August home maintenance tips

Another summer has come and almost gone, but there is still time to squeeze in some home improvements. Prepare for back to school and the fall season with DURA’s August home maintenance tips below:

  • Prepare your furnace for winter. An annual furnace or boiler inspection can help save money — and keep occupants safe and comfortable. Furnaces and boilers typically fail during the coldest times of the year. Be proactive and schedule regular inspections instead of waiting until it’s too late.
  • Update pest and insect control. Did you know that wasp activity peaks in late summer, meaning that wasps are more aggressive and likely to sting? Keep an eye out for wasps’ nests around your home, and deal with them as soon as possible. Also, bird baths or areas of pooling water often attract mosquitoes. Drain these areas and invest in some form of mosquito repellant. Close off places where pests can hide in your home, like attics or crawl spaces, and don’t leave food out — especially fruit or sweets. Opt for the lowest-risk pesticide product when taking the DIY-approach, and ask professionals to use the crack and crevice control or bait methods, to reduce the use of pesticides.
  • Clean outdoor stone. Dust off stone surfaces – such as patios, stone walkways or outdoor countertops – because dirt and sand can cause damage. Use a gentle cleanser with a neutral pH that isn’t too harsh and use a soft cloth to apply a water-based penetrating sealer for a longer-lasting finish.
  • Tidy up the yard and home exterior. Preen the twigs and branches from your trees with a saw and/or chainsaw, or hire a professional. Gunked up gutters can hold water that can seep into your home’s foundation and basement along with house rodents and other vermin. Clear up your gutters with a towel, and always use hand and eye protection — or call a gutter cleaning company for help.
  • Check your washing machine hose connections. Ensure that the water supply hoses that connect to the washing machine aren’t worn or bulging. If they need to be replaced, turn off the water supply to the hoses. Then use pliers to loosen the hoses from the water supply and washing machine. You can replace them with either rubber or stainless-steel hoses. If you’re using rubber hoses, make sure there’s a rubber washer on each end.
  • De-clutter around the house. Pack away summer gear until next year, and toss or donate items that are broken or never used. Clean out the refrigerator and pantry with any expired, unwanted or stale foods. Donate anything from closets, the garage or shed before purchasing back to school, fall season or replacement items.
  • Clean floors, carpets and baseboards. Vacuum and clean floors, and steam clean carpeting to get rugs clean. Also clean car interiors of garbage, dirt and sand. Wipe out car drink holders, wipe down seats and armrests, and vacuum the car floor.

Adapted from Realtor.com, Houzz.com and Settingforfour.com