As we finally roll into the warmer months, it’s time to get the home into order. After a long winter and cool, rainy spring, you’ll want to make sure everything in your home is ship shape and ready for another year.
Reseal the Deck
Your poor deck has spent the last few months freezing solid, soaking in melt water, and being pelted by rain. It’s time to give it some love. If you haven’t resealed in a few years, it’s likely that your deck is starting to absorb moisture, which if left untreated will result in premature rotting and degradation. An easy way to tell is by dropping some water on it. If it beads up the seal is good, if it starts to pool and soak in, it’s time for a new coat. You can also check for signs of moisture by looking for any peeling, discolouration, or warping in the wood. Even if you don’t see one of these telltale signs, it is a good idea to get ahead of the issue by resealing now if it’s been several years.
First, remove any furniture or equipment off the deck, give it a quick once over for any safety issues like loose nails or splinters you should fix first. Once that’s done, blast it with a power washer to get all the built-up grime and silt from the winter months off of it (you don’t want to seal that stuff in!). Allow it to dry completely and then select your stain. You may want to check the local weather forecast before you begin to make sure there will be a few clear days with no rain. Grab the proper safety equipment (long pants, gloves, and safety glasses to avoid any accidental contact between the stain and your eyes), then give your deck a new stain. Most stains require two coats and up to 48 hours to fully dry, so remind your family not to go relaxing on the deck until the wood has settled!
Check the Gutters
It’s very common for gutters to get loose after months of heavy snow, ice, and rain. When your gutters aren’t hanging properly, they’re not directing water properly, and that can mean bigger problems down the road. Gutters that drip water down the sides of your walls or overflow on a regular basis can damage your home’s siding and even the foundation if not taken care of.
Look for any "gutter spikes” (the large nail that holds the gutter to the home) that are jutting out and not doing their job. Now, your first impulse might be to just go up on a ladder and nail them back in, but that is only a temporary fix. Once a nail has worked itself loose and been rehammered, it’s only a matter of time before it comes loose again. Instead, go to the hardware stores and buy some gutter screws. These are a superior alternative that will dig into the wood and offer much longer service. Simply pull the old nail out, remove the spacer (or keep it for reuse), and drill the new screw in. Make sure everything is good and flush against the wall and that should be the end of your problem. It’s a very easy fix that will save you plenty of headaches going forward.
Swap out or Clean your HVAC Filter
Another quick summer job that will pay dividends for your home is replacing or cleaning your HVAC filter. Really, this is something that should be done every couple of months but is frequently overlooked in the summer. If you have allergies or a number of pets though, you’ll be glad you took the extra time to get ahead of it this year.
Replacing a filter couldn’t be easier, simply check what size you need and go pick up a spare at the hardware store. Shut your HVAC system off for a moment, open up the filter compartment, toss the old one out and slide in the new in. Mere seconds of work for more breathable air. If you have a reusable filter you’ll need to clean it. Again, turn off the HVAC system, open the access panel for the filter, and take it out. Bring your filter outside and lay it on the ground with the dirty side (the side that catches hair and particles) facing the ground. Gently spray it down with a hose (don’t use a pressurized nozzle that may cause tears) and carefully inspect it to be sure it’s clean. Let it dry completely and reinsert it into the HVAC system.
Just a few of these odd jobs can make a big difference to your home in the summer months, so get out there and enjoy the good weather while also protecting your property.