summer home maintenance, sun shining down on home roof

Maintenance Tips to Prepare Your North Texas Home for Summer

summer home maintenance, sun shining down on home roof Summer is here! As exciting as warmer weather is, it’s essential that we make sure our home is ready for the change. Below are some of Classic Construction’s top tips to help you prepare your home for Summer.

Inspect your roof

For your safety, you should perform this inspection from the ground to the best of your ability, possibly with binoculars. Check for dents, loose or torn off shingles, and obvious nails sticking out.

Change all your filters

This includes your water, range hood and air vent filters. Summer brings with it all the allergens, so this will help keep your family safe from these annoying particles.

Additionally, you should make sure to clean out your dryer vent. This is massively important to do because it can help you prevent a fire from destroying part or all of your home. Fire restoration services are expensive and time consuming but cleaning your dryer vent is free and takes about an hour.

Check all window and door seals

Summer is a dry season; checking your caulking will help you catch any areas for potential leaks before they cause damage to your home. Consider looking into weather-stripping.

Clean out your gutters

If you didn’t do this between autumn and winter, chances are your gutters are chock full of leaves and debris. When the spring showers hit, your gutters could overflow and cause damage to your home. They could also detach completely from your home from the weight filling them up.

Inspect your foundation

If you have a crawlspace, make sure to clear out and repair your foundation vents as these will prevent mold and critters from taking up residence beneath your home. Look for any visible cracks or shifting.

Inspect any brick or concrete surrounding your home

Moisture is the enemy of brick and concrete. If it seeps beneath your driveway, it can cause cracks and splitting. If water sneaks its way into the mortar between your brick walls, they could crumble and fall apart as well. Check for any signs of moisture seepage in these areas around your home and shop around for an estimate for repairs if you think it’s necessary.

Service your HVAC unit

Despite the costs, we all know our HVAC units are the real MVPs of our homes. They’ve kept us warm all winter and we’ll be expecting them to keep us cool during the summer. Therefore it’s essential to have them serviced by a licensed HVAC professional. You don’t want to wait until the heat of summer to find out you have an AC problem.

Inspect your wood siding, decking, and railing

Winter is harsh on wood. Look for any signs of wood damage or deterioration. If any of your wood is rotted, it needs to be replaced. Also be on the lookout for any signs of termites or other critters. It’s better to have these removed or exterminated before acquiring further damage.

Prepare your pool

If you have a pool, you’re probably already looking forward to using it again. I’m sure you know about the usual cleaning, brushing, chlorinating and debris removal; these are what you usually handle yourself. Make sure you also clean the filter, check the conditioner levels, test your pool equipment, run the pump during the warmest part of the day, and clean your salt cell (if you have a saltwater pool).

HVAC Air Conditioner system next to a home, modern clean with bushes and brick wall during the summer

Taking care of your MVP: Why you should get an HVAC system inspection during early summer

Air Conditioner system next to a home, modern clean with bushes and brick wallWhether we know it or not, the HVAC systems in our homes are the heroes we neglect day after day. They keep us warm in the winter and cool in the summer, all at the touch of a button. And they do it without complaining. We don’t think about how much we need them to work until they break in the heat of a North Texas summer. In order to prevent a summer break down, we have to take care of them.

The best way to do this is to make sure you schedule your yearly HVAC maintenance appointment during early summer.

You might be thinking an HVAC maintenance appointment is a luxury you can’t afford. Let me say this: an HVAC maintenance appointment might run you anywhere from $50 to $100 for the tune up, but a brand new unit will cost you 20 times this or more.

If you’re wondering if you can perform a DIY HVAC tune up, the answer is a
conditional “yes.” There are a few items on the tune up checklist that you can do
yourself.

These include:

 Changing the furnace filter – According to the Department of Energy, this one step can reduce your energy usage by between 5% and 15%, saving you lots of money on energy bills

 Drying out your dehumidifier – the dehumidifier can play a huge role in the efficiency of your HVAC system depending on the time of year. To dry it out, take the outer casing off and let it air out. Once dry, vacuum the entire unit to remove excess dirt and debris.

 Removing obstructions and landscaping around your exterior system-vegetation shouldn’t be allowed to grow within two feet of your exterior air conditioning unit. This is because the unit needs space around it to pull in the air it needs to control the temperature in your home. Make sure to cut back or trim any plants growing around the unit.

 Cleaning the bathroom fans – to make sure these fans run as efficiently as possible, turn the power to the fans off and remove the covers. Wash these in warm, soapy water and dry thoroughly. Using an old toothbrush, clean the fan blades before reattaching the covers.

 Upgrading to a smart thermostat – A smart thermostat allows you to program the temperature in your home to be warmer while you’re away and more comfortable while you are home. It might feel like technology is taking over your home, but you might not mind it so much when you get the energy bill.

In order to get your HVAC system in the best, most energy efficient shape of its life, you should have licensed, professional HVAC technician come out and perform a tune-up service.

During this service, the technician will:

 Test refrigerant levels
 Water wash condenser coil for efficiency
 Inspect contractor for proper electrical connectivity
 Inspect capacitor for leakage and wear
 Inspect/lubricate condenser fan motor
 Record amperage draw of compressor
 Inspect and tighten electrical connections
 Inspect service valve for leakage
 Inspect indoor evaporator coil
 Inspect blower assembly
 Calibrate thermostat
 Flush condensate drain
 Evaluate air filters

Handyman adjusting HVAC ceiling air vent. Air flow adjustment for overhead home heat and air conditioning ventilation duct.All of these actions will maintain your AC unit to improve its performance and save you money. And remember, you want to schedule your appointment soon because summer is an HVAC technician’s busiest time of year!

apartment turnover empty maintenance

Preparing for Tenant Turnover: What Major Maintenance Items Should Be on Your Checklist?

Tenant turnover is a year-round problem for property managers and landlords. But with the warmer weather on the horizon, turnover rates will be on the rise. According to the National Apartment Association, turnover expenses have the potential to reach up to $162,000 or more annually, depending on the property’s location and turnover rate. 

With that being said, here are 3 of the top turnover maintenance tips to help you manage this busy season more effectively and save money in the process.

Begin the process before your current tenant moves out

As long as your resident has given you written notice of their intent to vacate, you can start the turnover process by scheduling a pre-inspection at any time before the current tenant moves out. During this time, you’ll be able to assess the condition of the flooring, the blinds, the appliances and any other big-ticket items that you might need to order in advance. 

Speak with your vendors about availability of materialsa kitchen with with stainless steel fridge, black stove and a black over the range microwave. White cabinets and black countertops. Kitchen receiving maintenance and being cleared.

Because you were smart and started the turnover process early, you now have the opportunity to make sure that your vendors have what you need in stock, or place your order for the materials so that you receive them in a timely manner. 

Additionally, your maintenance team will be able to prepare for whatever make-ready responsibilities they will be handling after the tenant is gone. These can include, but are not limited to, replacing window screens, air vents, appliance upkeep and cleaning. 

Prepare for both major and minor renovations, if necessary

If during your pre-inspection you realize the unit is overdue for a light remodel, you will be able to assess what items need replacing. Simple renovations such as new light fixtures, additional electrical outlets, or new paint can potentially generate a higher rent and depending on the skills your maintenance team possesses, can be done by them for a relatively low cost.

However, if you or the property owner have been going through the process of completely updating units and this one needs a major remodel, this is the time to request contractor bids and estimate the costs. Doing this before the current resident is gone will help you when looking at your turnover budget and you will be able to then determine an accurate timeline for when the unit can be rent-ready.

Empty rooms with clean wood floors a fireplace receiving maintenance. Room has white walls and a white ceiling fan with three lights turned on. Empty room maintenance managing tenant vacancy

Fortunately for you, Classic Construction handles everything from general maintenance to full remodels to large insurance claims. If you find your maintenance staff overwhelmed with their turnover responsibilities, give us a call or contact us today for a free estimate!

Traces of termites eat wood, Timber beam of door damaged by termite which eat for a long time, The wood home with termites damage in kitchen.

Termite Tip & Tricks: How to asses and prevent termite damage to your home 

Spring is often considered a beautiful season as it is the time of year when nature comes back to life after hibernating during the winter months. We see new flowers, new baby animals and lots of new growth all around us. While all this newness can be exciting, the ugly truth is that spring also brings to life termites and other pests we’d rather not see again so soon.

Termites specifically are nasty pests to deal with because they do most of their dirty work out of view and the damage can be catastrophic to your home. According to the National Pest Management Association, termites alone cause up to $5 billion dollars in damage in the U.S. each year!

And it’s not just cosmetic damage; they eat into the very structure of your home. It’s a well-known fact that termites eat wood and many of the foundational elements of your home are made from wood. This includes support beams, floor joists, posts, ceiling joists and wall studs. In addition to their regular fare, termites also enjoy the occasional gourmet meal of plaster, insulation and metal siding. 

Visible signs of termite damage include:Traces of termites eat wood, Timber beam of door damaged by termite which eat for a long time, The wood home with termites damage in kitchen.

  • Discolored or drooping drywall
  • Peeling paint that resembles water damage
  • Wood that sounds hollow when tapped
  • Small, pinpoint holes in drywall
  • Buckling wooden or laminate floorboards
  • Tiles loosening from the added moisture termites can introduce to your floor
  • Excessively squeaky floorboards
  • Crumbling, damaged wood
  • Stuck windows or doors
  • Maze-like patterns in furniture, floorboards or walls
  • Mound of drywood termite pellets, often resembling small piles of salt and pepper
  • Piles of wings left behind after swarms, often resembling fish scales
  • Mud tubes climbing the foundation of your home
  • Flying termite swarms anywhere on your property

If you’re seeing any signs of termite damage to your property, you should definitely call a professional termite company for an inspection because the damage is probably already worse than you think. Termites can live in your home’s foundational elements for a long time before being detected, which means these unseen items have probably already taken on worse damage than those you can see.

A couple of ways to prevent termites from entering your home during the pre-construction phase include pouring a concrete foundation and using pressure-treated wood for framing, etc. These are common in most new homes in the DFW area these days. 

But if you are trying to prevent termites from entering your lived-in home, the number one thing you can do is remove all landscaping and soil from around your home’s foundation and siding. Create a 4-inch barrier between mulch and your home. Keep plants at least a few feet away from siding and windows. Make sure the soil around your foundation is at least 6 inches lower than the siding. All these items retain moisture and moisture attracts termites and their very large families. 

If you have determined that your home already has termites and termite damage, the first thing you should do is make sure those buggers are dead and gone. Consult with a termite specialist to determine the best way to remove these nuisances from your property.

Then, determine which parts of your home are majorly damaged and which parts are only cosmetically damaged. Most cosmetic damages can be handled with some weekend DIY projects. These include sheetrock/drywall repairs, painting, and floor covering replacement (after your foundation and framing have been repaired, if necessary).

Man in pest control equipment with pesticide in left arm spraying pesticide with ergo grip For major repairs, you will need to look into hiring a general contractor. It is not recommended that you try to repair any of the damaged foundational elements of your home mentioned above unless you are a licensed contractor yourself. This is because you might need a more in-depth analysis of the damage in order to accurately assess what needs repair vs what needs replacing. Depending on the age of your home, you might also have code upgrades that might need to be made and a GC can help identify these.