It may be the dead of summer, but this is the time to think about year-round home maintenance. In this part of the country, we receive a tricky combination of weather from brutal winters to hot summers, and rain at any time of year. Without maintenance, these factors can take a toll on your home. Here are a few fool proof tips: Clean the gutters

Leaves and other debris can accumulate in gutters and create quite a mess, causing rain backup and spillover that can damage siding. Water can back up in the eaves and under shingles too leading to far worse interior damage. Clean gutters in the fall and again in the spring.

Service your AC

Central air conditioning requires a tune up each year for filter changes, checking of refrigerant levels, cleaning and optimizing of all settings. Yearly maintenance leads to longer system life and increased efficiency.

Seal and paint outdoor structures

Treat unfinished or peeling exterior wood now before weather conditions worsen and moisture permeates the wood. Stains should be applied every other year while painted structures can be updated every 3 to 5 years based on exposure and paint quality.

Check around your foundation

Shrubs and trees close to the house may chip away paint, allow moisture into gaps and give bugs an easy entrance. Clearing a 3-inch path between all plantings will eliminate most problems. Similarly, keep all soil at least 3 inches away from siding and make sure beds slope away from the house, ensuring water runoff doesn't end up in your basement.

Prepare equipment for a change of seasons

Before storing your lawn mower and other lawn equipment for the winter, drain the gas and replace the air filter. The main reason these machines do not start come spring is stale fuel. Similarly, run your snowblower until the fuel is finished before storing for the summer. A little work upfront makes for an easier start to the new season.

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