It’s still summer and a great time for tips on home improvements that are best to do in warm weather.
1. Paint the outside of your house.
House painters tell us that painting is optimally done during a prolonged period of dry weather and in temps between 40 and 85 degrees. Dry wood absorbs paint better. But it’s a balancing act, if it’s too hot the paint can dry too fast and leave brush marks or the consistency of the paint can change. Same goes for the inside of your house. If you have an older home without wall insulation, you may find that in the winter, exterior walls conduct the cold and damp from the outside. This can impact your paint drying and color. So open the windows and roll now.
2. Caulking windows and doors.
Caulking is a great way to prevent drafts and save energy. Most people don’t think of caulking until fall comes, but summer is the best time to caulk. On the package of regular caulk is the manufacturer’s recommended temperature for use. This is typically between 40 – 80 degrees, plus dry weather for at least 2-3 days afterwards. This combination will encourage the caulk to harden properly and stick where you put it. Doing it in the rain can cause it to crack or even wash away if it doesn’t set first. There are high and low temperature specialty caulks and silicones available, but we’re referring to the most common kind. It’s also a good time to replace windows, but that can be done at any time of year in the Northwest, rain or shine.
3. Summer pruning of shrubs.
Not all plants are alike and pruning recommendations depend on several factors including the plant’s blooming season. According to SavvyGardener.com, “pruning at different seasons triggers different responses.” Better Homes & Gardens says to prune spring bloomers such as lilac, forsythia and rhododendron in late spring after they finish blooming.” By now they are busy building up buds for next time, so pruning them will reduce their output next year. Summer bloomers should be “pruned in early spring prior to bud set, or in summer immediately following flowering.”
Foliage shrubs like Japanese maples and evergreens can be pruned in both summer and spring. Importantly for summer bloomers and shrubs, pruning in the fall causes a rush of new growth and the tender new shoots may get hit by frost, causing damage to the plant.
4. Roof repair or installation.
Summer is the peak season for roofing and there are important reasons why. Many roofing materials require an outdoor temp of at least 40 degrees, especially the adhesives and underlayment.
5. Off season home upgrades.
This is the off season for several home product categories and contractors may be having better discounts and better availability to do the work. According to Home Advisor, “it’s a good idea when you can have your project take place a month or two before or after everyone else”. (Siding in January? You bet you can get a good deal and contractor attention.) Right now, a great off season opportunity is replacing your water heater, particularly if you are considering a tankless water heater which has a longer installation. Water heater failures are at their highest when it is at or near freezing in the winter, so that’s when contractors are their busiest. Another similar opportunity is maintaining heating equipment, for example, getting furnace or heat pump maintenance before fall. Once heating season starts, contractor availability is tighter and furnace breakdowns start. These early bird options ensure a smooth transition to winter.
Washington Energy Services provides tailored home comfort and energy saving solutions for all seasons. Call us today at 800-398-4663 for your furnace maintenance, new water heater or other home products.