End-of-summer home maintenance is one-way homeowners can prolong the life of some of their home systems and features and ensure their dwelling is protected from the elements the cooler seasons throw at it. It’s also a way that homeowners can save money since maintenance costs far surpass repair and replacement costs in terms of affordability. If you’re not sure how to maintain your home at the end of summer, don’t fret. The following tips and advice will help you get started.
1. Seal Attic Air Leaks and Add Insulation
You won’t notice your home leaking air and keeping you less comfortable in the summer as much as you will in the winter. To keep home heating costs to a minimum during the cooler seasons, you should inspect your attic for gaps that allow your heated or cooled air to leak outside. Some homes leak as much as 30%, which costs you a lot more than it should in energy bills.
If your attic has insulation, pull it back and make sure cutouts for electrical fixtures, pipes, fans, and outlets are sealed. Also check around openings for chimneys, flues, vents, and ducts and seal them with caulking for smaller gaps and foam insulation for larger openings.
If you don’t have enough insulation in your attic, or if it is old and ripped or falling, you need to add insulation. While insulating your attic is not as cheap as sealing air leaks, it will eventually pay for itself as you save on wasted heating and cooling costs. Keep in mind that houses in cold climates should have R-49 insulation in the attic to get the most protection. If you’ve never installed insulation before, you should consult a professional.
2. Hire a Professional Gutter Cleaning Service for Gutters and Downspouts
Crawling around on your roof or hanging precariously from a ladder while cleaning your gutters and downspouts can be a particularly dangerous end-of-summer maintenance task. But, it is well worth hiring a professional gutter cleaning service for your gutters and downspouts because they can cause expensive damage to your home and landscaping if they are clogged, especially during the cooler seasons.
In fact, if your gutters are clogged with leaves and other tree debris, your home is at risk of water damage: exterior siding, windows, doors, basements, and foundations are at risk when your gutters and downspouts do not function properly. Waiting until you have a problem also could mean that you need to replace your gutters, fascia, soffit, or roofing, especially if the water backs up and ice forms in the winter.
According to HomeAdvisor, the average price to clean gutters and downspouts in Milwaukee is $101–$168. Gutter cleaning professionals are more than happy to come to your home and give you an in-person estimate for the size of your job; prices vary depending on how long it will take to clean your gutters and downspouts and how high your home is. The good news is, many of these gutter professionals are available to come to your home to give you an estimate within one to two days of the time you contact them, and many can schedule your gutter and downspout cleaning within one week of the estimate.
3. Maintain Your Driveway
Winter does a number on driveways, so you should assess yours and see what maintenance it needs at the end of summer to make sure it can stand up to harsh weather. If your driveway has cracks, water and ice can seep into them and cause damage as it freezes and thaws. Consider using a sealant or contacting a driveway contractor to take care of your driveway maintenance for you.
At the very least, you should talk to a contractor to be sure you are using the proper deicing materials for the type of driveway you have, so you don’t damage any of the maintenance or repair work after it is done. Different materials are appropriate for asphalt and concrete driveways.
Taking proactive steps to maintain your home at the end of summer is important for homeowners who want to save money on future and unexpected repairs. You should seal attic air leaks and add insulation, hire a professional gutter cleaning service for gutters and downspouts, and maintain your driveway before the weather gets cool in your area.
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