Summer is upon on us, and you know what that means? Chores. While some prepare for cookouts and vacations, and others prepare for a few long weeks of in-laws visiting, every homeowner should be taking the steps to make sure that their home is ready to withstand whatever the dog days of summer can muster. Here are a few steps you can take towards making your summer more comfortable, enjoyable, and safe:
1. Make sure your HVAC system is ready to do its job.
Change all air filters and dust vent covers. Review the maintenance history and schedule of your air-conditioning system to be sure that any necessary maintenance or service can be scheduled well ahead of time.
2.Inspect any pools, deck or outdoor structures.
Inspect all steps, railings, ladders, slides, awnings and roof structures for any structural issues, exposed nails, or other hazards. Inspect filter, pump, and pH levels. Ensure cleanliness of pool and pool deck for safety. Inspect any outdoor structures such as gazebos, pump houses, and fences for additional hazard or structural deficiency.
3. Address insects and critters.
The last thing you want to stumble upon at a barbecue is a nest of angry hornets, a snake catching some sun, or a Black Widow hiding in the wood pile. Make sure to inspect all areas where the presence of certain insects or other wildlife may cause hazard.
4. Clear dryer vents and exhaust.
Failure to properly clean and maintain a dryer is the leading cause of dryer fires. Fire is the leading cause of things burning down. Make sure to thoroughly clean the unit and clear lint and other detritus after each use.
5.Ensure all smoke detectors and fire extinguishers are in working order.
See item number four for more pertinent details. This is an oft-overlooked item that can lead to disaster.
6.Check for water leaks.
Winter months can wreak havoc on plumbing and irrigation systems. Now that it has warmed up and spigots are uncovered, make sure to test all water lines and sprinklers for leaks. Also check for structural leaks, such as in the attic or basement.
7.Clean gutters and downspouts.
Before the summer rains hit, make sure your gutters are free of leaves, moss, nests, and other debris which may cause a backup of your runoff system.
8.Get lawn squared away.
Be sure to treat for pests and trim any bushes, especially near your AC unit. Sharpen lawnmower blades and establish a schedule for watering and maintenance.
Take this time to inspect siding, fascia, driveways, sidewalks, and other exterior elements for wear and tear. Now may be a good time to schedule that pressure washing you’ve been talking about these last few seasons.
10. Clean your grill.
Summer means cookouts, and you don’t want to be the guy who got the whole cul-de-sac sick at the block party. A dirty grill breeds bacteria, leads to exposure to cancer-causing carcinogens, and may even attract rodents. Don’t be that guy.
Now that you have a few items on your to-do list, don’t wait until after the boys of summer have gone to get your house in order. Take a look at these items around your home, and when you’re done be sure to review your liability policy before the next backyard soiree. It could make a world of difference!