Summer is the perfect time to tackle home maintenance tasks, big and small.
David Stephenson, who runs a Hire A Hubby franchise, says the warmer weather, combined with time off from work, means there’s no excuse for putting jobs off.
“For most people, their home will be the biggest investment they make. And like all good investments, if we don’t monitor them, they can reduce in value,” he says.
Stephenson shares his summer around-the-house “to-do” list.
With the mercury rising, it’s time to have air-conditioners checked and serviced if needed.
“This will diminish the risk of air-conditioners breaking down and reduce running costs,” he says. Installing exterior window blinds can also reduce the amount of heat that enters the home and the expense of cooling it.
“For most homes, blinds can be purchased off-the-shelf and are easy to install.”
Repairing flyscreens on windows and doors, to keep out bugs, is also important.
“With cool breezes at night, windows and doors (assuming locks are fitted) can be left open, cooling the home without letting in those annoying bugs.”
He also recommends insect treatments. “At this time of year, many bugs become more active, so treating your home for fleas, ants and spiders can reduce any nasty surprises and health risks,” Stephenson says.
It’s important to follow manufacturer’s instructions carefully.
“At this time of the year, it is about reducing fire risks around the home, so clean gutters and downpipes to remove any debris, prune any trees near powerlines, remove any rubbish and keep lawns mowed and trimmed,” he says.
Also check smoke alarms are working and are in the correct location.
Does your dog have access to plenty of cool water on a hot day?
Plants and animals can often suffer in warm conditions, but home owners can help.
“Mulching the garden and installing watering systems can reduce the unnecessary loss of plants,” Stephenson says.
“For pets, sun protection is a must, so ensure there is sufficient shade. If there are no trees or other shady spots, installing shade sails, big or small, can provide pets the escape they need.”
Supplying water to help animals cool down can also help.
“A small children’s bath, about $20 from Bunnings or Kmart, is simple, cheap, but effective.”
With homes locked up over the cooler months, mould can develop in the home.
Given it can cause health issues, it’s important to remove mould, he says, “there are a lot of easy-to-use products available. However, it’s important you follow manufacturer’s instructions.”
It’s important to ensure pools, spas and ponds meet relevant pool fencing regulations and all fences are in excellent condition.
Keep an eye on the water level.
“Remove any items around the fence to ensure little ones can’t climb the fence. Clean and check the water quality, ensure filters are clean and pumps are in good working order.
“It is also a good idea for parents and grandparents to have a basic understanding of first aid and CPR,” he says.
Most general home maintenance is best done in fine weather.
“This may include checking gutters and downpipes that need repairs and patching small holes, mending boundary fences or oiling or painting any decking, fencing, windows and window trims and any outside furniture,” Stephenson says.
“Timber left unprotected deteriorates over time and can lead to costly repair bills, however a touch-up here and there will extend the life of these products.”
The warmer months are a great time give your place the upkeep it deserves.
Stephenson also recommends cleaning the roof and any sheds for lichen.
With the boom of DIY products, many jobs can be performed by the home owner.
“It can be fun and rewarding, starting with small jobs and building up. It is important, however, to understand your skill set, experience, health and qualifications,” he says.
Jobs like repairing air-conditioners and wired smoke detectors should only be performed by qualified and licensed tradespeople, working at heights can be risky and some chemicals may carry health warnings or require specialist equipment.