You bought your Aspen property to give you and your family a luxurious, carefree life. Yet to make the most of your property this summer, you need to make sure you take care of routine preventative maintenance tasks before family and guests arrive. Not only will preventative maintenance help you better enjoy your mountain home, it will also help you maintain—perhaps even boost—your property’s value. Here are some summer home maintenance tips that can help you better enjoy your home this season.
1. Check, Clean, and Repair Gutters
According to the home maintenance experts at HouseLogic, having your gutters in tip-top shape is one of the essential tasks to perform before summer arrives. Debris that stops up gutters can cause rainwater to spill over, eventually causing structural damage to your home.
Remove all of the debris from your gutters and around your drains. Check to see if there are any damaged or dented areas. If so, repair them as soon as possible. Replace any damaged sections, including loose brackets that keep the gutters in place. You may be able to repair dents by tapping the section gently with a hammer.
2. Check Your Roof
Winter and early spring snowstorms and winds can cause shingles to loosen. Make sure that all your shingles are in good shape. If any areas need repair, make sure to take care of it before summer storms do more damage and cause possible leaks.
3. Check Your Chimney
While you’re atop your house, check your chimney if you have one. If you find loose bricks, stones, or mortar, it’s time to call a stonemason to repair the damage before summer storms arrive. If you plan to use your fireplace on chilly evenings, make sure you have a certified chimney sweep clean and inspect both fireplace and chimney every year.
4. Examine Your Siding and Trim
Whether your home has brick, wood, log, stone, or vinyl siding, you need to check for any loose, rotting, or crumbling areas. Caulk any gaps between your siding and windows, doors, and sliders. If your home is painted or stained, check for any peeling or flaking areas. It may be time to recoat your home’s exterior to protect its siding. Clean your home’s siding with your garden hose, mild soap, and water. If it needs more than a quick going-over, you may want to find a pressure washing service to help you get it spic-and-span for summer.
Check trim for signs of weather or pest damage. Replace any trim that shows signs of rotting wood. If you suspect pest damage, call a pest control expert to inspect your home and suggest a treatment plan.
5. Walk Around Your Yard
After a few good rains, walk around your yard to see if there are any areas that seem to hold standing water. Standing water serves as a breeding ground for mosquitoes, so it’s essential that you solve the problem as soon as you can. First, check to see if clogged or warped gutters have caused the problem. Next, add some topsoil to see if filling in the gap might help. If neither of these solutions helps, you may need to consult a landscape expert to help you solve the problem by adding drains or re-grading your yard.
If spring and early summer storms have brought down sticks or branches from the trees on your property, remove them. Larger ones create tripping hazards, and smaller ones can dull lawnmower blades.
6. Service Your Air Conditioner
Make sure you have your air conditioning system inspected, cleaned, and serviced every year. It makes good sense to take care of this annual chore before the heat of midsummer puts added strain on the system. With regular maintenance, your air conditioner will last longer and perform more efficiently for years to come.
7. Clean Vents and Screens
If you like to feel the natural breezes from the mountain air blowing through your home, you’ll want to install screens in your windows for the summer. Make sure they’re cleaned to prevent dust from being blown into your home along with mountain breezes.
Similarly, clean your floor registers or other vents that pump out cool air from your air conditioning system. Make sure that you check or clean your air filters often, usually once or twice a month.
8. Look over Your Patios, Paths, and Play Areas
If your home features a pool, paths, a patio, a play area, or a putting green, make sure everything is shipshape before you invite guests over. Clear away any rocks or branches that could cause someone to trip. Mow grass to create an inviting space to relax and play.
Make sure your grill and other appliances in your outdoor kitchen are clean and are in operational condition. Check play areas for loose bolts, splinters, or mold. Repair any rusty or twisted metal parts and clean seating areas. If you use ropes or chains on your children’s swing set, make sure they’re safe before the kids start to play.
9. Prepare Your Pool for Summer Fun
If you didn’t cover your pool over the winter, clean it—but don’t empty it. Emptying a pool to clean it can cause major damage to your pool, depending on the ground table in your locale, says Danielle Beurteaux of Popular Mechanics. Instead, use nets and other tools to catch any leaves, sticks, or other debris.
Make sure your filtration system is clean before you use it. Remove plugs, clean out the filter, and have a pool professional test your pool water. Adjust the chemical balance of your pool’s water according to his or her recommendations. Wait a week or so until the water clears. If your pool has a cover, remove it. Make sure you clean away debris and keep an eye on the water’s chemical balance all summer long for a memorable summer by the pool.
10. Detect Sprinkler Problems Early
Before you turn your system on, inspect the valves and sprinkler heads. If they’re damaged, replace them. After you’ve turned on your system, if you see wet spots in your yard or garden other than those caused by heavy rains or gutter problems, you may have a broken underground pipe. Call a landscape professional or a plumber to have your system repaired so you don’t waste water.
11. Inspect Your Home’s Plumbing and Electrical Systems
Plumbers caution homeowners to have their sewer or septic system professionally evaluated before summer is in full swing. Because trees’ roots grow all winter long, some of those roots can grow inside sewer or septic lines, causing a blockage. Heavy spring and early summer rains can complicate matters. Checking your pipes before summer begins can stave off bigger problems down the road. No one wants to have their summer ruined with a sewer backup.
Summertime means you’ll spend more time near water. Make sure all of the ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs) are in working order. These safety features protect electrical outlets located near water sources, such as pools, outdoor fountains, bathrooms, and kitchens. Here’s how to test your GFCIs:
Plug in a small appliance and turn it on.
Push the “test” button. The appliance should turn off.
Push the “reset” button. The appliance should turn back on.
If any of them don’t pass the test, call an electrician. Some older homes may not have these safety features since GFCIs are relatively new. If your home was built before GFCIs became mandatory, have an electrician remove your old outlets located near water features and update them with GFCIs.
Summer Home Maintenance Made Easy with MVP
When you stop problems before they begin with preventative home maintenance, you’ll create a home that will nourish your soul through many summers to come. If in the future, you decide to sell your home, your attentiveness will have increased your home’s value on the competitive Aspen-area real estate market.
To maintain your home in top shape all year round, consider MVP Estate Management and Home Services’ exclusive residential property management service. With their full-service turnkey property management service, you have nothing else to do but to open up the door and enjoy your summer in the mountains.
To discover more about our custom services for our valued clients, contact us or call MVP’s owner, Jim Tomberlin, at (970) 930-8106 for a no-obligation, free consultation.