State Farm’s Melanie Bakala on Creating Year-Round Peace of Mind Through Summer Home Maintenance

As record-breaking temperatures bore down on the Puget Sound region in June, State Farm Agent Melanie Bakala made an unwelcome discovery: her HVAC system had stopped functioning. She called a technician who was able to patch it together before the thermometer hit 111 degrees, but it was a good reminder that when it comes to home maintenance, acting early is critical. Here are some recommended areas of home maintenance to consider during the summer months:

Putting time and effort into home maintenance during the summer months means you’re ready for whatever happens during the rest of the year. Photo courtesy: Melanie Bakala State Farm

Heating and Cooling Systems

As Bakala learned, it’s important to make sure your heating and cooling systems are functional before you need them. If you have air conditioning, get it checked out. For those with ceiling fans, dust and tighten loose screws to prevent wobbly blades. Examine windows and doors for air leaks and caulk them as necessary.

Home Exteriors

Once the rain starts, the window of opportunity to wash windows and clean siding will be gone. Replace damaged siding, apply a fresh coat of paint and use a hose rather than a pressure washer on siding that is undamaged.

Also keep an eye out for termites and other destructive insects like carpenter ants. You may need to hire a professional pest inspection company if you’re dealing with an infestation. “We have issues with termites and wasps in our region,” Bakala notes. “We recently found a huge wasps’ nest in our grandkids’ play area that had grown up in the course of a week.” Left untreated, insects can create significant structural damage.

Landscaping and Trees 

If you love to garden, the Pacific Northwest is a great place to grow fruit, vegetables and flowers. Mulching and weeding will keep plants looking their best and you can also replace summer annuals throughout the season. Check for moles, slugs and other insects that can cause harm. To keep your garden healthy, water regularly and mow your lawn to keep the grass low and minimize the risk of fire.

Summer is also a great time to prune trees, check them for insect damage or signs of decay, and make sure no branches are encroaching on your home or power lines. Once the stormy season begins, wind can turn untended branches into hazards. If you can’t safely prune trees yourself, contact a professional arborist.

Garage Maintenance and Safety

If your garage has become a dumping ground for half-used paints and solvents, dispose of them safely. Remove heat-sensitive or combustible materials from the area and make sure hand tools and power tools are safely out of reach of children behind lock and key, along with fertilizers, weed killers and pesticides.

Taking time during the summer months to perform these steps will create ease of mind throughout the rest of the year.

Learn more by visiting the Melanie Bakala State Farm website or calling 360.426.2428 (Shelton) or 360.972.7905 (Lacey).

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