As summer comes to an end, it is important for your clients to carry out maintenance projects that will augment the value of their homes. High summer temperatures can take their toll on a home both inside and out. Heat makes surfaces contract raising the chances of cracking, while humidity increases the development of mold, mildew, and bacteria. Homeowners must repair any defects to ensure their homes are ready for the cold season. Here’s how to do it.
Humidity in summer can cause the boards on wood decks to rot. Spring and summer showers and growing tree roots can also dislodge bricks on patios. Weeds and the elements can degrade the hold between bricks making an exterior to lose its appeal. Home sellers should replace rotten boards and sand those that are chipped or cracked. They should clear debris and critter nests and replace missing bricks. Gaps between bricks should be patched with cement patching material. Decks and patios should be checked for chipping paint, cracks, and holes. All surfaces should be painted before the cold season begins.
Home insulation is a top priority for buyers as it determines how comfortable they will be when the cold season rolls around. Each home seller should carry out a visual inspection of his home – both indoors and outdoors – to identify spots that may need weatherstripping or new caulk. Doors and windows are the main culprits of air leaks and deserve special attention.
Most homes need more insulation – except those specially constructed with energy efficiency in mind. While many older homes have little insulation, even newer ones could do with more insulation. Additional insulation will help homeowners to reduce their energy bills as they live in their homes while waiting to sell. In addition, energy efficiency can be a home’s main selling point. Home sellers thinking about adding insulation should have their homes examined by qualified home energy auditors first.
While temperatures may still be high, sellers must remember that winter is just around the corner. They must ensure that their fireplaces are ready for winter. They should examine and clean them before the wood-burning season starts. They should inspect chimneys and look for structural damage such as loose parts or cracks. Neglected chimneys can easily start a fire.
During summer, birds, small animals, and debris take up residence in a chimney flue. Home sellers should open up their chimney flues and examine them. They should clean their fireplaces thoroughly and remove ashes using fireplace shovels. They should scrub fireplace walls and floors to get rid of soot and ash. Lastly, homeowners should cover their fireplaces with screens or guards to enhance their safety.
Some home sellers forget to clean their gutters when the warm season starts. Debris can accumulate and cause blockages, damage gutters, or bend them. Sellers can handle minor gutter repairs themselves. If the gutters are not easily accessible, they should hire someone else to do the job. Repairing gutters can be dangerous for those who don’t have a clue on how to go about it. Home sellers should also trim low hanging trees located near their gutters to avoid regular cleaning. Trimming branches also prevents rodents from climbing trees and going to the attic.
If homeowners want to sell their homes fast, they should keep up with maintenance. Advise your clients not to be lulled into complacency by the warm summer temperatures. Those whose homes are still on the market at the end of summer should implement these tips. They might just turn their luck around.
Ronique Gibson is an Associate Architect and a LEED Accredited Professional, who has been in the design industry for over 13 years. She started her design blog in 2009 and today it has become a premier destination for helping homeowners with everyday lifestyle challenges. Her readers check in daily for help with their homes, DIY project ideas, recipes, crafts, and inspiration to beautify and enjoy their homes.