6 Tips for Keeping Damage at Bay at Your Summer Home This Fall
You might only enjoy your summer home for a few months each year, but you want to continue enjoying it for many years to come. Like any other property, the longevity of your summer home depends on regular maintenance. Of course, many people are unable to maintain their vacation properties year-round due to distance or other hurdles. As fall approaches, then, it’s crucial to take precautions that will protect your property from the cooler temperatures and other environmental conditions (e.g., moisture, pests, wind, etc.) that threaten it during the off-season.
Let’s go over six tips for keeping damage at bay at your summer home this fall and beyond.
1. Give Your Summer Home a Good Washing Before Fall
No matter how well you care for your summer home while you’re there, it will inevitably pick up dirt, dust, and debris over the season. If your property is right on the water, you’ll also have to contend with algae and plenty of moisture. As summer winds down, you’ll want to give your house exterior a fresh start by thoroughly pressure washing its surfaces. Not only will pressure washing your summer home blast away whatever grime has built up -- it will brighten up your property’s exterior. More importantly, however, eliminating this gunk from your summer home will minimize the potential harm that it might endure in the fall, winter, and spring. Simply put, letting this residue sit on your home can lead to more serious issues such as mold growth, rot, and more. If you don’t have access to a quality pressure washer or don’t know how to properly operate one, we recommend hiring pressure washing services to get the job done.
2. Conduct a Thorough Inspection
“Out of sight, out of mind,” as they say. If only this saying were true. While your summer home might seem to be in perfect condition at a glance, there may be underlying problems brewing that you’ll completely miss until you take a closer look. And while you might hesitate to take the time to examine every inch of your summer home before fall, you’ll thank yourself in the future for doing so. Unless you know what to look for, it’s a good idea to hire a professional inspector to check your home’s structure and systems (e.g., plumbing, HVAC, etc.) before you’re ready to close down for the season. When all is said and done, you might discover that various parts of your home (both inside and out) need attention. Even if these repairs are relatively minor, taking care of them at this juncture will once again reduce the possibility of further damage down the road.
3. Consider Applying Fresh Coatings
You certainly don’t need to repaint your summer home every single year. That said, there will come a time when some fresh exterior house paint is necessary to both refresh your property’s appearance and protect its surfaces from harm. During fall, this harm can come in the form of heavy rains, temperature fluctuations, wood-boring pests, harsh winds, etc. As a general rule, experts suggest repainting your home’s exterior about every 5-7 years, but you might want to touch things up more frequently if your summer home is on the water, or less frequently if it’s in a temperate environment. Residential exterior painting takes time, of course, so it’s a good idea to plan this project well in advance. Otherwise, you might not be able to schedule services until well into fall, and by that point you might already have shut the place down for the year. Still, early fall is a great time to paint your home (especially in Nashville, TN), so you might prefer to get this done after summer anyway.
4. Don’t Forget to Protect Your Deck
If your summer home features a deck, don’t leave it out of the equation. After all, your deck is just as vulnerable (if not moreso) than the rest of your home’s exterior. Moisture poses a particularly pernicious threat to your deck when it’s not protected by waterproof deck stain and other means. You’ll also want to shield your deck from falling leaves during autumn. If you happen to be around during fall, you should sweep these leaves off your deck at least once a week to prevent them from building up and weighing down your deck (leaves can also contribute to moisture intrusion and staining). But if you’ll be away from your summer home all season long, you’ll have to find other ways to keep leaves from suffocating your deck. One way to do this is by installing an awning or slightly raised covering over your deck. These safeguards must be strong enough to withstand plenty of pressure, of course, otherwise the weight of enough leaves can cause them to sag and/or collapse.
5. Keep Your Summer Home Properly Insulated
Your summer home’s exterior surfaces might be under immediate threat from the environment, but your property’s interior requires protection, too. Improper insulation can lead to water damage, pest infestations, and more all year long. The last thing you want is to return to your vacation home next summer only to find it riddled with mold, bugs, and stains. Before you say goodbye to your summer home for the season, make sure all gaps, cracks, and seams are properly sealed with caulk. If it’s been several years since you last caulked your home inside and out, it’s worth inspecting the current caulk and re-doing it if necessary. You may also need to invest in siding repairs if you notice any fractures or holes. Ultimately, the more secure your home is, the less of a chance outdoor elements have to make their way inside and wreak havoc this fall and beyond.
6. Improve Interior Ventilation
You want your summer home to be thoroughly insulated -- that doesn’t mean you want it to be hermetically sealed. On the contrary, your home’s interior needs to breathe, otherwise it can trap hot air and humidity, leading to a host of problems. You can combat high humidity levels by installing dehumidifiers in key locations, such as your basement and attic. And speaking of your attic (if applicable), make sure you’ve got properly functioning ridge vents and fans running up there to prevent mold and mildew from forming while you’re gone.
Protect Your Summer Home While You’re Away
Just because you can’t see your summer home during the off-season doesn’t mean it’s magically immune to the weather. When you return to your vacation home next summer, you want to come back to a sturdy, beautiful property -- not a place that requires your immediate attention. Do yourself a favor, then, and get your summer home in tip-top shape to endure the worst that fall, winter, and spring have to offer. The experts at Nash Painting can help you restore, repair, and prepare your summer home so it remains your favorite place to get away each year. We’ve helped countless homeowners and businesses across Nashville, Brentwood, and Franklin, TN achieve their renovation and painting goals.
To learn more about us, our services, and our values, call us at 615-829-6858 today!