Keeping your summer home safe and sound when you are away is always at the top of your priority list. From catching fire to burglary, there are several disastrous events that could befall your summer home in your absence. If that isn't scary enough, you could find it infested with wasps, bees and bats, making the entire place uninhabitable.
To safeguard your summer home against these predictable and several other unpredictable calamities, you must conduct a thorough home inspection and fix important issues immediately. Here are some suggestions.
Check the Attic
A miniscule hole in the attic can open the door to a house party for wasps, squirrels, bats and other pests. They may turn it into a dwelling place, chew on wires and leave stains on walls. Some may even die in the attic, leaving a foul smell behind and spreading germs. Do a thorough visual inspection before you leave and immediately after you come back. Look for holes and rotting. Assess the damage to see if it suffices to patch, caulk, repair or replace.
Attic insulation is important to maintain room temperature. It prevents air leakage, regulates ventilation and saves energy. While insulating the attic, make sure you do not block soffit air, as it is crucial for ventilation. Adding reflective coating to your roof is also a good solution for insulation, though you may need the services of a roofing contractor to perform this job.
Check for Water Damage
Water seepage can have a disastrous impact on your home. It causes mold and rot that not only ruin your property but also cause health hazards. Gutters can be extremely useful to prevent water damage as they provide an outlet to pump water away from the house.
Eavestroughs and downspouts are two sides of a gutter. An eavestrough runs from top to bottom of a roofline. A downspout drains water away from the roof, into the lower roof's eavestrough. A roofing contractor uses specialized machines and equipment to create a custom-fit eavestrough according to roof size. This allows the water to drain properly, preventing leaks.
Check Roof and Paint
One of the main points on your summer home maintenance inspection list should be to check roofing and painting. Do you see gaps in the roof surface due to wobbly, damaged or missing shingles? When was the last time you took a thorough look at the paint in the exterior or interior of your house? Chipped paint compromises aesthetic appeal and causes structural damage to your home. It also exposes wood and causes rotting. If the damage is not too severe, you can simply scrape the chipped areas off, sand and repaint the portions. Timely maintenance can fix small issues before they get worse and demand a replacement.
Inspect the Siding
Check the siding of your home. Look for gaps between the panels and exterior walls. Thoroughly clean the siding. Washing prevents the growth of mold, mildew and algae. If cleaning is not effective to remove grime, smudges, streaks and discoloration, consider repainting or replacing the affected areas.
Some other points to include in your checklist before you close your summer home:
Turn off water supply completely at the main point to prevent a pipe burst on a cold day.
Set the thermostat to an adequate room temperature. If your home is located in a warm or damp climate, use a humidity indicator to keep interiors dry.
Unplug TV, microwave and other kitchen and bathroom appliances, to prevent a fire hazard.
Turn off gas, hot water heaters completely.
Clear the refrigerator and freezer of all perishable food items.
Install lightning rods to protect your home from fire.
Make sure the home wiring system is in good condition.
An un-mowed lawn, overflowing mailbox and newspaper piles can be an open invitation to burglars. Secure your alarm system, put all mails on hold, temporarily suspend newspaper subscription and ask a neighbor to park in the drive for additional security.
Creating a checklist and completing each item on it will save you plenty of time and hassle. Make sure to refer to the list every time you enter or leave your summer home. Your summer home is a pleasant getaway and of course you want to protect and maintain it just the right way.
Published by Steffen Ploeger