Friday, July 21, 2017

Summertime Nuisances

Summer should be a carefree time. Not the time to have to spend time constantly fixing your home. Here are some issues you may face and ways to help solve them:

#1 Mosquitoes

These bugs can suck the fun out of any outdoor festivities.
What to do:
-Clean your gutters- neglected gutters can be breeding nests for mosquitoes.
-Plug in a fan. Or install a ceiling fan to deter the pests with high winds. 

#2 Doors That Stick

Wooden doors can swell, outgrowing their jambs on humid days, causing an annoyingly sticky situation.
What to do:
-Tighten the hinge screws.
-Scale back the weather stripping. If you installed it in the winter to keep out drafts, it could be too thick come summer.
-Shave down the door. As a last resort, use a planer or sander to trim down the door ever so slightly. Seal the newly exposed edge with paint or wood sealant to block out future humidity.

#3 Carpenter Ants and Carpenter Bees

Carpenter ants and carpenter bees often make their nests by burrowing into your home’s wood, which can cause some really pricey damage on top of their annoying presence.
What to do:
-Keep all exposed wood sealed or painted. Including window sills!
-Direct water away from wood.Gutters and flashing will help keep wood dry.
-Remove existing colonies. Look for sawdust trails to find the entrance, then use a rinsed squeezable ketchup bottle to blow an insecticide dust or boric acid powder into the hole.

#4 AC That Causes You to Freeze in One Room and Sweat in Another

Moving from room to room shouldn't mean a temperature change. 
What to do:
-Check your ductwork. Look for unsealed joints or hire a pro to make sure your ducts are properly working.
-Set your whole-house fan to “on.” This continuous circulation will mix the air so no space is too hot or too cold.
-In two-story homes, send cool air upstairs. 

#5 Fruit Flies

Summer’s excess of fresh fruits and veggies can invite these pests into your home. There’s a ton of solutions on the Internet, but preventative measures work best.
What to do:
-Keep sinks, drains, and disposals clean. Even dirty dishes can harbor fruit flies.
-Freeze food waste. Place rotting fruit, meat scraps, etc. in a bag in your freezer until garbage day.
-Pitch overripe fruit. And until you eradicate the flies, keep all other produce in the fridge or a sealed container.
-Pour bleach or boiling water down the drain. This will kill any eggs or remaining adult flies.

#6 Weeds in Patio Cracks

Besides ruining a well-manicured view, resilient weeds can crack or shift your pavement.
What to do:
-Block new growth. Fill the weed-free cracks with asphalt or cement crack filler, sand, or corn gluten meal, which prevents future germination.
-Pull ‘em. Especially if you don’t want to use an herbicide, which can spread and damage desirable plants.

#7 Faded Furnishings 

Summer makes you want to open the shades and enjoy that summer sunshine, but your furnishings and flooring are sensitive to the fading and drying effects of UV rays.
What to do:
-Add transparent window film. It shuts out 99% of UVA and UVB rays without blocking sunlight or view.
-Spray furnishings with a protectant. Spritz upholstery, curtains, and rugs with a UV-blocking fabric protector and treat wood with a varnish. Providing better sun protection than other types of sealant.

#8 Splinters on the Deck

Keeping your decking is in good shape, your bare feet don’t have to suffer through a gauntlet of splinters again this summer.
What to do:
-Resurface it. Apply one of the newer deck restoration products that essentially gives your deck a coating that will prevent splinters.
-Sand it- this is best if splinters are deep and big. Then apply a water-repelling, UV-resistant sealer.

#9 Slamming Screen Doors

Slamming the doors can not only become annoying, but can damage the hinges of your screen door.
What to do:
-Adjust your door closer. If your door has a closer, find the perfect bang-free tension by simply turning the screw on pneumatic models or rotating the body on hydraulic styles.
- If you don't have one, then add a closer. It costs just $10 to $20 to retrofit an older screen door.
-Apply felt pads to the door frame. 

#10 A Patio or Deck That Burns Your Feet

Your patio or deck should be for enjoying this summer, not giving you the risk of burning you,
What to do:
-Throw some shade. Position an umbrella or pergola over frequently used areas.
-Add an outdoor rug. Choose a lighter color that won’t absorb as much heat. Plastic styles keep their cool best.
-Refinish the surface. If you have a darker color, choose a lighter color. 

#11 Ugly, Dried-Out Brown Grass

Widespread browning, rather than patches of brown grass, has two common causes: lawn care oversights and a cool-season grass going dormant.
What to do:
-Sharpen or replace your mower blades. This could be the answer if just the tips of your grass are brown and jagged.
-Set the blade height to 3 inches. When you take less off the top, it helps grass absorb water before it evaporates.
-Water less frequently, for longer periods of time. This helps grass develop deeper, drought- and disease-resistant roots. Aim for 1 to 1.5 inches of water a week.