Although many people believe that summer home maintenance is mostly about cleaning, it’s actually aimed at checking and repairing various structures and systems within the home. While you might already be aware of the most important summer maintenance chores, overlooking some tasks may result in more expensive and time-consuming repairs later on. To ensure that nothing gets left behind, here is a list of summer maintenance tasks that will help you get your Houston home ready for the season.
Prep Your HVAC System
The last thing you want on a hot summer day is to find out that your HVAC system isn’t working properly. To avoid this, it’s important to clean and check your HVAC system before the hot weather kicks in. HVAC system cleaning should include a thorough cleaning of the filter, evaporator coil, ductwork, vents, condenser coil, as well as the outdoor unit. If your HVAC system isn’t working properly, it’s best to call in a qualified HVAC technician to inspect it and make the necessary repairs.
Clean Your Deck, Porch, or Patio
If you’re one of the homeowners who spent most of their time outdoors during the summer, it’s important to get your deck, porch, or patio ready for entertainment. To keep your deck or porch in top condition, clean it with a standard deck cleaner. Next, inspect it for signs of wear, including rotting, cracking, and splitting. Fix any loose boards, cracks, splits, and other defects, then sand and restain the surface before the hottest summer days arrive. If you have a tiled patio, cleaning it with a suitable solution and rinsing it with clean water will help you get rid of dust, dirt, grime, and stains. Once the patio is fully dry, apply a suitable sealer to restore its original beauty and protect it from the elements.
Clean Your Grill
After you clean your deck, porch, or patio, it’s time to prepare your grill for summer barbequing. To clean a charcoal grill, you need to empty the grill and wipe away any dust and residue left using hot water, dish soap, and a sponge. For gas grills, remove the drip tray and let the grill cook for about half an hour. Turn off the grill, let it cool, and then use a grill brush to sweep the cooking grates. You can also find different non-toxic cleaning products that can be used to clean both gas and charcoal grills, including the cooking grates, safely.
Identify the Signs of Foundation Distress
Foundation distress is one of the most prevalent problems that affect many homes throughout the Greater Houston area and southeast Texas. The soil in these regions has a high content of clay. As a result, it expands and contracts extensively according to the moisture content. Because the soil near the perimeter of the foundation gets wet and dries out faster than the soil beneath the center of the foundation, which has a relatively more stable moisture content, the perimeter of the foundation may rise as much as 1 inch relative to the center of the structure. This phenomenon is commonly referred to as differential settlement and can lead to deep cracks in the foundation, followed by major structural damage to your home as well as failure of plumbing systems and other components. Identifying the early signs of foundation distress can help you prevent extensive damage, which may take more time and cost more money to fix.
Develop a Watering Schedule
If you have plants close to your home, developing a proper watering schedule will allow you to maintain a constant level of moisture and reduce the amount of shrinkage in the soil. This could help you prevent many foundation problems that may otherwise occur during drought conditions. Adding a layer of mulch will also retain more moisture for your plants and foundation during the scorching summer days in Houston.
Following these guidelines can go a long way in helping you prepare your home for the summer and protect it from damage. Additionally, having an annual foundation inspection done by a professional is an important part of any home maintenance strategy.