Late Summer 


 Home Care for Salem, Oregon: 

·         Cooling system (if installed) is working overtime in this month.  Make sure the outdoor unit has at least 2 feet on three sides of free air.  Keep the fins on the compressor clean as well.  Depending on the model of compressor this may be a professional HVAC tech’s job.  Keeping your compressor clean will be well worth it in terms of efficiency and life expectancy.

·         Caulking and Paint:  This is a wonderful month for these absolutely necessary items on every homeowner’s agenda here in Salem, Oregon.  A good rule of thumb is, “if the crack is too big to be filled with paint, caulk it.”  Sealing the openings in the siding and trim around windows will not only make your home look better it will also prevent moisture from entering the wall system and you will also slow down energy loss from air infiltration.  On real wood (trim and maybe siding) in the Willamette Valley think about painting every 4 to 6 years.  If you wait longer than 4 to 6 years you risk damage and the preparation for the new paint will take much longer than it would have.

·         Clean gutters:  Depending on the age and size of the trees around your home this may be a monthly to quarterly adventure.  Even if they just have a little crud in the bottom, get it out.  That crud can build up fast at the first nice storm and plug all of the tight bends downstream and underground.

Yard care:

·         Trim bushes:  Maintain a space of about 18 inches around your home.  Trim the bushes that have grown to have contact with your home.  Plant contact with your home can create a very conducive environment for rot and carpenter ants love to travel from a plant into a home.  This should be the last time this year you trim on woody perennials.  The trimming will stimulate growth and if you trim too late in the season the new growth will not have time to harden off and it will die.

·         Lawn care:  Continue to mow weekly.   At the end of this month switch from your summer (primarily Nitrogen) fertilizer to a winterizer (higher in Potassium) to help our cool season grasses establish a deep root system.

When questions on your home arise feel free to call or email me, your friendly home inspector, for trouble shooting and further helpful advice.