Sunshine is out in full force and daydreams of weekends spent lounging in the backyard and grilling out on the patio are turning into reality - yes, that's the smell of summertime just around the corner. Before you start sending out the invites for your weekly BBQ party, there are some home maintenance things that need your attention so you can focus on soaking up the sun (with a suitable SPF for your needs), worry-free.


Outdoor Lighting and Electrical

Market lights have been all the rage for outdoor spaces for a few years now, and that trend doesn't seem to be slowing down, paired with permanent outdoor lighting fixtures. There's nothing quite like watching a sunny summer day turn into a not-too-hot, not-too-cold summer night, shooting the breeze with some of your favorite people well after sunset, good drinks and good food in hand - all from the comfort of your own backyard. But that requires some pretty lighting, and if you leave your lighting up year round, that means some things need to be checked. Flip on the lights and see if any bulbs have burnt out since last fall. If they have, get to replacing them only after the lights are fully disconnected from the electricity source.

Before your summer soirees get too far under way, it's also a good idea to have a professional electrician out for a full outdoor electrical inspection, testing circuits and electrical draw as needed. Included in this safety checkup is a close look at all outdoor light fixtures, electrical outlets, spa or pool power supply wiring (incl. outdoor disconnect), and any other outdoor appliances that have electrical connections - don't forget those fancy outdoor cooktops, beer coolers and pizza ovens!

Sump Pumps and Outdoor Plumbing

Summer afternoon rain showers aren't uncommon in these parts, along with higher water tables due to spring runoff, so before those showers turn into torrential downpours, make sure your sump pump is ready to handle it. Pour water in the sump well and make sure the pump turns on. If it doesn't, pickup the phone and contact your pluming pro asap. Even if your sump pump operates fine, it still makes good sense for you to learn about recommended annual maintenance for your system, and to consider an annual service agreement to assure your peace of mind and safeguard your valuable home investment. An ounce of prevention can go a long way.

Outdoor plumbing can understandably slide off the priority list during the colder months, but now's the time to start checking off those items. If there's outdoor, underground drain work that needs attention but hasn't been a pressing need, or has been waiting for the ground to thaw, now's the time to take care of it. If the water supply to your sprinkler system needs a vacuum breaker or backflow preventer to safeguard your potable water, call your plumber now to schedule. This is also a great time of year to fix cracked or dripping garden hose spigots or water pipes, and consider expanding your outdoor water supply to suit your fancy. An experienced plumber will get it all done right for you, while planning ahead and assuring there won't be frozen pipe issues when the weather turns cold again.

Another summer plumbing project for you to think about is gas piping: Whether you want to install a new permanent outdoor grille, reroute annoying gas piping that's been bugging you for years, or even plan ahead for future appliances - indoors or out - this is the season to get the outdoor gas pipe work accomplished in a stress-free fashion.

Just like your outdoor electrical connections and products, it's also a good idea to have all your outdoor plumbing and gas piping inspected at this time of year. As with your electrical system, the end game of an outdoor plumbing inspection is safeguarding your safety and protecting your hard-earned home investment. Speak with your trusted local plumber today to learn more.

Garden Setup

We're solidly past Mother's Day now, which means in most zones it's the perfect time to get planting! If your garden setup is complex, it's time to make sure everything is in working order. As mentioned above, now's the time to add additional garden hose spigots where you may need them, ensure the hoses are run properly and everything is in good condition. If you have timed sprinklers, double-check so you know they are doing the job when you need them to for best results. Also mentioned above, if your sprinkler system's water supply from the house is not quite up to current standards, now is the perfect time to add a vacuum breaker-backflow preventer assembly to keep your drinking water from mixing with your lawn's water. While we don't work on the controls and valving in sprinkler systems, we can assist with the tie-in to your home's main water supply.

If you opt for our whole-home plumbing inspection, the system that provides your garden with the necessary and appropriate amounts of water it needs to grow and produce some delicious yields is included in that inspection.

AC Needs

At the beginning of the air conditioning season, it's important to replace or clean the furnace filter (checking it regularly throughout the season) and have thorough, professional annual maintenance performed on the system to insure it operates at optimum efficiency, keeping your cooling bills as low as possible. Thorough annual inspection and maintenance of your cooling system will also help extend its life, increasing the value of your cooling investment. You may already be on top of this important to-do, but it's worth the double-check.

The summer season is also the perfect time to consider replacing your aging or unreliable heater before it comes back to bite you next winter. There are typically significant savings to be had if you choose to replace a furnace and install new AC equipment at the same time!

Checking these simple things off your pre-summer party list is easy enough with trusted pros at your side to help you through the tougher parts and lay out your options clearly. Peace of mind about the safety and comfort of your home's outdoor summer space can be just as important as the indoors. Give those summer projects serious consideration and attention now, so you can knock a bunch of important items off that list and start concentrating on other important things - like grilling up those burgers and veggies, soaking in the hot tub, or dancing in the moonlight. Curious about the ease an annual maintenance plan could bring for your home and everything in it? Give us a call today.