The summer heat can be an insidious, invisible enemy to your home. Though it doesn’t outwardly show its effects in an obvious way, like severe weather or tectonic activity, heat can harm many areas of your house if you’re not prepared. As the dog days of summer creep closer, brace yourself and your house for the hot, sometimes volatile summer weather that comes with it. Stay aware of how summer weather impacts your home so you know what to check during the season.

Cracking Foundation

Whether you’re living in hot, dry conditions or balmy, humid conditions, the heat can cause your home’s foundation to deteriorate. Soil will lose its moisture in the summer, especially during a drought, and it may separate from your home’s foundation.

If your home is on sandy soil, you may not experience separation, but you’re more likely to find cracks and damage in your foundation. This happens in soil with high clay content, as the constant expansion and contraction due to shifting moisture levels worsen with clay. You can see this issue at work in the bottom of a pool and in the backyard.

Dried Out Hardwood

When you have authentic hardwood floors, you should know when to start humidifying the house or cooling it down to prevent cracked or warped flooring. Dry heat, while more comfortable than humid heat, evaporates all moisture in your hardwood floors and can lead to gaps between boards if you don’t keep the house cool.

Humid heat, however, keeps moisture in the floorboards. This can lead to rot, mold, and cracking without a dehumidifier or air conditioner. If you forget to protect your floors in the summer, it could cost you a renovation bill of over a thousand dollars.

Overworked Air Conditioner

The worst time to find out that your air conditioner is malfunctioning is during the heat of the summer. Not only do you learn the hard way how summer weather impacts your home, but you must also compete for repairmen with plenty of other homeowners who are learning the same lesson. Constantly running the air is a lot of work for an older appliance, especially during above-average heat.

Older homes may also suffer from aging ductwork. If the air seems fully functioning and some rooms are hotter than others, your home may suffer from leaking ducts. Whether you’re concerned about the age of your air conditioner or your ducts, you must take care of the maintenance in spring or autumn—never summer.