By Charles Loveless, Vice President
Texas summers are always a challenge to homes and their owners. We are faced with scorching heat, humidity, drought, and the dreaded mosquito. Here are a couple of suggestions we provide to encourage you and your home’s thriving and surviving:
Build or Enclose Your Patio
To enjoy our beautiful backyard during summer heat and mosquito season, my wife and I are finally installing a screened-in porch. Just this week I heard a warning that the mosquito population is increasing due to our recent rains. Here is what we are doing, and can do for you too:
- First, I will be screening in my back porch.
- Second, I will be adding additional ceiling fans and a mister system for cooling off during our hot days.
- We are also looking for new comfortable patio furniture to set the mood for relaxation.
- For the backyard, setting up Tiki Lights with citronella to dissuade the local mosquitos.
- I have already flag-stoned my swing/sitting area and added a pad for the firepit.
- There is a nice wood structured shed in the backyard, however, I wanted an area to work on gardening ideas. So, I extended flag stones 7 feet by 12 feet in the front of the shed and then built a porch roof off the shed. This was complete last week. Gecko wall art along with hanging potted plants on the three front posts add to what I call my therapy area. On a side note, I will be installing lights and a couple of fans. The fans provide cooling but also help keep the mosquitos away. They have a difficult time flying through stiff breezes.
Let us know if you need protection from being a non-consenting blood donor.
Protect the Exterior
Protecting your homes’ exterior surfaces can be costly, so often the question is when it is necessary to spend the money for preserving this important investment. If you have an older home (10+ years) the expected lifetime of the painted surface depends on the last painter’s discretion and integrity. Preparation, application, and quality of materials all play into the longevity of the painted surface in protecting your home. This holds true for newer homes, as well. It is not uncommon for new homes to need the exteriors repainted within the first 5 years due to poor application and inferior materials.
The most important indicators as to when to paint your home are:
- open caulk joints,
- peeling surfaces,
- chalking or dullness on the painted surfaces,
- mildew growth, and
- wood damage.
A timely paint job can save you money by preventing deterioration of exterior surfaces thus requiring minimal or no repairs. Secondly, a professional paint job can save you money over time by having to paint less often: approximately every 10 years instead of every 5 years.