Friday, July 27, 2012

Long Beach Homes Need a Summer Time Once-Over

July and August tend to be busy months in most Long Beach homes. If you have kids who are out of school, it’s up to you to dream up new ways to keep them out of trouble (and away from non-stop video gaming). Even if kids are not at homes, you probably have to get twice as much done anyway – you want to be ahead at work and around the house so you can relax and enjoy your vacation or … recover from it.

And then there is the likelihood that in the back of your mind is the knowledge that you’ve been putting off what should be an annual home maintenance once-over. All homes have areas that need looking after, and July and August are the best time to get at them. On dry days that are not too blisteringly hot to work it’s a prime time to fix areas that the wear and tear of the past year may be turning into a big future problems.

Warm weather is also perfect for conducting a timely energy audit. Any gaps or cracks around doors or windows - the likely culprits if heat leakage raised last winter’s energy bills - can most easily be filled in warm weather.
Other possible spots where heat can leak are the junction between different materials, and around fireplace dampers. If you’re a dedicated do it your-selfer grab some caulk or other professional-grade material and get filling.

If you’re less handy, the energy audit may suggest a call to an appropriate professional. A review of the year’s energy bills will tell you whether that makes dollars and sense. Many websites allow you to log on and review your energy usage over a certain period of time.

This is also the time to pay attention to the big one: the foundation. It’s prudent in all Long Beach homes to clean visible concrete surfaces. Sidewalks and steps can be cleaned very effectively with the same pressure washer you use to clean your car. When it comes to the foundation, be sure to check for cracks, water or mold. If mold or water is present, a trusted contractor or structural engineer will be able to recommend a solution that prevents real trouble later.

Summer is also a good time to take a look at your home’s deck or patios. Standing water rots wood. The solution can be as simple as slipping planter "feet" beneath outdoor flower pots. As long as water is able to flow around or under stationary objects, the underlying wood will benefit.

These are only a few examples of what you can make part of your summer home maintenance checklist. Call me anytime with home and maintenance-related questions, if you need a recommendation for a reliable local contractor or service provider, or if you want to check on the status of what is happening in the Long Beach or Lakewood real estate market for YOUR neighborhood. Until next time ... Allison Van Wig 562-882-1581

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