Summer is definitely here, so as the Houston temps climb sky-high, you’d probably be forgiven for putting off summer home maintenance in favor of, well, just about anything else! But here’s the thing, the old saying still holds true – “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” – and there’s no time like the present to keep your new Long Lake Ltd. home running smoothly all season long!
Here are a few summer home maintenance tasks that aren’t too hot to handle:
Clean your carpets
If you or your family suffer from allergies, summer is peak misery season and your soft furnishings like carpets, area rugs, and upholstery trap huge amounts of allergens which make them prime culprits for summer sneezes.
Your carpets should be deep-cleaned ever six to twelve months, depending on the amount of traffic. You can call in the pros or you can DIY!
DIY: Start by vacuuming more frequently. Use a machine with a three-stage HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filter. Unlike traditional vacuums, which expel dust and allergens back into the room as you clean, those with HEPA filters are designed to trap 99.7% of small particles. If you choose to deep-clean yourself, look for a machine specifically designed for the task.
Call in the pros: Most carpet cleaning companies will charge you per room or per square foot. Prices vary, but the national average is around $175.
Clean that grill
It’s all about barbecue pits and outdoor grills during the summer, but for grill and food safety, you should give your grills a deep cleansing.
DIY: If you have a gas grill, turn up the heat and leave it on for about an hour. Once it’s cooled, give the unit a good scrubbing with a bristle-free brush or balled-up aluminum foil. For charcoal grills, empty any remaining charcoal and use a brush to scrape off caked-on gunk. Then use a hot, soapy sponge to wipe it clean.
Call in the pros: If your gas grill has a mechanical issue, expect to spend $150 to $330 for repairs.
Clean your porches, decks and patios
If you have a deck, unless they are constructed of expensive synthetic wood, they can weather and look pretty ugly in a very short time. Thankfully, a little TLC goes a long way.
DIY: Sweep and scrub any porches, patios, and decks around your property. Use a putty knife to clear out cracks, crevices, and spaces between boards. And for extra credit, apply a fresh layer of stain or sealer. Be sure to hammer down any nailheads that aren’t flush with the deck surface.
Call in the pros: The fact is, 60% of decks are not constructed correctly. If you suspect you’re on shaky ground, hire a licensed contractor. Prices vary, but the national average for a basic deck repair is around $1,500.
Clean windows and blinds
For the most part, spring rains are behind us, so it’s time to give your windows a thorough cleaning. Don’t forget the blinds, which can harbor allergens as well.
DIY: Grab a squeegee, a damp chamois, and a bucket of warm water with dish soap to tackle reachable windows yourself.
Call in the pros: The cost of a professional window scrub will vary depending on location and how many windows you want cleaned, but expect to spend roughly $150 to $300.
Create and perform a home security audit
Summer is the perfect time for crimes of opportunity, especially with everyone on the go so, give burglars a tough time by ensuring your home is protected.
DIY: Motion-detection devices that work during the day are invaluable. At night, use an old-fashioned analog or digital timer to turn lights on in several different places in the home.
Call in the pros: If your home has been burglarized before, or if you’re just plain worried about it, consider having a pro install an alarm system. Costs vary depending on the level of security you want, but there are no-frills options for as low as $199.
Clean that fridge
The kids are going to be in the fridge more often during the summer, so keep it running smoothly all season long by giving it a little deep clean. Dirty coils result in the refrigerator having to work harder to cool, often resulting in expensive repairs.
DIY: Use a coil brush or vacuum attachment to clean your refrigerator’s condenser coils, which can be sneaky repositories of dirt, pet hair, and food remnants. Then use a mild cleanser (or good old dish detergent and water) to wipe down your unit’s interior surfaces and remove any caked-on yuckiness.
Call in the pros: Depending on what’s going on with your unit, a professional repair could cost anywhere from $100 to $200 an hour.
Maintain a green lawn
It gets pretty hot here in Houston and the summer months can be the driest. A lack of rain can turn your green lawn brown and weedy, really fast. Weeds tend to move in when plants are stressed from drought and heat, and steal moisture and nutrients—adding even more stress to your plants and lawn.
DIY: Lay a 3-inch layer of mulch around trees and gardens to block weed growth and lock in moisture. When it comes to mowing your lawn, make sure not to cut too short—higher grass helps crowd out weeds. Then, understand how and when to water.