Houston, We Have a Summer
Whether you're new to the city, or have been around for a while, summer in Houston can be a challenge. There's really only one way to deal with it! Are you ready for it, the super secret Native Houstonian solution....STAY INSIDE!!
Just kidding, kind of. In all seriousness, you do need to be aware of some basics to make it through the heat of the summer, and staying indoors is a very reasonable solution! When you can't do that, consider some of these tips:
Stay Hydrated - drink water, LOTS of it, and maybe add something with some electrolytes in there if you're in extreme situations like a rooftop or an attic or a five mile run.
Watch Your Pets - your four legged friends get hot too! Make sure they have shade, water, and ideally aren't out for long periods of time.
Cool Your Car - Use visors, let hot air out by rolling your windows down, and never, ever leave pets or kids inside! I really don't want to see you on the news! If you're blessed with air conditioned seats, you're lucky, but for the rest of us, if you're wearing short shorts or a dress in the summer and have leather seats, bring a towel to sit on!
Sprinklers are your Friends - most of us have St. Augustine grass growing in our yards, which is hardy, and can handle the heat pretty well. However, keep an eye on your yard and add a little extra sprinkler time when it's particularly hot and there's no rain in the forecast. Try to water late evening or early morning, those times of day should let the water soak in more efficiently than if you watered midday.
Water Your House - Here in Houston, and in most parts of Texas, because of our soil and our weather, it is recommended that you use a soaker hose around the perimeter of your foundation, about 18-24 inches away, to add moisture under the house (slab foundations only, folks). Your neighbor, or your dad, or the guy at the hardware store may give you their opinion of how best to do this as well. If you have a sprinkler system that already waters grass or beds around the foundation, you may be fine, but still a good idea to check.
Check Your AC - There is nothing like the joy of no air conditioning in Houston in the summer. I have very specific memories of freezing wet napkins and laying down on a gold shag carpet and placing said napkins on every inch of skin one lovely summer in the early 80s. Good times!! I wonder if that's why I always have a good AC guy on standby?! Anyway, service your AC, every year. No, really, every year. I know, it wasn't that hot last summer, do it anyway. If you need a good AC guy, let me know, and I'll hook you up!
Get the Gutters Cleaned - 4th of July Fireworks + Hot, Dry Summer = Easily Avoidable Insurance Claim.
Locate A Good Snow Cone Source - I know, but really, this is a fun thing. You could go get ice cream, but calories, right? Snow Cones are lovely, and truly seasonal. I love a mom and pop shop where they have a "season" and a million flavors and are pretty cheap. If you're in the Cypress area, the one near Grant and Louetta behind the Ace is my current favorite.
Change Your Workout - If your normal workout is outside, it's possible the heat of day will keep you indoors, or have you dreading your workout. You could consider a different venue so you keep moving. Planet Fitness has a low cost monthly membership, you could walk in the mall (if you don't like that mall, go to another one, we have lots around here), try rock climbing, or recapture your youth with roller skating. You get the idea, get creative!
Consider a Water Park - Back in the day, our childhood waterpark was a large water slide near 610 and 59, not too far away from the Galleria. It was built on the side of a hill, and I was too young at the time to realize we don't have hills in Houston. In hindsight, I assume it was a mound of construction debris from one of the freeway projects. Anyway, these were fond memories, and I can still smell the foam mats and the little arts and crafts area where we did spin art at the bottom of the hill.
This spot is long gone, but we have lots of options around here! I really like Typhoon Texas near Katy Mills and the original Schlitterbahn in New Braunfels. Yes, I am aware there is one in Galveston, but no, it is not the same, not even a little. Try the original out one when you can!
Also, just in case you're new around here, Summer is a good term to explore. In my experience, Houston is hottest in August and September, but this year, June is feeling pretty toasty. Just keep an eye on the forecast, especially if you need to be outside.
Did I miss any big summer survival tips? Drop me a line and share your favorites!
Rebecca Robertson is a Houston area Realtor who has survived 40 something years of Houston summers and has lived to tell the tale! If you're considering a move to the Houston area, she's a great resource for all things Houston! Drop her a line at firstname.lastname@example.org to connect!