & Siding – Repair all trim, casings, and siding to make sure it is secure to the building, with no gaps. Check for rot, peeling paint (and signs of excessive moisture), and failed caulk. Repair, re-paint, and re-caulk as needed. If replacing any wood be sure to prime all 6 sides!
Windows and Storms – Wash/clean double hung and storm windows (inside/outside).
- Electrical – Check visible exterior electrical cables, wires, receptacles, and light fixtures for wear and/or damage. Check outdoor light fixtures for water/moisture infiltration. Repair as needed.
Exterior Plumbing – If you have a well, check the water annually for potability. More and more groundwater pollution is emerging and being detected from decades of industrial waste and dumping. Its better to be safe, than sorry!
- Heating and Cooling – Clean around all cooling equipment – heap pumps, A/C condensers, etc. Trim shrubbery away from the equipment, and remove debris like leaves, grass, weeds, etc. The goal is to keep the inside of the cooling unit clean.
Insects and Pests – Check in/around the house and garage for insects and pests such as wasps, termites, mice, etc.
SUMMER PREVENTIVE MAINTENANCE
- Attic Check – Perform a quick check of the attic. This is just a quick follow-up from Spring to ensure no new leaks, water damage, and pest infiltrations have occurred.
A/C Condensate Pump & Drain Lines – If applicable, ensure proper drainage, operation, and check for leaks. The condensate pump ( you could have multiple) evacuates all the water and condensation that the A/C system generates and pumps it outside or down your plumbing drain. If it fails, it can get messy in a hurry! To prevent drip pan backup and water damage, ensure pump is working properly, drain pipes remain clean and clear, and it is draining properly.
Basement Check – Perform quick, periodic checks for water intrusion and dampness at the floor and walls. Check for signs of mold, keep humidity low, and monitor regularly. You can pick up a cheap digital thermometer/humidity monitor for about $10. 30-60% humidity should be the target.
- Interior Plumbing – A quick check of all visible sinks, traps, drains, pipes, tubs, fixtures, and valves for minor leaks and proper operation.
Electrical – Check any electrical wires, cables, and receptacles for wear, overloading, and/or damage (discolored or burn markings, etc.
Insects and Pests – Check in/around the house and basement for insects and pests such spiders, termites, ants, etc.
SUMMER PREVENTIVE MAINTENANCE
Yard / Grass – Fertilize as needed (Weed N Feed, etc). A good 4 step program like Scotts Turf Builder is a good one, you can buy online and pick it up at your local LOWE’S. Or if you don’t have a green thumb (like me sometimes) you can hire it out to someone like TruGreen.
- Learn more from our friends over at This Old House for perfecting the perfect lawn. Roger Cook is the expert!
Yard / Grass – Edge sidewalks, driveways, and walkways, to keep it nice and tidy. Its interesting, but after not edging my lawn for 3-4 years, I finally edged it and “found” about TWO extra inches of sidewalk on each side where the earth was literally reclaiming the space. You can use a Manual Lawn Edger for about $20 at LOWE’S, or go for “powered” one for about $75 and up.
Yard / Grass – Treat for mosquitoes, ticks, and pests as needed. It is reported that bats and opossums can eat thousands of mosquitoes and ticks per season, so it might be good to have more of them around. Also eliminate standing water, which can breed mosquitoes. Houzz has some tips on getting rid of mosquitoes.
Read HERE for more on Old House Preventive Maintenance.
I hope this information helps to promote a proactive approach for you this Summer in regards to performing Summer Preventive Maintenance on your home. Any questions/comments? Hit me up anytime in the comments section or join in on the discussions over on the Facebook Group . Thanks!
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