Summer is known as the most carefree season of the year — but that isn’t always the case for homeowners. From damage caused by high temperatures and summer storms to wear and tear on appliances used heavily during this time of year, it’s not uncommon to face a myriad of repairs throughout the season.
This can feel frustrating, so it’s best to go into the season with the expectation that you’ll need to make at least a few repairs before Labor Day. Planning ahead will allow you to put aside some extra cash, so you’re not forced to cancel a vacation due to an unforeseen home repair you weren’t financially prepared to handle.
While maintenance issues aren’t the most rewarding part of homeownership, try to focus on the fact that these repairs keep your property comfortable and in good shape. Completing them in a timely manner can actually be cheaper, as you’re able to catch problems while they’re still relatively small.
Not sure what home maintenance issues you might face this summer? Adam Graham, a construction industry analyst at Fixr.com, shared 10 common summer home repairs and cost estimates for each.
Air Conditioning Repair
“One of the most common home issues people face in summer is problems with air conditioning,” Graham said. “Whether it be leaks, build-up of dirt in air ducts or clogged filters, having a fully functioning air conditioning system well-maintained before the hottest time of the year is advisable.”
Graham recommended having your air conditioner checked out now, to avoid an uncomfortable breakdown, save money on an inefficient unit and avoid a long wait time, as repairmen tend to be in high demand during the summer months.
Cost to repair: “The cost will depend on the severity and type of problem,” he said. “However, on average the cost to fix an air conditioner that requires a reboot of the system, a clean and service, and an unclogging of the filters is $350.”
The cost could be higher if your system needs a refrigerant recharge. That could cost an additional $200 to $500, according to Fixr.
Seal Gaps and Cracks Around Windows and Doors
“Having taken care of any problems you may have with your air conditioning unit is only one step in getting the most out of its use,” Graham said. “Repairing any cracks or gaps, especially around window and door frames, will help seal in the cool air and stop it [from] escaping.”
He said doing this repair will allow you to cut energy costs, as your air conditioner won’t have to work as hard to cool your home. Total savings could be as much as 11%, according to Energy Star.
Cost to repair: Graham said the cost to have all windows and door frames air sealed averages $350-$600 for a 2,500-square-foot house.
Repair Outdoor Lighting
Summer nights are made for outdoor gatherings, but Graham said the party will be forced inside if outdoor lights are not fully functioning.
“To avoid this it’s wise to check all outdoor lights have not suffered damage during the winter months,” he said. “Being exposed to elements outside can result in wear and erosion, pests could have possibly chewed through wires and even light bulbs may have burned out.”
Cost to repair: The cost of this repair varies greatly because many different factors are involved, he said.
“In extreme cases, you may need the certain outdoor lighting fixtures to be replaced, which carries a cost of $30-$500,” Graham said. “The type of fixture and the brand and quality will play a part in this.”
Swimming Pool Maintenance
Hot summer days are made for staying cool in the pool, but this can be problematic if yours isn’t properly maintained.
“If the filters are not working properly, it could mean that the pool is out of use, not only disrupting potential plans, but also carrying with it possible health hazards,” Graham said. “Bacteria and viruses can be present in water that is not treated, resulting in some serious consequences — especially among those most vulnerable.”
He noted that pool maintenance is not a one-time fix, but a monthly task, in order to keep it safe.
Cost to repair: Pool service averages $180 per month, according to Graham. Expect to pay at the higher end this year due to ongoing chlorine shortages and price increases.
Asphalt Driveway Repair
You might think summer is a season that requires no driveway maintenance — i.e., shoveling show — but Graham said that isn’t always the case.
“With warmer weather comes higher temperatures that can result in the softening of asphalt,” he said. “If left unattended the problem could lead to worse issues and may require the whole driveway to be replaced, which would be much more costly.”
Cost to repair: According to Fixr estimates, repairs average $400 to $1,200, with a typical homeowner paying $750 to repair a 200-foot section of crumbling driveway.
Since sprinklers are exposed to the elements, they can sustain damage that can put them out of use, Graham said. Consequently, your plants and lawns could suffer from a lack of water.
“Problems such as pipe damage and head blocks can cause them to not work properly or stop functioning altogether,” he said. “This is a common problem in summer when homeowners need to water their yards more frequently, and sprinklers may have been neglected for long periods during winter.”
Cost to repair: Graham said the cost to repair sprinklers largely depends on the extent of the damage and amount that need to be fixed. To give you an idea, he said repairing two sprinkler heads and broken piping will cost approximately $200.
Garbage Disposal Unclogging
Since summer is a highly social season filled with barbecues and large dinner parties, Graham said garbage disposals tend to get a lot of use.
“Typical problems that can arise are the disposal wearing out, and the wrong usage — pouring of grease, for example — causing back up,” he said. “This problem occurring in summer is worse, due to the high temperatures which could cause bad odors and attract pests.”
Cost to repair: If you need to replace a leaking seal on your garbage disposal, he said you can expect to spend an average of $100. The cost of replacing a disposal starts at about $200, according to Fixr.
Broken Awning Replacements
If any awnings on your home aren’t fully intact, Graham said you’ll want to replace them this summer.
“Over time awnings can become worn and weathered, meaning some or all parts of them need to be replaced,” he said. “An awning protects people from the sun in the summer months, while using the patio or deck, and without it can be very uncomfortable — and to some extent dangerous, due to the heat and glare of the sun.”
Cost to repair: He said replacing a retractable arm and motor on an awning costs around $670.
Since you might not be using your deck as much during the winter months, Graham said you might now be noticing parts that need maintenance — both for safety reasons and aesthetic appeal.
“There are many different issues that can arise, such as wear and tear, rot and termite infestation,” he said. “It is important to repair these problems to ensure the longevity of the deck.”
Cost to repair: He said the average cost to replace broken boards and repair damaged railings on a deck is $850. Major work, such as repairing termite damage, can cost up to $10,000, according to Fixr.
While Graham noted it’s advisable to keep your home pest-free all year, he said you’re more likely to see certain bugs during the summer months — both inside and outside the house.
Ants, flies, mosquitos, wasps and hornets are some of the most common pests you’ll see in and around your home during the summer. “Problems from pests can be hazardous to [your] health and to the structure of the home itself,” Graham said.
Cost to repair: A simple one-time treatment might cost as little as $50, according to Fixr. Exterminators generally charge $200 to $350 per hour for more serious infestations.
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