Homes need a lot of love, from regular cleaning and maintenance, to the occasional repair to keep things in good order. It’s a year-round responsibility to protect this cherished asset and, since some maintenance tasks change with the seasons as weather conditions affect temperature, precipitation and vegetation, it’s important to adjust your to-do list accordingly.
“Once the weather starts to warm up, home maintenance is likely one of the last things on your mind, but it’s still a crucial part of the homeownership experience,” said Chris O’Rourke, vice president of property claims at Mercury Insurance. “For example, there are several easy tasks to include in your weekly outdoor chores, like mowing the lawn, and clearing grass clippings, twigs and other debris from underneath a deck, that can help protect against a potential fire. Investing the time to take preventative measures against unexpected events can help save you money in the long run.
“When in doubt about whether or not a home maintenance project is too big to tackle on your own, a safe bet is to consult with a professional first.”
Here are important spring and early summer home maintenance tips that can help keep money in your pocket.
Inspect the roof for damage.
Your roof is a primary barrier between your living space and the outdoor elements, so be sure to monitor for areas where unwanted water can get in or cool air might escape. Warped or missing shingles can be easy to spot from the ground, but trouble lurks with loose shingles or flashing, which may need a bird’s-eye view to detect. If heights aren’t your thing, contact a qualified contractor to look for potential problem areas and let you know your roof’s overall condition. Some may even offer a general inspection as a free service.
Seal doors and windows.
Keeping your home cool as temperatures warm up creates a comfortable living space, protects your belongings from damage and maintains freshness of food in your kitchen and pantry. A significant portion of cool indoor air can leak through unsealed crevices in your home, making your air conditioning unit work overtime. Using caulk or weather stripping around doors and windows can help to keep the cool air in, the warm air out and save money on your home’s energy bill.
Service the air conditioner.
Hot temperatures might not be the only highs during spring and summer. Your electricity bill can hit highs, too, due to the prolific use of an air conditioner. Keeping your A/C unit properly maintained can help eliminate the need for costly repairs or replacement parts. Clearing leaves and dead grass from around your outdoor conditioning unit will allow for proper air flow, and changing the air filter will prevent dirt and debris from entering and damaging the system. These simple steps are easy to do on your own, but calling an HVAC professional will ensure you don’t miss other important steps that will make your A/C run efficiently and keep you cool in the coming months.
Fireproof the perimeter of your home.
The hot, dry weather of summer can also bring the threat of wildfires, especially in states like California. If you live in an area that’s prone to wildfires, fireproofing your home is a top priority. This includes removing anything flammable within the first five feet of your home and maintaining the landscape around your property. Any firewood, recyclables and tools should be stored properly and at least five feet from your home. Remove dead, dying and diseased vegetation and organic mulch throughout your property that could serve as kindling during a wildfire. Separate large trees and shrubs and create clearance around bee and bird habitats.
Maintaining your home and other critical systems, appliances and electronics is essential to protecting your biggest investment. Speak with your insurance agent to help ensure you have the right amount of coverage, which can also save you money.