August Home Maintenance Tips

  • Inspect Garden Hoses
    • Hook up your hoses and check for leaks. Fix a single puncture in a hose by cutting out the damaged section and rejoining the hose with a coupling fitting, which you can pick up at the hardware store for about $1.50. Also replace damaged hose ends.
  • Get Your Attic Set for Summer
    • Stay comfortable and keep cooling costs in check by making sure that soffit, gable and ridge vents are not blocked. Insulation should cover the entire attic floor; add new material or reposition existing insulation as needed. If your attic is equipped with a thermostat-controlled exhaust fan, test it by blowing heated air from a blow-dryer onto the thermostat unit. If the fan doesn’t come on when the thermostat housing is warm to the touch, you need a new thermostat.
  • Bee-Proof Your House
    • Stop bees, wasps and hornets from setting up new nests in your home by sealing gaps in siding, trim and other exterior surfaces. Wasps prefer cave areas, and there’s little you can do to prevent their nesting. However, spritzing a developing nest with soapy water will usually send the insects elsewhere. The same strategy will work on in-ground yellow jacket and bumblebee nests. But think twice before you eliminate nests in remote corners of your yard; wasps and hornets kill tremendous numbers of caterpillars and other less desirable insects.
  • Clean Out Air Conditioners
    • If you haven’t used your air conditioner yet, check it out before the really hot weather hits. Clean dust, insects and other debris from grillwork areas and from cooling fins. Replace dirty filters. Dislodge cocoons and larvae from between fins with a wood or plastic (non metal) paint-stirring stick. Turn on the united and test its effectiveness. Get any problems fixed before your repairman is overbooked with work.
  • Don’t Forget the Garage Floor
    • You may not need to tackle all three of these tasks for your garage floor – cleaning, repairing and painting – but at least one deserves to be on your to-do list. Use a stiff-bristled broom followed by a shop vacuum to rid the floor of debris and dust. To remove oil and grease, try a degreasing cleaner that can be found at auto-supply shops, hardware stores and home centers. Repair cracks with a high-strength patching mortar. Many companies make special concrete-floor paint that offers good resistance to abrasion and staining.
  • Repair Split Siding
    • Inspect siding for cracks and splits. For a crack or split more than 2 ft. long, replace the entire board. To repair a shorter crack or split, pry it open with a slotted screwdriver and fill with exterior-grade, water-resistant glue. After boring two pilot holes in the face of siding, close the crack by pushing up on the bottom edge of the siding and driving in galvanizing ring-shank siding nails. Wipe off excess glue with a damp cloth.

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