Your Summer Home Maintenance Checklist
It can take a while to shake off the winter blues, especially in Buffalo where the 118.7 inches of snow qualified for the 12th snowiest winter on record. Now that summer temperatures are in full swing, it is finally time to open the windows, get rid of the dust, and let the freshness into your home. The following home maintenance checklist offers a complete rundown to help you de-winterize your home and will hopefully give you the inspiration to start checking off some of the “to-do ́s” on your household list.
Tip #1: Start from Above
Drifts of snow piling up on your roof can certainly cause all sorts of problems. Builders in Buffalo understand that snow loads are a serious winter issue and all buildings in the Buffalo area are supposed to be able to handle around 50 pounds per square foot on their roofs. Unfortunately, severe winter storms can easily surpass that amount leading to extra stress on the support system for your roof. As soon the threat of snow has passed, it is a good idea to climb onto your roof (or visually inspect below with a pair of good binoculars) to look for shifted shingles, nails poking up, or other signs of wear and tear that winter snow loads may have created or aggravated.
Buffalo gets about 39 inches of rain each year, with much of that rainfall occurring in the spring months. Even minimal roofing problems can lead to water infiltration and costly water damage in your attic, ceiling, and insulation.
All Natale homes are built to handle a minimum of 50 pounds per square foot on their roofs. We use architectural shingles with limited lifetime warranty.
Tip #2: Clean out the Gutters
The gutters around the roof sometimes act as a magnet for fallen leaves, broken tree limbs, and other types of debris that can wreak havoc on your gutter system. Clogged gutters can lead to erosion around the base of your home, and more precariously, the accumulation of water around your home foundation. Proper maintenance of your gutters and downspouts helps prevent soil erosion in your yard as well as future water infiltration and backups.
If you don’t like the idea of climbing up a steep ladder every summer to clean out your gutters, consider hiring a professional to install high performance gutter guards to protect your gutters for the long term.
Tip #3: Replace your HVAC Filters
Another essential element of home maintenance in the summer is to replace the filters on your furnace and air conditioning unit. A new air filter will not only increase the energy efficiency of your HVAC unit, but will also play an essential role in improving your indoor air quality. The EPA estimates that “Americans, on average, spend approximately 90 percent of their time indoors, where the concentrations of some pollutants are often 2 to 5 times higher than typical outdoor concentrations.”
Indoor air exchangers are included in every Natale home. Air exchangers not only remove pollutants and circulate fresh air, they control humidity, capture dust and reduce asthma and allergy symptoms.
Tip #4: Maintenance on Exterior Wood
The process of freezing and thawing that comes with Buffalo ́s harsh winter weather can cause major damage to exterior wood surfaces that are left untreated. The coming of summer is a great time to power wash and reseal your exterior wooden decks, wood siding, and wood patio furniture to keep them durable and long lasting.
Natale homes offer many options for maintenance-free siding and trim.
Tip #5: Check the Caulking around Windows and Doors
The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that improperly sealed windows and doors are responsible for 25%–30% of residential heat loss and heat gain. During the first days of summer, it is probably a good idea to check the caulking around your windows and doors for potential cracking or other signs of damage. Simple DIY weathering kits can be found at most hardware stores and are an easy project that can drastically improve the energy efficiency of your home before the heat waves of summer force you to turn on the AC.
Natale homes feature Andersen 200 Series windows which have wood interiors and virtually maintenance-free exteriors that resist water and seal out the elements.
These simple home maintenance tips are a great way to protect your home, improve your indoor air quality, and allow the freshness of summer to renovate your home.