Let’s Celebrate the 4th of July with Six Home Improvement Projects

Let’s Celebrate the 4th of July with Six Home Improvement Projects

The Fourth of July is one of the biggest holidays of the summer, and many of us look forward to outdoor celebrations. Now is an excellent time to prepare your home and landscape for any family gatherings and backyard barbecues you might host. Here are some home improvement tasks to tackle right away.

Deck MaintenanceClean Your Deck

A decent deck looks nice and tends to last longer. Dirt and other debris acts as an abrasive and wears down deck materials. Besides, a dirty deck invites mildew growth, which can stain. Remember to use only the cleaners recommended by the manufacturer to avoid harming deck fibers or causing discoloration. If you use a power washer, use it on a low setting and move the spray in a continual motion to avoid gouging softer materials such as wood.

Weatherproof your Windows

Weatherproofing windows are important in summer. Windows can be a prime source of heat gained in the home through solar radiation and hot air infiltration. Here is what to do:

  • Check around the frame and sash for air leaks. Gaps may or may not be visible to the naked eye, and so you should run your hand over all sections to feel for drafts.
  • Caulk around the frame and apply weather-stripping to the movable parts of the window sash.
  • Use thermal window film or hang some sun-blocking window shades or curtains.
  • Check the windows from the outside to see if there are ways you can create shade by using awnings, arbors or similar architectural structures.

By reducing the heat gained through your windows, your home will feel cooler. You will experience greater energy savings all summer long.

Care for the Lawnlawn care

Summer lawn care is one of the biggest chores of the season. If you want your home to look its best for gatherings, you cannot ignore this task, however. Here are important tips:

  •  Do not mow grass too short. Scalping your lawn can lead to die-off as the grass will dry out faster. If you do not know the correct mowing height for your type of grass, check with your local extension office or lawn and garden store.
  •  Edge and Weed-eat for a better-looking lawn. Grass growing over walkways and patios looks unkempt and can cause mildew growth on pavers by prohibiting evaporation of moisture. Give your lawn a proper manicure in time for your Fourth of July festivities.
  • Make sure to water grass early in the mornings. This watering schedule benefits a garden in several ways. It allows water to sink to the lawn’s roots instead of evaporating in the hot sun. It prevents sun scorch, and it minimizes the risk of fungal diseases because the grass has plenty of time to dry out through the day.

Check the Outside Faucets

Make sure your outside faucets are ready to function when you need them for your lawn, garden or safety during outdoor barbecues. Look for leaks, corrosion, and test water flow. Don’t wait until the last minute to do this. By checking faucets now, you will have more time to schedule repairs before the holiday.

faucetClean or Install Ceiling Fans

If you have ceiling fans, clean the blades and make sure they are in the summer position. Many ceiling fans have an option of reversing the blades in winter to push warm air downwards, and some people forget to switch the direction when summer comes around again.

If you do not have ceiling fans installed, now is an excellent time to do so. They create a pleasant breeze that makes you feel cooler by helping with sweat evaporation. Save energy because you might not have to run the air conditioner as much. Some homeowners even have ceiling fans installed on a covered deck or patio to bring relief on hot days.

Care for Your Air Conditioner

Even if you had a spring maintenance visit for your AC system, it is a good idea to keep up certain maintenance tasks all season long. Before the Fourth of July festivities, make sure you:

  • Change the air conditioner’s filter. Clean filters keep it running more smoothly and prevent extra repairs in the future. Your home will also feel cooler, and your energy bills will be lower if you don’t let your AC run with a clogged air filter.
  • Clear the area around your outdoor unit. Yard debris can enter the unit and cause problems when it builds up. Aim to keep a minimum of a three-foot area clean surrounding the outdoor section of your air conditioning system.

When you need help with your Glendale, AZ home’s cooling system or other HVAC tasks this summer, don’t try to handle it alone. We can help. Just give us Christian Brothers Plumbing, Air Conditioning, and Electrical a call 623-499-9794 today!

Air conditioning, Plumbing, Electrical repair since 1976 in Phoenix, AZ.


3 Ways to Prepare Yourself for Summer Solstice

3 Ways to Prepare Yourself for Summer Solstice

Summer solstice is on its way, and many people are ready to celebrate by opening their pools and having parties. Celebrating this day is a tradition that dates back to ancient times. Here are some tips to make your summer celebration a success:

1) What is the Summer Solstice?

Summer Solstice is the official first day of summer. It is also the longest day of the year and occurs between June 20-23 (according to the Gregorian calendar). In 2016, it will be celebrated on June 20th. There are many cultures that place a sacred significance on this day. It was seen as a day when the sun was reborn and gave most of its light to benefit the crops. It was celebrated with banquets, bonfires, and special gifts. There are still many groups, such as Wiccans, who have celebrations for the Summer Solstice.

2) Bonfire Tips

After braving the cold of a long winter, it is fun to celebrate the warmth of summer. You can make this year’s summer solstice a fun celebration with family and friends. What better way to celebrate than with an old-fashioned bonfire! The ancients believed that the fire honored the sun and warded off any evil spirits. Just make sure you do it in a place where building fires is not forbidden by local ordinances.

The ideal place for a bonfire is away from buildings, trees, and anything else that can catch fire. Find a spot and gather up some wood. Rather than just throw the wood in a pile, set it upright until it looks like a wooden teepee. Take smaller branches and paper to make kindling. Avoid using hazardous fire-accelerating fuels. Once the fire gets started, you can feed it larger pieces of wood to keep it going. Never leave a bonfire unattended and be sure to watch children around it.

Set the bonfire on the evening of the solstice, when the outside temperature is cooler and the fire can be seen better. Many people have hot dogs to roast over the fire; however, you can grill any type of food that you prefer. You can put meat and veggies on a skewer and have delicious kebabs. If you are a vegetarian, you can stick to grilling vegetables and even fruit. The classic dessert is grilled marshmallows, graham crackers, and chocolate for s’mores!

3) Watch the Sunset / Sunrise

Another tradition is to celebrate the solstice all night. Your family and guests can watch the glorious sunset on June 20th and stay up to watch the sunrise. You can play games and tell ghost stories around the fire. If you like, you can hand out small party favors to remember the day. Just be careful to watch the fire and put it out completely with water when you are done.

Since you may be opening your pool on this day, it would be a good time to check your plumbing. Call Christian Brothers Plumbing, Air Conditioning, and Electrical in Glendale, AZ, at 623-499-9794.

Air conditioning, Plumbing, Electrical repair since 1976 in Phoenix, AZ.