Seasonal Home Maintenance South Carolina
Hey there, fellow South Carolinians! Owning a home in our beautiful state, especially in the Charleston area, comes with its own unique set of weather challenges. Hurricanes are one of the first things to come to mind, right? But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered with some simple suggestions for seasonal home maintenance to keep your home in tip-top shape all year long.
Fall: Preparing for a Cozy Winter
Before winter comes knocking, how about giving your roof a quick once-over? Look for any missing or damaged shingles and consider replacing them. Damaged or missing shingles can allow water to seep into the underlying layers of the roof. Over time, this can lead to rot in the wooden structures below, causing structural damage.
When a problem like a damaged roof is neglected, it usually ends up being much costlier to fix down the line. A small leak can escalate into a significant structural issue requiring not just roof repairs but also potentially replacing walls, ceilings, and flooring affected by water damage.
For complex roof issues, local pros are always there to help.
Get That Fireplace Ready
If you love warming up by the fireplace, fall is a great time for a chimney inspection and cleaning. A company like Ashbusters Chimney Service in Summerville offers a range of services and could get your chimney spick and span for winter.
It’s easy to underestimate the importance of chimney maintenance, but failing to service it regularly can result in a range of issues, some minor and others hazardous:
- Fire hazards
- Carbon monoxide poisoning
- Smoke and odor
- Decreased efficiency
- Structural damage
- Pests (from birds to squirrels to racoons)
Lawn Care Transitions
As mowing season winds down, it’s always a good idea to winterize your lawn mower.
Think about removing any grass clippings, mud, and debris from the mower deck and blades. This prevents corrosion and ensures your machine is ready to go come spring.
If your mower has a four-cycle engine, change the oil before storing it for the winter. A light application of lubricant to any moving parts will also go a long way in preventing rust.
Also remember these tips:
- Running the mower out of gas, or adding a fuel stabilizer.
- If your mower has one, consider removing the battery.
- Sharpen the mower blades so it’s ready to go again in the spring.
And hey, you’ll soon be trading the mower for a leaf blower.
Winter: Welcoming the Chill
Friendly Reminder for Your Pipes
Even in milder climates like ours, it can get into freezing temps at night from time to time. Insulating exposed pipes could save you from problems later. If you have full access to your water pipes, aim to insulate the entire run from the water heater itself up to distribution points such as bathroom sinks, kitchen sink, showers and bathtubs.
Water pipes that run to the water heater do not need to be insulated. Cold water pipes that lead to various parts of the house do not need to be insulated, either.
When water inside the pipes freezes, it expands, exerting pressure on the walls of the pipes. Pipes can burst, resulting in significant water damage. And even though Icon Construction performs restoration services, we don’t ever wish that need on anyone.
Even if the pipes don’t burst, frozen pipes can stop the water flow, making basic activities like showering and cooking problematic.
Need help? There are several plumbers in Charleston who can help sort you out.
Heating System TLC
It’s probably a good idea to get your heating system checked out before the colder nights set in.
There are several reasons that the heat in your home isn’t working properly. A pre-winter check-up will spot these things before they become an issue on a cold night:
- Dead batteries in your thermostat
- Wiring problems
- Pilot light (older gas furnaces)
- Ignition failure
- Fuel supply
Keeping Walkways Safe
A wet winter can make pathways slippery. Why not add some non-slip mats? The Charleston area doesn’t get as much snow and ice as the north, that’s for sure. But on the rare occasions that we do, having winter salt can be very helpful. You can get a 25lb bag of calcium chloride crystals for under $20 on Amazon. There are even pet-friendly ice melting salts. When it comes to slippery conditions, it’s all about keeping everyone safe.
Spring: Fresh Starts
Time for a Gutter Check
Spring showers are lovely, but not if your gutters are clogged. This is one of the most underrated season home maintenance items. Why not consider giving those gutters a good cleaning? Neglecting to clean them can lead to a range of problems that extend far beyond the gutters themselves. Here’s a rundown of some of the issues that may arise:
- Foundation Issues: When gutters are clogged, water can overflow and pool around the foundation. Over time, this can lead to cracks and even foundation failure.
- Siding Damage: Overflowing water can also spill down the sides of your house, damaging the siding and potentially causing it to rot.
- Roof Leaks: Water can back up onto the roof, causing the roofing material to deteriorate. This can lead to leaks inside your home.
- Ice Dams: In winter, clogged gutters can contribute to the formation of ice dams that can tear off gutters, loosen shingles, and even cause water to back up into your home.
- Standing Water: Clogged gutters can collect standing water, an ideal breeding ground for mosquitoes and other pests.
- Rodents and Birds: The debris in clogged gutters can become a nesting site for rodents, birds, and insects like wasps.
- Soil Erosion: Overflowing gutters can lead to significant soil erosion in your yard or garden.
- Plant Damage: Excess water pouring onto flower beds or shrubs can lead to plant damage or even plant death.
- Gutter Repairs: Over time, the weight of debris and standing water can cause gutters to pull away from the house or even fall off, necessitating repairs or replacement.
- Interior Damage: Roof leaks from clogged gutters can lead to water damage on the interior of your home, including your walls, ceilings, and even your flooring.
Air Conditioning Tune-up
Before the real heat kicks in, you might want to get your A/C serviced. This suggestion is similar to the pre-winter heat check above.
Outdoor Faucet and Sprinkler Test
After winter, turning your outdoor faucets and sprinkler system on and off can help you catch any leaks or issues.
Detecting Freeze Damage
- Pipe Leaks or Bursts: Freezing and thawing cycles over the winter can cause pipes to crack or burst. You’ll want to identify any damage before your first big water bill arrives.
- Faulty Faucet: It’s common for outdoor faucets to suffer from freeze damage, which can lead to leaks and inefficient water use.
Assessing System Performance
- Sprinkler Heads: Over the winter, sprinkler heads can become clogged with debris or even damaged. Testing in the spring allows you time to clean or replace them before you really need them.
- Water Pressure: It’s important to make sure that your sprinkler system’s water pressure is consistent and sufficient. Any irregularities could indicate a hidden leak or blockage.
Preventing Landscaping Issues
- Inconsistent Watering: A malfunctioning sprinkler system may result in uneven watering, which could lead to dry spots or overwatering in your lawn or garden.
- Plant Health: Your plants are starting to come back to life in the spring. Ensuring your watering systems are functioning properly can contribute to better plant health throughout the season.
Cost and Water Savings
- Early Repairs: Detecting and repairing leaks or inefficiencies early in the season can save you money on water bills and prevent more costly damage down the line.
- Resource Conservation: Inefficient watering systems can waste a significant amount of water. Early testing and adjustments can contribute to more sustainable water use.
Summer: Heatwave Heroes
Sealing Windows and Doors
To make your A/C’s job easier, you might think about sealing any gaps around windows and doors. At Icon Construction, part of many of our remodeling and renovation projects involve installing new windows or doors. Since it’s new construction, the windows and doors are more energy efficient and will perform better than a sealed older window.
Prune Large Trees
Summer storms can be intense. Consider pruning trees or bushes near your home to avoid potential damage. Falling limbs, uprooting trees, and utility disruptions such as downed power lines or blocked roads are a few of the reasons to take to pruning.
Keep Those Pests at Bay
If mosquitos or ants are bugging you, regular pest control can really make a difference. We recommend this as a seasonal home maintenance item especially for households with small children or pets. Accidentally finding a fire ant pile in the backyard can be a terrible experience for everyone.
Seasonal Home Maintenance: Conclusion
Taking some time to go through these tasks can make your home a happier and more comfortable place, year-round. Another way to make a happier and more comfortable space year-round is updating or adding on to it. When you’re ready to embark on a home update, give us a call.