Expert contractor Mike Holmes reveals some of the biggest mistakes he sees during the summer months and gives us all a little lesson on how to make it right.
Never ignore condensation or moisture in the basement. Condensation occurs when cool air comes in contact with a warm surface, or vice versa. Either warm moist air in the house contacts a cooler basement wall or floor, or cool air-conditioned air contacts a warmer wall, perhaps one above grade.
If you are experiencing moisture in the basement, you need a thermal break with a vapour barrier to completely separate interior conditioned air from exterior air. Not having a complete thermal break in your basement can create a two-season cycle of constant condensation.
It's summer, the busiest time of year for exterior jobs. People want work done and they want it done now, but the bad news is all good contractors have been booked for months.
Mike has said it thousands of times: Good contractors are hard to find. They are busy and they don't spend their time trawling neighbourhoods looking for jobs, so book them well in advance and get references!
Your roof will require maintenance. Don't wait for the roof to start leaking before you fix it. One way to anticipate problems is to climb into your darkened attic and look for any sunlight. You could even have someone garden hose your roof while you're inside looking for leaks.
Your roof is your first line of defense against snow, wind, rain, hail and UV from the sun, as well as unwanted house guests such as raccoons, bats, and squirrels. If you don't take care of it, Mike can pretty much guarantee you're going to wind up with a whole lot of other problems.
The key here is to make sure the soil around your home is properly graded so that any surface water and snow melt will flow away from your home, not toward it.
We all water our gardens, and when they're next to the foundation of our homes there are some things to think about. Water on the exterior of your home or basement wall can make its way inside. Similarly, if you use sprinklers or an irrigation system, make sure the sprinkler heads are directed away from your house. The continual spray will do damage over time, so make sure the water you are using to irrigate your lawn or garden is doing what it's supposed to do.
You don't want to find you're A/C unit isn't working on the first blistering hot day of summer. Uncover the unit and make sure it's clear of leaves and other debris that might have gotten stuck in the fins today. You can vacuum the grille, and change any filters now to give yourself a head start. Once it's time for the air conditioner, these changes will make a big improvement to your indoor air quality.
If your air conditioner is still not working, call in a qualified HVAC specialist to service the unit.
Thank you to Mike Holmes for sharing! Be sure to check out his 10th anniversary special on HGTV.