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    Summer Home Maintenance

    Summer Home Maintenance
    I know you’d rather play at the beach than do summer home maintenance chores… but just a few important tasks are easy to complete and leaves plenty of time for a backyard BBQ!   Check out the New York Times for more lists like this one!

    YOUR GROUNDS

    Summertime is all about the outdoors in La Crescenta! Make sure your slice of the outdoors is party and relaxation ready at a moment’s notice with these regular chores.
    Mow your lawn weekly and make sure the blade is set to the highest setting to avoid cutting the grass too short. This exposes it to drought and weeds.Just because we finally got some rain does NOT mean you get to be careless with water usage!
    Dig up your weeds, weekly, and water your trees and shrubs every week or two depending on how hot it gets.
    Water early in the day, but not necessarily every day. Plants prefer a good soaking a few times a week rather than a light, daily drizzle. Consider using soaker hoses or drip watering systems and don’t forget to mulch! With the right mix you can have a green and lush garden without a huge water bill.
    Sprinklers. Check your system. Hire a landscaper if you can’t do it yourself:
    1. Turn the sprinklers on manually, one station at a time.
    2. Walk around the yard and check to make sure sprinkler heads are upright.
    3. Look for clogs and clean the valves out with water from the hose or a brush. Leaky valves probably need to be replaced.
    4. Make sure the spray is wide enough, and not blocked by any foliage. You may need to prune plants or adjust the flow on the valve.
    5. Check the timers.
    6. If you notice leaks, pooling water or low pressure, it could be a sign that underground pipes are cracked, a problem that usually means it’s time to call a plumber.
    Pool. Do your best to keep it clean. Skim the surface frequently to keep leaves and debris out of the water. Scrub the sides once or twice a month to keep algae growth under control. The largest expense to a pool is the evaporation during our hot summer days! Consider a bubble cover that floats on the water’s surface. This not only cuts down on the water you need to add each week, it also keeps the water cleaner and warmer! Check the filter basket and chemical levels weekly.
    Exterior repairs. If you plan to paint your facade or repair your porch, summer is a great time to get that done.

    INSIDE YOUR HOME

    Fans. Ceiling fans are the key to comfortable living without running your rental AC day and night. Reverse the setting on your ceiling fans to counterclockwise. This pushes the air down, creating a nice breeze. Consider adding a few portable electric fans for spot cooling. Also, a whole house fan is a great upgrade that can greatly reduce your electric cooling bill.
    Air-conditioning. Whether you have central air-conditioning or window units, you should clean your filters at least once a month, particularly if you’ve been running the A/C a lot.
    Plan for extreme heat. Heat waves are inevitable in summer, so prepare your home before the harsh weather arrives. Check the weather stripping around doors and windows to keep the cool air in. Cover windows that receive morning or afternoon sun with drapes. Check on your neighbors, particularly older ones who live alone. Heat waves can strain power grids, causing brownouts and blackouts. Consider services like Glendale’s Smart Thermostator the Nest thermostat which alert you to energy rush conditions. Raise your thermostat to 78 degrees during these times to reduce the strain on the entire system. When the day’s heat finally dissipates (this can be as late as 9 PM and a few nights, not at all!) open your home’s windows and use electric fans to draw the cooler air into your home.
    Bugs and other pests. You’re not the only one who loves your home. Termites, ants, carpenter bees and mice like it, too. Some infestations, like a single trail of ants, may be resolved with a spray can and a thorough cleaning of the area. Others, like termites, demand professional assistance. If you spot a hive of bees, consider a service that relocates the hive rather than kills all the bees.
    But you also need to be diligent and take steps to reduce the risk of infestation. Seal holes where mice and roaches can get in. Check all vents, crawl space access points, attic vents and plumbing vents to make sure critters do not take up residence under or over your living quarters. Raccoons can create lots of mischief, but tree rats, opossums and the occasional cat can also create problems.
    If you have a specific bug infestation, check The Wirecutter for the best bug-control tools.
    Consider home improvement projects. Many contractors are focused on outdoor projects in the summer months. Now is the time to lock them in for your fall and winter indoor ones. If you plan to paint a few rooms or update a bathroom, get bids now so you can schedule the jobs for the cooler months ahead.
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