Everyone loves summer. It’s the time of year when we feel at our most free, basking in the longer days and enjoying the feel of the heat surrounding us. It’s a happy, relaxed time, built for the making of memories.
Then summer comes along and we have a tendency to realize that we were looking back on it with… well… sun-tinted rose-colored glasses.
The reality, when you’re living it, is that summer is not without its problems. We may look back on the sun-drenched photographs and consider the golden memories, but we forget as much as we recall. We forget how uncomfortable it is to be sweating all the time; we forget the reality of being sticky with all the time; the horrors of being if we forget the SPF for one day.
We also have a tendency to forget the difference it can make to our homes. While winter is infamous for the punch it packs to home maintenance, summer is fraught with its own problems. Rather than ignore them and then be surprised by a sudden occurrence, it might be helpful to go into this summer fully prepared for the problems that may befall you. Your house is likely to hate summer just as much as it does winter, making you miserable with it – and here’s why.
1) Pests Galore
Pests are always a threat to a home, but the threat is much more immediate when it comes to the summertime. Your carefully-chosen decor could be ruined by the nibbles of termites, or you may spend the hot summer nights listening to the telltale scrabbling sounds of mice running between the walls.
As it’s warmer, not only are pests more active, they’re also more likely to breed. That means that if you notice signs of a problem, it’s something you’re going to have to jump onto as quickly as possible. No delay, no waiting around, no experimenting with home remedies – get the problem dealt with as quickly as you can. Pests aren’t just annoying; they can carry harmful as well. Get rid and then get back to basking in the sunshine.
2) Artwork Under Threat
If you look in style magazines or through the , then you will quickly see a familiar pattern to the summertime imagery. Beautiful decor, artfully arranged, and the curtains open so the sun is spilling into the room. It illuminates every surface, bounces off strategically placed mirrors, fills the entire room with light.
It’s lovely, but it’s also seriously bad news for anything that it touches. Sunlight can be potent, causing items to fade or turn yellow with relatively little exposure. The most vulnerable is artwork, particularly if it is behind glass frames (which of course magnify the heat). Sunlight can also cause problems for upholstery like your couch, or even cushions it comes into contact with.
Try and keep a room shaded when the sun is at its height, around midday. It’s also a good idea to revolve artwork, so nothing lingers in a space that is particularly exposed to the light for too long. If you do have problems with fading and yellowing, then there is relatively little you can do to bring things back to life – prevention is definitely more potent than the cure here, so be careful.
3) Air Conditioning Costs
If you live in a warm part of the country, then summer is going to take its toll on your fuel bills. It seems harsh that this is the case; we pay to heat all winter and then summer comes, and we have to go the other way. It’s frustrating to say the least!
Your home (and your wallet) will definitely hate it if your air conditioning isn’t running as it should be. Poor maintenance or a creaking system will not only mean you use more electrical energy, but could also border on dangerous without intervention. Ensure everything is running as it should be with help from those such as and then you can chill. Pun intended.
Sorry about the pun, everyone. It was irresistible!
4) Dodgy DIY
When the sun is shining, we feel happier – that’s just a scientific fact and is probably why we all proclaim to love summer so much. We also tend to be more energetic. This, combined with the longer days, means we might think it’s a perfect time to embark on one of the many projects we have been meaning to get around to.
And your house is going to hate that – because for the majority of us, DIY never goes quite the way we were intending. Unless you have mastered the art of making things from scratch, then there’s every chance you’re going to spend as much time fixing mistakes you have made as you do completing anything.
The best way of improving your chances at staying on the good side of your house is to refresh yourself on the rules of what you shouldn’t attempt for yourself. That means: no electrical work. No plumbing work. Nothing that involves a load bearing wall; has some tips on how to identify if a wall is load bearing or not, but always check with a professional if you’re not sure. Keep it safe, and then the only damage you’ll do is to your pride.
5) Waste Worries
It’s not a particularly pleasant subject to discuss, but sometimes, you’ve got to dive deep and think about these things. Let’s talk about waste, as in your trash cans and recycling.
In winter, with the colder temperatures, you can largely forget they exist outside of the weekly collection. The same is, unfortunately, untrue of the summer. Food waste is going to decay faster, and your trash bags (both in and outside of the house) are going to need to be changed more frequently.
Making a difference in this area involves some preparation. It’s not going to be the most exciting thing you do all summer, but washing out your trash can and any cans you have around the house should be a priority. The last thing you want is a forgotten bit of banana sticking to the bottom of a can and slowly going off, with the heat making things all the worse. With clean receptacles, you stand a better chance of avoiding any unpleasant smells.
If you have a kitchen trash can inside, then it’s well worth moving it outside for the duration of summer. It might make things a little more inconvenient, but you’ll be thankful for it when you can keep your home smelling through the season.
6) Paintwork Problems
If you have any paintwork on the exterior of your home, then the sun is coming for it just like it does for your interior artwork.
The hotter paintwork gets, the more likely it is to crack, chip, and peel. What was once a beautifully painted plant pot will soon begin to resemble the aftermath of an earthquake; little fault lines appearing in the once-smooth surface.
Then there are the garden features themselves, all of which can fall victim to the bleaching effect of sunlight. The paint you have on your fence or the shed are likely to need a top up, unless you use a parasol or gazebo to create some false shade for them. Don’t forget any garden furniture either; not only can it be bleached by the light, but metal can heat to the point it buckles and warps if you’re not careful. That’s why it’s always more advisable to go with wood as the base for garden furniture, as there’s no risk of the same effect.
7) Cleaning In The Heat
Let’s face it: cleaning your house isn’t fun. You might like the end result, but that doesn’t mean you necessarily enjoy the process that allows you to get there. It can be miserable, spending hours slaving away with a brush in hand, wishing that you were doing anything else.
Do you clean your home as often in summer as you do at other times of the year?
The reality is probably… no, you don’t. Perhaps that’s one reason that “spring cleaning” has become such a big thing – a silent acknowledgement that we need to start with a good base, as our maintenance is going to slip for summer?
The reason that people clean less in summer is one of enjoyment. All those summer memories we discussed at the beginning – they don’t tend to involve scrubbing on your hands and knees, do they? There’s too much to do through this season, far more interesting things that are going to be able to take hold of your imagination.
If you have kids, this just complicates cleaning during summer. No longer can you be sure they will be out of the house all day; instead, they’re going to be at home, and for most kids that tends to mean they’re going to make more mess. It can feel like you’ll never manage to get things as clean as you want, so why bother?
Manage this in the most productive way by admitting it’s an issue and your usual needs shaking up for summer. Rather than doing a little bit every day, clear a few hours (early in the morning on a weekend is perfect – it’s before the heat sets in for the day) and blitz it all at once. Then you can enjoy the rest of the week, knowing everything will get cleaned up… eventually.