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Home Maintenance Checklist

Summer Checklist

For a home, the hot summer sun can be as harsh as a cold winter night. Peeling exterior paint, worn roof shingles and rotting wood are all more visible. High temperatures turn the attic into an oven, which can have a detrimental effect on everything from higher energy bills to detecting smells from animal nests that have been set up in the attic.

Eliminate Pests in the Home

The first step is to try to stop entry of pests into the home. Trim overhanging trees, shrubs and other plantings that are close or touching the home.

If there are signs of entry, like holes around the soffits, chimney, or anywhere else, they should be sealed after the pests are removed. A simple trap from the hardware store might suffice, but sometimes a professional will need to be called to catch the pests. Cleaning out the infested area will be necessary. Insulation will have to be replaced. But extreme caution should be taken if there is feces and urine in the house.

Insects become more active in the summer. Ants are just about everywhere and can become a nuisance. Simple ant traps and treatments work well. Keeping the house clean of food scraps is important. Repair leaky faucets and drains to limit pests' access to water supply.

Repair/Replace Worn Siding and Trim

Scrape, prime and paint where necessary. Rotted wood can be repaired if the rot is not too widespread. When painting outdoors, follow the sun. Don't paint in direct sunlight or when morning moisture is on the wood. Wait until the sun dries the area out, then paint.

Replace Loose and Worn Shingles

Summer is the best time to get roofing work done. Shingles lay better and will adhere to each other better when they're warm. It is important to hire a professional roofing contractor for roof repairs.

Have the Deck Inspected

A deck that has rotting or loose boards can be more than unsightly, it is a safety hazard. Defective wood on a deck can cause trips and falls. A deck that looks good from the top can have serious safety issues underneath. This is especially true of decks that are older than about ten years, and of decks that were built without a permit and inspections. Experts recommend that a qualified deck inspector inspect decks at least every five years.

Check the Outside Electrical Receptacles

Ground fault circuit interrupters wear out eventually. Test them by pushing the "test" button to make sure the power goes off. If they fail to trip, or won't reset, they should be replaced.