Lakefront Home Maintenance
The sound of breaking waves, the smell of freshwater air and the feeling of warm sand between your toes… lakefront property owners know these moments of bliss all too well. Any waterfront homeowner will tell you that nothing beats the privacy and tranquility of their home on the lakeshore. What’s discussed less often is the effort it takes to maintain a lakefront luxury home. Lake Michigan is beautiful, no doubt, but there’s no avoiding the periodic harsh elements it presents. Wind, sand and humidity can test your patience, but don’t let a little wear and tear deter you from lakefront living. With a little extra love and care, you can protect your home and live stress free on Lake Michigan.
Here’s what you need to know about waterfront home maintenance on Lake Michigan:
In the winter, humidity tends to be low and the air is especially dry near the lake. Conversely, in the hot summer days, humidity is high and equally uncomfortable. Controlling humidity in your home can prevent mold, dust mites and deterioration of paint and drywall. How can you control humidity?
- Invest in a humidifier to use during the winter.
- Run air conditioning in the summer.
- Open attic vents to the outside.
- Run bathroom and kitchen exhaust fans while bathing and cooking.
- Clean out gutters and direct them away from the house.
- Clear dust from fans and vents.
A pleasant summer breeze with the scent of freshwater gently blowing through the air is what summer on Lake Michigan is known for. But there are times when the wind is relentless and all we can do is close our eyes and remember the joy of that calm summer breeze. To keep your house protected from the effects of harsh wind, here are a few things you can do:
- Install stronger insulation in walls and windows.
- Check roof for loose shingles and replace them.
- Upgrade to heavy duty bolts on doors.
Homeowners on Lake Michigan are familiar with the dreaded “lake-effect”. According to the NOAA, “lake-effect snow forms in the winter when cold air masses move over warmer lake waters.” Lake Michigan costal towns tend to get hit harder with the snow than neighboring inland cities. To protect your home from a possible lake-effect winter storm, take these actions:
- Proper and stronger window and wall insulation is necessary to stay warm and keep your heating bills low.
- Everything that can be stored indoors during the winter should be.
- Insulate water pipes and let cool water run to avoid freezing pipes. Learn how to shut off water valves if a pipe bursts.
- Before winter begins, cut away tree branches that could snap and land on your home.
- Continually plow driveway and sidewalks in between snowfalls to avoid a pile up.
One of the best parts of living on the lake is having access to the beach. However, the sand can be a bit of a nuisance. Most lakefront homeowners find that kids and dogs are constantly trekking crud throughout the house. Plus, sometimes wind blows the sand towards your home and can cause wear and tear on your vegetation and outdoor furnishings. To prevent damage from sand, do the following:
- Keep outdoor furniture and grills covered when not in use and store outdoor decorative objects indoors when you’re not home to enjoy them.
- Place a bucket of water near the door for kids to dip their feet in and dry off, removing the sand before entering the house.
- Avoid carpet floors if possible.
- Build a mudroom or designate an area for cleaning off sand.
- Have shoes for indoor use only and leave all others outside or in the garage.
It’s no secret that owning a home can be lot of work and owning a lakefront home takes additional thought to protect it from the elements. The more you put into your home, the more you’ll get out of it. Think of owning a home on the lake as an investment in your happiness, future and family. There’s nothing quite like life on Lake Michigan – even if it’s a little sandy at times.