August TO DO List:

6 Home Maintenance Tasks to Complete This Month

It seems like just last week the kids were getting out of school and summer days seemed endless.  Now it's August and Labor at is just around the corner and yet another fun season in the summer is just about in the books.  Before the temperatures start dipping and the leaves start falling, here are a few tasks that can be knocked out quick, allowing you to get back to the final barbeques of summer and the fun task of back to school shopping!

 

1. PRUNE DEAD WEEDS FROM YOUR LAWN AND GARDEN

According to Tony Smith, president of Nursery Enterprises, it's time to tidy up your perennials and clear away any dead twigs and branches.  Not only will your yard look better for those final barbeque gatherings, you will have a better grasp in understanding your plants' health for next spring.  Whether you need a pro or not can depend on the extent of the cleanup and size of your yard.  this is definitely something homeowners can save money and take a day and get their hands dirty!

2. GET YOUR FURNACE PREPPED FOR WINTER

Trust me...you do not want to wait until the coldest day of the year for your furnace to fail!  Aside from it being cold, the cost for an after hours, Saturday night emergency call for a specialist is way more expensive than a routine tune up now!  It's important to have your furnace inspected now, before temperatures drop.  An annual tune-up and inspection will help save you money, maintain comfort and ensure safety.  There is really no shortcut for this maintenance, it's best to hire a pro for this task.  Keep your eyes peeled, typically HVAC companies run pre-winter specials for this kind of work, when you find a good deal with a reputable company, don't hesitate, appointments fill quickly, call and make yours right away!

3. CHECK YOUR WASHING MACHINE CONNECTIONS

Now is a great time to take a moment and check your hose connections to your washing machine.  Make sure connections are secure and check hoses to ensure they are in good shape.  If you have older black rubber hoses check to ensure they aren't bulging or that they don't look worn.  Replacing hoses are easy and can be down by most homeowners.  You will first need to shut off the water supply to the hoses.  Once the water supply has been cut you can use adjustable pliers to loosen the hose from the water supply, then from the washing machine.  If your hoses are made of rubber, now may be the time to consider upgrading them with rupture-proof, braided stainless-steel hoses.

4. DEAL WITH WASPS, SPIDERS AND INSECTS

Around August is when wasp activity is at its peak, so you will want to spray to eliminate them immediately if you find a colony.  Scan your lawn and watch for activity, once you identify the area apply wasp treatment.  This may take several days of treatments.  Make sure to walk your property and look for any stagnant water, this can be used as a breeding ground for mosquitos.  Make sure to drain any areas holding water, this will likely significantly cut down on mosquito activity.  Finally check the seals around your home, including windows, doors and dryer vents.  Fill any openings using caulk or expanding sealants.  Calling in a professional can be expensive for these tasks, its according to your comfort on handle pesticides and the extent of the problem as to whether you should handle the problem or call in a professional.  Do your homework and don't be afraid to ask questions.

5. CLEAR THE GUTTERS

Properly functioning gutters direct water away from your home.  Clogged gutters can make great homes for rodents and other vermin, just in case your looking for another reason to tackle this task!  Water collecting around your home's foundation can seep into your basement and cause foundation issues.  A ladder and some gloves can do the job for the most part, but if you're scared of heights, have high or hard to access gutters, this may definitely be worth higher a pro!  If you're going to tackle the job yourself, be sure to set the ladder up on stable ground and have another person around to ensure safety.

6. CLEAN NATURAL STONE AND WOOD DECKS AND FENCES

It's been a long busy summer full of cookouts and grilling.  Whether it's walkways, patios or decks, its important to properly clean spots to prevent food, dirt and oil stains from setting in and leaving permanent marks.  Start by dusting off the surface.  Avoid using overly harsh chemicals, that may cause more damage or tamper the integrity.  For longer lasting finish and better protection against stains, grime and sun and winter weather damage, consider applying a sealer appropriate for your surface.

 

Now it's time to get back to enjoying the last weeks of summer and with the peace of mind that your home is prepped and ready for winter...even if you aren't!  it doesn't take much time or money to prevent big problems!  Make it a family affair and get your kids involved!  You may be surprised at just how much the kids get interested in these tasks!