Summertime Home Maintenance Tips and Checklists
Tasks that take 30 minutes or less to complete
1) Window Treatment
Investing in sun-blocking window covers and a new screen is energy efficient and hygienic, reducing costs while keeping out pesky bugs and dirt. Clean the exterior glass of debris and smudges while you’re out there.
2) Clean Sink Disposal
An unattended kitchen disposal can become a smelly, clogged mess. If your disposal has a baffle, clean-up is easy. Simply take it out and wash out the food buildup. Otherwise, try freezing vinegar ice cubes and running them down the disposal to keep things smelling fresh.
3) Test House Alarms
This easy (but life-saving) home maintenance step takes less than five minutes to complete. Simply push the test button on your smoke and carbon monoxide alarm and listen for the alarm. Don’t hear anything? Put in new batteries and repeat the test again.
4) Vacuum the Vents
Do you have an irritable bathroom fan? You know, the kind that sounds like it’s wheezing and spitting every time you turn it on? It’s probably just full of dust and debris. Remove the coverings on your vents and vacuum out the dust. The result will be a quieter and more efficient vent.
Tasks that take a few hours to complete
1) Check for Leaky Pipes
Leaky pipes are a bank breaker. They hike up your water bill, ruin your lawn, and cause mold and mildew in your house. Feel your walls for wetness, check your water pressure, and monitor your water bill. Any suspicious signs could mean a leak.
2) Inspect the Air Conditioners
There’s nothing worse than a 100-degree day without AC. If you have a window unit, be sure to remove and clean the filter every season. If you have central air, the rule of thumb is to have the AC unit inspected by a professional once a year to keep the frigid air blowing.
3) Check Your Roof
Weather, wind, and everyday wear and tear can hurt your roof. Check for missing shingles or mold or anything that might hurt your home’s head. Better to make small repairs every summer than spend thousands of dollars to replace the whole roof.
The Tough Tasks
Tasks that take a day or longer to complete.
1) Restore the Deck and Patio
Decks and patios can take a beating with heavy snowfall in the winter and the thawing and refreezing of spring. Summer is the perfect time to restain the deck and check for loose floorboards or mold. Give the whole surface a good scrub, power wash, sealing, or even some sanding. A little elbow grease and you’ll be ready for that outdoor barbecue.
An overgrown lawn can lead to animal and bug infestations, choke out existing plants, and reduce curb appeal. Make the most of long summer hours by putting in time mowing, weeding, and caring for your yard.
3) Check Exterior Paint and Siding
Peeling paint and chipped siding can let in bugs and the weather. Algae and mildew can also show up if you live in a humid climate. Do a lap around your house and check for any problem areas. By painting, cleaning, and repairing issues now, you can avoid the vacation-killing expense of having to replace your home’s siding.
4) Clean Your Gutters
Standing water and leaf buildup is the ultimate no-no. In the short term, unclean gutters can attract mosquitoes and other pests.
Quick Reference Checklist:
Inspect and Adjust your sprinkler system: Set your timers for the summer season to ensure enough, but not too much water per station.
Clean and repair gutters: Make sure gutters are free of material that could prevent the free flow of water.
Add mulch: Adding mulch to flower beds helps reduce weeds and helps your lawn retain moisture as the temperatures rise.
Fill in yard with additional soil: Filling in low areas around your yard with additional soil helps to prevent pooling water.
Check exterior drainage conditions: This helps to ensure that nothing is causing water to stand in puddles for more than 24 hours, and that water from any source is not draining toward your foundation.
Inspecting your roof: Visually inspect your roof for loose or missing shingles, and wear and tear. Also remove any debris that could accumulate or collect water, leading to leak damage.
Check garage doors: Keep hinges, rollers, and electric change well lubricated to ensure no difficulty with closing and opening the door.
Regular check-up of the deck: Check for cracks and splints that may occur. You can extend the life of your deck by using a sealant to protect the wood.