Summer Home Care Tips

When summer rays are shining, it is tempting to grab your book and relax in the hammock. But before you do, take some time during a cooler summer morning to walk around your home and inspect it with a keen eye – to ensure that there isn’t anything that needs your attention.

Inspect Your Dryer Vent

According to a 2007 report by the U.S. Fire Administration, approximately 12,700 clothes dryer fires occur annually in residential buildings – resulting in 15 deaths and 300 injuries. To avoid being another statistic, use a vent-cleaning brush to regularly clean your vent, the lint trap and the hose leading outside. Also remember to inspect the vent from the outside to ensure both ends are free from any blockages. Birds and other insects often will make this hole in your house their home.

Keep Your Gutters Free from Debris

Inspect your gutters and remove any debris. In many parts of the country, flash thunderstorms are common, and your house can suffer from water damage as a result of debris and water accumulating in your gutters. If you happen to live in a dry part of the country or an area experiencing drought-like conditions, dry leaves in your gutter can also create an additional fire hazard to your home. Sparks from brush fires (or even neighborhood camp fires) can become airborne and cause the dry debris to catch fire.

Clean Your Garage

During summer, temperatures can rise to new highs every day. Heat-sensitive materials such as paints and solvents should be stored in a cool, dry place or, if no longer needed, disposed of properly. Summer is a great time to organize your garage and get rid of the clutter. You can also store winter tools – such as the snow blower and shovels – to make room for your summer tools and toys.

Examine for Pests and Insects

With the summer months come the insects and other pests. Inspect your deck and other wooden areas for termites. If you live in a humid climate, watch for puddles around your yard and other standing water – which is a perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes (and the West Nile virus). Check your lawn for holes created by moles, gophers, chipmunks or other furry creatures. Finally, examine the eaves around your home for hornets’ nests. Depending on the type of insect or pest, you may want to consult a professional for extermination.

By pinpointing problems early, you can usually avoid larger repair headaches (and bills) down the road – and have more time to relax in the summer sun.