August Maintenance Guide

By MNR News posted 08-09-2022 10:00

  
Things to do in and around your home as we approach summer’s end
Big house on green yardWhether we like it or not, the month of August compels us to think about the end of summer. As we steadily approach cooler days and a change in seasons, it’s a good time to take stock and consider several things for late summer home maintenance.

Interior

Check your washing machine connections—Yes, you read that right. It’s good to check these every few months. And with kids home all summer and your washing machine likely working overtime, August is a great time to inspect the hoses and look for any bulging or signs of wear.

HVAC filters—As fall approaches, consider replacing your air conditioning/furnace filter. These become clogged and dirty over time—putting a new one in every few months will help ensure the air in your home stays fresh and pollen-free.

Prep furnace for winter—While this certainly can be done later in the year, getting a jump on it can help you avoid long wait times for a furnace inspection and tune up. Give your local heating and cooling company a call and have an expert come out and evaluate your system. It will help you avoid costly (and inconvenient) breakdowns in the middle of the winter. 

Clean refrigerator coils—Yes, you’ll likely have to move your refrigerator for this messy job, but it’s worth it. Simply vacuuming around your refrigerator coils can reduce the cost of your energy bill by as much as $100 annually. 

Exterior 

Check the roof—After summer storm season, August is a good month to check if any shingles need to be replaced. 

Replace gaps in mortar—If your home is made of brick or has sections of brick on the exterior, carefully inspect these areas for gaps in the mortar. Fill in any that you find to help seal your home in preparation for the colder weather. 

Clean gutters—While most people think to do this in the spring, it’s also good to do before fall begins. Summer storms can cause build up in your gutters, especially if you have property with extensive tree coverage. 

Mend cracks in driveway and sidewalk—The summer heat, especially following a harsh Minnesota winter, is hard on our paved surfaces. Check your sidewalks and driveways for cracks and fill as needed. 

Scrub outdoor paving stones—If you have paving stones leading to a side door, or even as part of a backyard patio, August is a good time to scrub them clean. Whether from summer grill-outs, family fun, or just general foot traffic, these areas collect dirt quickly. When you wash any kind of natural stone, be sure to use a gentle cleaner that has a neutral pH, and preferably no soap. These can damage the stone or leave streaks that are hard to remove. 

Check for wasps—Wasp activity peaks in late summer, so, if you have any wasp nests on your property, now is the time to deal with them. Once you identify the colony, you can apply wasp treatment to the area. If you’re not confident to DIY this one, call a local expert. 

Enjoy the Last Days of Summer 

Although most Minnesotans dread the end of our all-too-short summers, tackling these August projects can help you enjoy the summer days that remain. Keeping your home in tip-top shape helps preserve its value, so make a list and check these tasks off over the course of the month.

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