Summertime offers more opportunities to enjoy the Great Outdoors, but before you have some fun in the sun, you need to make sure your home is ready for the season.
“Today’s Homeowner” hosts Danny Lipford and Chelsea Lipford Wolf have these summer maintenance tips:
Clean all windows
For busy homeowners, follow these simple steps for quickly and effectively cleaning glass on windows and patio doors.
Use a combination of common, gentle ingredients to clean glass. Mix one teaspoon of baby shampoo to one gallon of water, or 1-1/2 cups of vinegar to one gallon of water.
Wash windows with the solution using a clean, soft cloth or sponge.
Rinse with clean water.
Promptly dry the glass thoroughly with a cloth.
Dry the frame with a separate cloth.
TIP: Clean glass on a dry, overcast day. Intense sunlight can cause streaks as the solution may dry too quickly. Avoid using a power washer or garden hose to clean windows or doors, which can cause seal failure and allow water to enter the home.
Avoid using metal tools, razor blades or other objects that can damage surfaces, scratch glass and remove exterior glass coating. Don’t allow aggressive cleaners to come in with vinyl, wood or metal-clad surfaces. Be sure to clean up puddles that collect at glass edges, as they can damage window glazing.
Flush the A/C drain line
If your home is equipped with a central air conditioning system you may have noticed a drain line on the outside dripping water near the air conditioner.
This line drains condensation from the inside air handler to the outside. If this line clogs (usually from algae) it can cause water damage inside the house.
You can prevent a clog by simply pouring a cup of household bleach into the line from the inside. To remove a clog once it has occurred, attach a wet/dry vacuum to the drain line outside (removing the paper filter first) and suck the clog out.
Inspect the fireplace/chimney
No matter what type of fireplace you have or what you choose to burn in that fireplace, it is important to use a fireplace safely and know how to properly maintain it.
Here are some fireplace safety tips to follow:
- Make sure that your fireplace is inspected annually by a professional chimney sweep. The chimney sweep who inspects your fireplace should be certified by the Chimney Safety Institute of America and as a fire inspector.
- Have your fireplace and chimney cleaned by a certified chimney sweep when there is a 1/4″ or more build-up of creosote.
Trim any branches near the chimney of your fireplace.
- Make sure there is a screen barrier around the top of the chimney on your fireplace to prevent birds and other wildlife from nesting on or in your chimney.
- Use a fire screen in front of the fireplace to contain embers and logs inside your fireplace and keep young children away.
- Never overload your fireplace to prevent logs from rolling out of your fireplace and starting a fire in your home.
Clean all outdoor furniture
Your outdoor furniture on your patio or deck could be made of wood, aluminum, wrought iron, or plastic; regardless of the material, it takes a lot of abuse from the elements including sun, rain, snow and extreme changes in temperature.
Here are some tips on how to clean and protect the furniture on your deck or patio to keep it looking new.
Did you know you can make wood repairs without getting a hammer and nails out?
While cleaning her outdoor furniture, Chelsea noticed a split in one of the table’s slats. She was able to repair it without screws by gluing the split piece back together and clamping it with bungees until it dried.
Titebond III Ultimate Wood Glue is waterproof, non-toxic and cleans up with water. You can use it for indoor or outdoor projects, it sands easily and, yes, it is FDA approved for indirect food (just in case you were thinking of making or repairing a cutting board).
If you’re wondering why Titebond III is “Ultimate,” consider this: Titebond II is water and weather resistant, whereas Titebond III is waterproof. If your project will be in a constantly damp environment or one with high humidity levels, such as in a bathroom, kitchen or outdoors, your best bet is to use Titebond III.
Learn more about this product here.
You may have a place in your house that just wont get cool or stay cool. Regardless of the reason, there is a solution!
Carrier’s ductless systems work wherever you need to be comfortable.
As the name suggests, you don’t need ductwork to install the units, which come in various shapes and sizes to fit your space.
The SEER 42 Ductless Mini Split is inexpensive to operate and is more energy efficient than a window unit. It has Major Humidity Control, which means it takes less energy to cool and stays cool longer.
It includes a sensor that allows the system to turn itself on if the humidity rises and turn itself off as needed.
It’s perfect for attic enclosures, garage enclosures, Florida rooms, additions, etc.
It’s in two pieces (an inside unit and an outside unit) — but no duct work is needed
And we love this: It takes less than a day to install!
Want more summer home maintenance tips? Check out our Four Seasons of Home Ownership summer checklist: