Seeing and feeling the spring sunshine over the past few days has been a joy. It has made me excited for the summer ahead – I’m already planning BBQs and other outdoor activities!
I’m also thinking about garden design, containers of flowers and bedding plants, but what about our homes during the summer months? What can we do to summer proof our houses?
To help keep your property in good order and comfortable to live in when the weather gets hotter, you may want to consider the following:
Protect Against Unwanted Visitors
Summer is the season when the critters come out to play and it’s not unusual to find swarms of wasps or armies of ants in or around your home. Slugs and creatures like mice will increase in population, so make sure you have any cracks or holes in walls filled in to prevent them sneaking in. Check out some of the harmfree and eco friendly methods of deterring pests online or at your local garden centre. You can also buy cut to fit insect mesh that will attach to your windows or doorways and prevent insects flying into your home.
Be Security Aware
Once the heat of summer arrives, our instinct is to throw open all the windows and doors. But you have to remember to be security conscious, particularly when you go out; its so easy to forget to close a window, giving an opportunist thief the chance to break in and steal items or damage your property. Get into the habit of checking all doors and windows before leaving the house. It may be worth seeking out special screens or shutters that will bolster your security without sacrificing the airflow, especially to vulnerable points of entry.
Use Window Dressings to Reduce Heat and Glare
As much as we love large windows to let the natural daylight in, during the height of summer they can feel a bit like our enemy! So it’s important to have the right window dressings to keep the heat and glare to a minimum. Its a good idea to swap heavy winter weight curtains that will absorb the heat and keep it in the room for lighter, summery curtains or blinds. Soft voiles at the windows are inexpensive and can help diffuse the light. Alternatively, heat protection roof blinds like those from VELUX can ensure a room is much more comfortable, some of them even have additional awnings for added sun protection. Leaving your blinds and curtains closed during the day can help create a cooler environment when the sun is at its hottest.
Consider Air Conditioning
In many countries air conditioning is an essential feature of the home. Here in the UK we don’t have the same need for it as a rule, but it would come in handy on those occasional sultry days and nights! In which case you may consider investing in a portable air conditioning unit.
Even a few electric fans dotted around the home will help keep temperatures feeling more bearable, but do remember to buy early as the shops tend to sell out in the height of summer.
Change Your Decor
A trick of the mind perhaps, but redecorating with cool calming colours in shades of blue, green and grey can help your home feel breezier. Adding some architectural plants such as ferns and palms can help diffuse strong light in a room when placed at the windows. You may enjoy the trickling sound of an indoor water feature for a lush, tropical feeling of nature!
Consider installing a water butt to collect the rainwater in your garden or outdoor space. You may be glad of it in the summer if there is a drought as it will enable you to keep plants hydrated and the garden space lush and lovely, which in turn can be your sanctuary away from a hot house! Its a great way to recycle water and save money too.
Take Care of General Repairs and Maintenance
Blistering summer heat can inflict damage on your property, making wood dry out and split, paint flake off and cement crack between flags etc. So take advantage of the fine weather to catch up on a few of those repairs – e.g.wire brushing flaking paint and adding a fresh coat.
Use Summer Duvets and Cotton Bedding
We’ve all experienced those balmy summer nights where the air is so still and humid, making it difficult to sleep. Ensure that your bedding is 100% cotton (a luxury Egyptian cotton with a high thread count will ensure your complete comfort) and swap your thick winter duvets for light summer weight ones.
Now, bring on the summer! I can almost hear the BBQ sizzling, can’t you?!