Getting your home ready for the summer is not only about taking out lawn chairs, uncovering outdoor dining tables and mowing your lawn.  It also requires a significant amount of manual labor.  As the warm weather approaches, so do the weeds, heavy rain and the arrival of annoying bugs and mosquitos. This year’s cycle of cicadas will surely add to, and further complicate the preparation of your outdoor space.

As the warmer temperatures arrive, the first order of business should be to service your central air conditioning system. This will ensure your system operates as efficiently as possible and lessens the chance of a breakdown when the high temperatures of summer roll in. Although you may have a company that services your system, you are responsible to clear your outdoor condenser from debris, long grass, brush and shrubs that may have overgrown around the equipment. Blocked coils or damaged fins on your condenser can reduce efficiency and create extra wear and tear.

Next, check your gutters to make sure there are no leaves blocking the flow of water. Clogged gutters can lead to the premature decay of the fascia around your home. It can also create undetected roof leaks that over time, can result in interior damage to your walls and ceilings. Furthermore, it can cause water to collect around your foundation causing damage to nearby concrete, grass or plant beds.

While you are on your ladder, check your roof to make sure that it weathered well over the winter.  The heavy snow that fell this past year, and freezing temperatures could have damaged or lifted shingles. If you cannot access your entire roof, call a professional that can assess the condition of your roof, especially if it is more than twenty years old.

It may even be wise to check for beehives and wasp nests around your home, deck and in the trees.

If any mold or mildew gathered around your foundation, near doorways or windows, make sure to clean it thoroughly. The warm summer heat creates a breeding ground for mold spores and other types of mold growth. If you are not sure what products to use, consult with your local home store and ask for professional advice.  It is always a good idea to take a picture before going to the store to make sure you know what you are dealing with.

If you haven’t inspected your deck within the last year, it may be a good idea to inspect it for safety. Loose nails, splintered boards and unsecured posts or railings can create a dangerous situation. It is also a good idea to clean your deck. Every few years your deck should be power washed and treated to protect it.

Lastly, check the overall conditions of the outside or your home and your property. Do a visual inspection of sidewalks, staircases and siding to make sure there was no damage over the winter or during recent storms. Cut down overgrown shrubs and tree branches that may be too close to your home. The warmer temperatures bring rodents and squirrels looking to make their home in your home.

A little TLC can go a long way and create a safer environment for you, your family and friends to enjoy.

If you need the assistance of a professional to help get your home ready for summer fun, be sure to use a licensed and insured contractor or service professional.  This will protect you and your home now and in the future.

Lana Seidman, Executive Director       HIC of Staten Island, Inc.

(718) 356-2323