Caring For Your New Home During the Oklahoma Heat Wave

August 8, 2011

Forty+ days of triple-digit temperatures in Oklahoma are no fun. Stepping outdoors feels like someone left an oven door open, and yard after yard of brown grass is begging for rainy, cooler days. Chad Tolle, Ideal Homes' Director of Customer Care, reminds Oklahoma City homeowners that a home's exterior also takes a beating in this extreme heat. He offered some helpful tips to protect your largest investment from weather damage. Foundation: Chad recommends watering the foundation on the sides of your home with a soaker hose for a minimum of 30 minutes every other day, reminding homeowners to comply with any water-rationing restrictions. Sprinkler systems typically hit the front and back parts of a home's foundation. If you don't have a sprinkler system, be sure and water all the way around your foundation on a regular basis. "Soil needs to be moist to keep it from cracking," Chad said. "If the ground dries out, it can cause the home to settle. A home's age doesn't matter when it comes to foundation issues. By watering the sides of the home as well as driveways and sidewalks, this helps prevent movement and cracking - with the added benefit of a good yard." AC Condenser Unit - With a hose, spray out the AC condenser unit from top to bottom to clean the coils. This will remove the hair, grass, dust and trash that accumulates there. Chad recommends doing this twice a year in the summer - at the beginning and again in the middle. For maximum energy efficiency, monthly is the very least filters should be changed, Chad said, and more often if there are lots of people or pets living in your home. Trees - During this scorching heat, Chad said you can never water trees too much. Watering them now makes for more shade in the future. If leaves are withering at the top, the tree needs more water. Use a trickle hose on trees at least 30 minutes every other day. Caulking - Heat causes caulking to separate and crack. Check around doors and windows and re-caulk when necessary when temperatures cool down. Fences - Water around the posts to prevent soil shrinkage and leaning panels and posts. Paint - A home's exterior may need to be painted more often when it's frequently exposed to extreme heat. Also, Chad said that left-over paint cans should be stored inside the home and not in garages, sheds or attics. For more information on keeping your home's exterior protected in Heat Wave 2011, contact Ideal Homes at (405) 267-0049.
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