5 Summer Home and Yard Chores that Save you Money in the Long Run
Chores around the house and yard work are both important for the general upkeep of your abode. Ensuring that everything is maintained can save you a lot of money, whether it’s knowing when to replace your gutters, have your windows resealed, or have repair work done to your roof.
Here’s our roundup on the top five chores you can accomplish in the spring to save money long-term!
1. Clean Out Rain Gutters
Rain gutters are your home’s first line of defense against water damage during rainstorms, keeping siding, windows, doors and foundations safe from rot, mold and mildew. One of your biggest concerns should be to ensure that your gutters are free of debris so that when it rains, your gutters don’t let you down.
You can hire somebody to clean out your gutters, but doing so yourself can save you some serious cash—upwards of $100! Since you’ll need to clean your gutters at least twice a year, those savings can add up quickly.
There are many options when it comes to gutter cleaning: you can go the traditional route, with a pair of heavy work gloves and safety goggles, raking the debris out by hand; you can invest in a gutter cleaning kit that connects to a leaf blower; or, if your roof is low-sloped, you might even consider using a leaf blower alone.
Whatever route you choose, make sure to wear proper safety gear and exercise as much caution as possible when working on top of a ladder.
2. Prune Dead & Damaged Branches
If you live in southern California, you’re no stranger to wind, and you may find that branches on your property are heavily damaged.
If damaged branches are left to sit, a powerful gust of wind or a heavy storm might drop a large branch on your roof and cause thousands of dollars in damage—or break a window and possibly hurt you or your loved ones.
Needless to say, it’s best to err on the side of caution and remove branches before they become a problem.
3. Rinse to Check For & Fix Leaks in Your Rain Gutters
Once you’ve removed visible debris from your rain gutters, you’ll want to rinse the gutters and downspout out with a garden hose to remove any residual debris, and—more importantly—to check for any visible leaks.
Any leaks in your gutters will work against you, possibly causing water damage to the areas of your house that the rain gutters are meant to protect.
There’s no reason not to seal up leaky joints and small holes in your gutters. A tube of sealant costs between five and ten dollars at any hardware store. Sealant kits for larger holes are similarly priced, so always ensure that your rain gutters are leak proof!
4. Seal Cracks & Gaps in Windows & Doors
Letting the cool air from your AC—or the heat, if you’re a northern California native—escape through cracks and gaps in windows and doors is a huge money waster. This is a problem that’s easily fixed, as self-adhesive foam weather stripping can be found at any hardware store and is inexpensive. Choose the smallest size that will seal the gaps, then peel and stick. Make sure not to pick a size that’s too big, or you may have issues getting your doors shut.
For windows, the simplest treatment is clear plastic window film, also found on the cheap at any hardware store. Use a hair dryer to stretch the film and seal any air leaking around the sides of panes.
5. Replace Damaged or Worn Out Rain Gutters
Every part of your house has an expiry date, and rain gutters are no exception! While repair work can be quick and easy, eventually you won’t be able to patch up the problem on your own and you’ll need to replace worn out gutters.
It’s a good idea to replace your gutters if you notice large cracks, pooling water or mildew around your home’s foundation, or gutters that sag or pull away from your home.
Replacing your gutters is an involved process, and not the easiest job for inexperienced handymen. It may be in your best interest to employ a professional in the Los Angeles area if it’s time to get new gutters.