You've survived a long, cold winter. Now is the time to prepare for a long, hot summer. Whether you live in an area that stays relatively warm year round, or gets frigid with snow and ice, this article will help you prepare for "summerizing."
The steps for summerizing your home are much like the steps in winterizing your home. Keep the summer heat from costing you extra in cooling bills - help your house recover from winter - and get ready for some time outside.
First, you will need to do a home inspection. Start by inspecting the foundation for cracks or any other problems. If you find cracks, you can purchase concrete color caulk and fill them. Check all the interior floors to make sure they are sound. If the foundation has more serious problems, consult a contractor or engineer to assess and perform any needed repairs. Then you should set up a project to coat the concrete foundation with clear concrete sealer as a summer painting task.
Next, check all the wires leading into the house (electric, phone, cable). Make sure that they are not sagging or have frayed insulation or poor connections. If repairs are necessary, contact the appropriate utility and report it.
Get on the Roof
Walk the roof to check and repair any loose shingles or replace missing ones. If you have a flat roof, check for cracks and seal them with roofing fabric tape and roofing cement. If there are cracks to seal, wait for the roofing cement to cure, and coat the whole roof with silver or black roofing sealer while it is still cool out. Also, check the chimney cap to see if it is clear and sound. While you have your ladders out, clean all the gutters out. You may need a trowel for this if leaves and sticks are sticking to the gutters. Pull out everything in the gutter. Take a garden hose up to the roof and secure it to the ladder. An empty hose is much easier to carry than a charged line. Once you have the hose nozzle well secured to your ladder, turn the water on and hose out the gutter. Also put the hose nozzle in the downspout and turn it on full to wash out any leaves, sticks, or bird nesting material. While the ladders are still out, replace any burned out spotlights or outside light bulbs. Next, check the entire exterior to assess any painting needs and if necessary get together all your painting tools.
Look to Your Lawn
The next task is to prepare your lawn for mowing. Pick up any branches or sticks. Check your mowing equipment. You should change the oil in any mowing equipment at the beginning of the season. Old gasoline may harm your engine, so you should pour any stored gas into your car where it will be diluted and will not harm your car engine. Buy high test gas for your mowing equipment, and use a gas additive to protect the seals and carburetor in the machine.
Secure the Interior
Now for the interior of the house. For cooling, get all your fans together. Whether you have window or central air conditioning, clean or replace the filters and charge the air conditioner. Summerizing is just like winterizing. You need to install weather stripping on the doors and windows. In colder areas, the electric company probably sent you insulators for your electric outlets and light switches. This will help keep your interior cool inside where it belongs, and help keep heat and humidity out, so even regions that are relatively warm year round will benefit from this. You should make sure all the windows are caulked. Pay special attention underneath the outside window sills, as this is an area that is overlooked, and cool air will leak out through this gap. You would be surprised how much this will raise your electric bills. To help you to keep the cool air in, place an old towel at the bottom of your doors.
There are a lot of electrical storms in the summer, and you may lose power and water. Make sure you have plenty of emergency water, and if there is a violent storm with lightening and high winds, fill your bathtub with water for flushing and washing water. I keep 20 one gallon bottles stored in various areas, and I live alone. In areas with extended droughts, such as California, you should buy numerous 5 gallon bottled water containers just in case. If you have a fireplace, split and store any firewood while it is still cool, and don’t wait for the onset of frigid weather.
Finally, you should hose out the winter crud from your car that coats your garage floor. Hose off any porches, decks, or patios and their overhangs in preparation for a wonderful summer. And of course clean your grill.
As an added bonus for your summer, buy some hummingbird feeders. Melt some sugar in some boiling water and you're ready to go. Hummingbirds are delightful, and really lift the spirits.
Have a wonderful, safe summer.