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  • Writer's pictureThe True North Handyman

Summer Home Maintenance Checklist: A Warm Weather To-do List

As Canadians, we know that summer typically doesn't start on a regular schedule. So far we've had an unusually warm May, but some seriously cold (snow May 28th!!) days have also shown us Mother Nature doesn't care that we've put away the cold weather clothing.

Regardless, with the summer weather finally starting to show, and plans for weekend work in the works, we thought it'd be a good idea to remind you about some important summer home maintenance that's important this time of year. These are fairly easy things you can you yourself, often with some simple tools or products from the hardware store.

A little time and effort at the beginning of the summer can really help protect your bigger investment, your home, for a long time!

Summer Home Maintenance Checklist

When it comes to summer home maintenance, these 5 items are a must-do on the list.

1. Check that Weather Stripping

Now that it's warm out, it's time to give that weather-stripping and caulking around windows and doors a good once-over. Over the winter, these things can really take a beating. Older wooden windowsills and doorframes are prone to rot, and this becomes an easy access point for pests, as well as a great place for mold and mildew to start sprouting. Plus, new caulking can help eliminate any new drafts - saving you money on that A/C bill.

Quick Tip: Don’t caulk over the old caulking. Instead, use a knife to carefully remove it and then reapply a new seal around the window/door.

2. Give Your A/C Some TLC

It's a good idea to get your air conditioner serviced once a year, just to help catch any issues before they become major problems. This can help extend the life of your unit and reduce the risk of costly repairs down the road.

Quick Tip: Be sure to replace your furnace filter. This should be done every 3-4 months, but at the very least change it out at the beginning of each season. This helps with improving air quality and will reduce overall cooling costs.

3. Plug in that Dehumidifier

Or, if you don't have one, get one. Humidity can wreak havoc inside your home - often without you even knowing. Excess moisture and humidity can lead to mold growth (yuck), hardwood floor damage, and even attract bugs. Door frames are also at risk - do you notice some of your doors are harder to close in the summer? That's humidity causing the expansion. It's just the nature of wood.

Quick Tip: The ideal relative humidity for health and comfort is somewhere between 30-50% humidity. In the basement, avoid levels above 60%.

4. Seal the Deal (AKA the Driveway)

Over the winter, asphalt driveways and walkways expand and contract with the freezing and thawing. This leads to cracks. The good news is, you don't need to complete repave your driveway when cracks happen. And you don't even need to call in the pros.

Fixing a crack and resealing your driveway is a relatively easy DIY project. This is a great article that gives easy step-by-step instructions.

Quick Tip: Watch the weather. Avoid applying sealer when it's really hot out. Instead, aim for moderate temperatures between 18 - 30 degrees.

5. Inspect that Deck

Decks and porches get a lot of wear and tear from both weather and foot traffic throughout the year. The harsh winter months can cause finish issues, while the wet springtime can cause or accelerate rot. Check footings for sinkage, and look at the structure of the deck including the beams and joists for any rotting or cracking. If the deck is attached to the home, ensure the ledger board is firmly attached and not pulling away from the house. Give the deck surface a good power wash, sand out any rough spots that developed over the winder, and replace any deck boards that my be rotting.

Quick Tip: The same goes for your fence. Just like your deck, winter weather pounds against your fence and over time can cause it to break down. Check for any weak or loose fence board and replace them. Give it a power wash or fresh coat of paint if it needs it too. These things will help with overall longevity.

Remember, a little work at the beginning of the Summer means you can relax and feel good knowing your home is in good shape for the whole season.

And, as always, if you don't feel like doing it yourself, just give us a call!

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