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Prepare Your Home for Summer: A New Homeowner’s Checklist

Like winter, summer comes with its own set of preparations — ones that homeowners should take care of early to ensure a fun-filled season. Set time aside to cross the following tasks off your list before temperatures soar too high:

1. Have Your Air Conditioner Serviced

You never want your air conditioner to break mid-summer, when most HVAC technicians are swamped with work. Schedule an annual pre-season maintenance visit. During this visit, the technician will do the following:

             change the AC filter, which saves energy

             check the electronics and coolant level

             service or replace worn-down parts

2. Clean All Windows, Screens, and Storm Windows

Whether you’re putting it away or installing it for the summer, clean it. Windows take a lot of abuse from weather, pollen, insects, and people alike, so take the time to clean them thoroughly. Make sure to use the appropriate cleaning agents for each material.

This also gives you an opportunity to inspect your windows for wear and tear. Look for mold, dry rot, cracks, or other problems that need attention.

3. Show Your Lawn Tools Some Love

Gasoline-powered tools like edgers, mowers, blowers, and chainsaws need maintenance before they kick into action again. You should empty the gas lines before winter comes, but if you forgot, change the gas before turning them on. Also replace spark plugs, oil, and filters.

Sharpen any blades and lubricate all moving parts. Lubricating and drying your hand tools and power tools will extend their life significantly.

4. Give Your Roof and House a Once-Over

Winter has a way of opening cracks, wedging things apart, and trapping moisture inside homes. Your roof and exterior siding are your home’s first line of defense, so inspect them closely to identify potential problems.

On your roof, pay particularly close attention to shingles, caulking, and flashing. Shingles that have shifted can allow water in. The same goes for dry-rotted caulking or rusty flashing. Take the time to repair these problems now.

On your exterior walls, look for gaps or dry-rotted caulking and fix them immediately. Also inspect your siding for chipping or blistered paint, which should be fixed to prevent rot.

5. Clean Your Gutters

Though it may be the thorn in the homeowner’s side, cleaning gutters is absolutely crucial for the longevity of your home and foundation. Prioritize safety when doing this job yourself — work with a partner and have your tools in an easy-to-reach location with you.

When you’ve scraped the bulk of debris out, run water from a hose down the gutter to flush out tiny debris. Ensure that your downspout is not clogged, using your hose to flush out anything inside it. Also, make sure that water is moving well away from the foundation.

Get these tasks done early in the season so you don’t have to worry about them later!

Works Cited

“8 Tips to Get Your Home Ready for Warm Weather | MasterThis: Liberty Mutual.” 8 Tips to Get Your Home Ready for Warm Weather | MasterThis: Liberty Mutual, www.libertymutual.com/masterthis/warm-weather-home-maintenance.

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