What to Do to Keep Your Home in Top Shape This Summer
Summer is here, which means it’s the perfect time for you and your family to get outdoors. While you plan recreational activities like boating, swimming and picnics, you should also be building your home maintenance checklist into your schedule.
Complete the simple yet valuable projects we’ve suggested here to best enjoy your household this season while protecting your family from costly repairs and safety problems. While you may consider hiring professionals to finish some tasks, you can do many of these activities yourself — and you may even enjoy them.
While you may have missed out on doing the most popular spring home maintenance tasks, the summer weather offers ample time to complete them before the change of seasons happens again.
Longer, sunnier days mean more exposure on your home to even stronger UV rays. While people tend to love the sun and welcome its presence through their home windows, our furniture will suffer at this expense and undergo fading if proper precautions are not taken. Thankfully, there is a fix to this problem that is as simple as buying the right window coverings to fight the sun. There are so many different options, from cordless to room darkening and even custom sizes, that there is no excuse to ruin another piece of furniture from too much sun exposure.
Other simple and affordable home improvement projects perfect for beating the summer heat include installing or replacing horizontal and vertical blinds and shades, reversing ceiling fans to make you feel more comfortable in the heat and inspecting hoses throughout the home for signs of wear and tear.
Enhance Your Landscaping
If you haven’t already planted new flowers, vegetables and herbs, now is the time to do so. Most American communities enjoy an abundance of sunshine and plenty of rain in the summer, which allows plants to grow quickly. Before you place your favorite annuals or perennials, add rich soil to your flower beds. After planting your blooms, peppers and basil, watering with an organic plant booster will allow produce and blossoms to multiply faster.
Aerate your lawn to help grass become bountiful again. Ensure your lawn mower blades are sharp before cutting the grass so you remove long pieces in less time. Homeowners should also know that ideal cutting heights depend on the species of grass you have in your yard. Understanding how often you should mow will help keep your grass healthier.
Finally, consider composting your garden and kitchen waste to make your yard greener. This is one of many Eco-friendly practices you can do around your home that will positively impact your community and local environment, while allowing you to enjoy a more beautiful outdoor space.
Inspect Your Air Conditioner
No one wants their AC to break in the middle of summer. To prevent repairs, you can hire a heating and cooling professional to inspect your air conditioner — or follow a few simple steps to do it yourself. If you decide to DIY, ensure your exterior unit is clean and free of debris. Remove attached plants, wipe off dirt and dust, and check that condenser coils do not have a buildup of dryer lint or grass clippings. If you cannot fix outdoor unit obstructions safely, call an expert.
Next, move the inspection inside. Replace your air filter and create a maintenance plan to switch it out at least once every quarter. If your family members have pets or allergies, you may have to swap the filter more often.
Check Your Roof
While roofing companies will help you inspect your roof for problems, you can also do it yourself. Summer is a great time to check joints and shingles, since rainstorms can quickly lead to breaches. Use a sturdy ladder when heading up to the top of your home — and consider doing your inspection in the early hours of the day when your roof is cooler.
First, look for signs of sagging or aging. Curling, buckling and missing shingles are a warning sign that your envelope is compromised and could allow water into your home. These are some easy ways to tell if you need a new roof. You should also look for leaves and dirt in downspouts and gutters. This debris could cause excess moisture to build up on top of your roof and around your home.
Finally, take a look at your counter flashing. This waterproof metal strip should not be cracked or damaged around the edges. If you notice disrepair, call a maintenance professional to reseal the area. If your roof is decades old or may cost considerable money to repair, talk to a roofing expert about replacement costs.
Re-Seal Your Deck
Outdoor decks and patios should be re-sealed annually. This activity prevents heat and sunlight from cracking wood open, while keeping moisture like rainfall from warping the planks. To complete the project, first sweep the surface and remove any debris from cracks. Next, scrub the wood with bleach, warm water and a brush. You can also rent a pressure washer for a quicker clean.
After removing dirt and debris from the surface of the deck, apply a stain or waterproofing sealer product. Specially designed pads containing tiny stain reservoirs make the sealer easy to apply on a weekend. You can even use a foam roller. Allow the sealer to dry before using the deck again. In just a matter of hours, your deck will be ready to enjoy all summer long.
Treat Your Pool
If you have a pool, it’s time to get it ready for outdoor barbecues and parties. While you can treat the water yourself, creating a safe balance of chemicals can be more complicated than you think. Should you have trouble, hire a pool maintenance company to restore the right balance of chlorine and ensure the water looks inviting. Most regular upkeep plans also come with cleaning services. Leaves and debris should be removed regularly to enhance hygiene and appearance.
Caulk and Seal Windows
Inspect your windows for old weather stripping. If you find breaches or old sealing, it is time to re-caulk. To do this one yourself, use a caulk softener to coax old material away from the window surface. After letting it soak in for a few hours, remove the aged product with a putty knife. Next, install new glazing and apply new caulk. After giving the material 12 to 15 hours to set, you should notice less draftiness around your windows.
Pressure Wash Your Exterior
In addition to pressure washing your deck, you can also use the machine to clean your paths, sidewalks, driveway and the exterior of your house. Wear safety goggles and rubber-soled footwear to stay safe around the water. If you are using a gas washer, fill it with gasoline. An electric machine should be plugged into a properly grounded outlet.
Connect your water hose to the washer and fill the soap reservoir with a cleaning solution if you want more debris removal power. Attach your desired spray tip to the washer nozzle, then turn it on. Position the tip at least two feet from the space you wish to clean. Hold the nozzle at a 45-degree angle and begin spraying from side to side. Use this movement on every area you wash, from vinyl siding to concrete.
Summer Maintenance Recap
We know summer maintenance can seem like a lot at once, but we promise the results are well worth the time and effort. If it seems like these warmer months have snuck up on you, there is still lots of time to get your home and yard in summer shape. By spending a few mornings or afternoons improving the look and function of your house, you will ensure your family enjoys the season while enhancing your home’s value throughout the year.
Additional Real Estate Resources Worth a Look
- Helpful real estate articles at Ello – see an excellent compilation of real estate article to help buyers and sellers make excellent business decisions.
About the author: The above article on summer maintenance checklist was written by Kenneth Gordon. Kenneth serves as the Assistant VP of Factory Direct Blinds. Kenneth is responsible for overseeing the planning, development and execution of all Factory Direct Blinds marketing and advertising initiatives.
Before joining Factory Direct Blinds, Kenneth served 6 years in the United States Air Force as a Military Police Officer. Kenneth enjoys spending time with his two sons and beautiful wife Brittany when he’s not working or writing.