Home Maintenance Tasks to Check Off for Summer
Now that the days are getting longer — and hotter — it’s time to get moving on some of those home maintenance projects. These to-dos, both indoors and out, will get your home in top shape for summer in a weekend or less.
Quick Tasks — One Hour or Less
Prevent mosquitoes. The key issue when it comes to mosquitoes is getting rid of any standing water. We’re not just talking about puddles and ponds — think any type of standing water. Even a tiny bottle cap filled with water can become a mosquito breeding ground. Stay ahead of your mosquito problem by simply walking your property a couple times per week and dumping any water that has collected, including flower pots and saucers, children’s toys, patio furniture, tarps, bird baths and anywhere else you find it.
Examine kitchen and bathroom fixtures. Go over your sinks and tile surrounds looking for slow leaks or any spots that need new caulk or grout. Watching these areas and finding problems early can prevent costly repairs or water damage in the future.
Inspect safety equipment. Smoke alarms, carbon monoxide detectors and fire extinguishers must be checked every once in a while to ensure they are working properly. Test carbon monoxide detector and smoke alarm batteries monthly by pressing the test button on the device. Replace batteries as necessary. Also, locate the expiration date on any fire extinguishers and replace them when necessary.
Tasks to Conquer Over a Weekend
Clean household textiles. Freshen up your soft furnishings by laundering drapes, slip covers, shower curtains and cushion covers. Not machine washable? Send them out for dry cleaning. Keep Roman blinds and upholstery looking sharp by using your vacuum’s upholstery attachment on them regularly. Professionally clean carpets or oversized area rugs. If you’re a DIY kinda person, rent a carpet cleaner and save a few bucks by cleaning them yourself.
Porch prep. Summertime is porch time and means relaxing with a cool drink while chatting with friends and neighbors. Get your porch into prime shape with a good cleaning. Sweep and wash the floor, wipe down window sills and exterior windows, and wash the front door. Clear out any cobwebs from the ceiling, corners and light fixtures. Either refresh your doormat or start the season with a brand new one. If you have any porch furniture, wipe it down and wash the cushions.
Make your yard fire-safe. For those who experience dry summers, it’s a smart move to think about fire prevention. Clear any dry brush for at least 30 feet surrounding your home. To accomplish this, simply remove any items that can become fuel for a fire, such as fallen leaves, needles, weeds, sticks and stacks of firewood.
Deep-clean the grill. Since summer is grilling season, it’s time to prepare your grill for a workout. A deep cleaning will not only make it look better, it’ll also make it perform more efficiently. Simply scrub the inside of the grill (including the grates) with a stiff grill brush and wash down the exterior with soapy water. Be sure to check the fuel line on gas grills for cracks and unclog any backed up burner holes.
Ready your lawn mower and garden tools. Not only are sharp tools safer, they’re also more efficient and do a better job. Get your lawn mower and landscaping tools ready for a season of hard work by sharpening and tuning them up so that they’re in perfect working condition when the time comes. Keep garden tools in prime shape all summer by wiping them down after use, drying them, and applying a few drops of multipurpose lubricating oil as needed.
Test watering systems. Because a blocked or leaking sprinkler or irrigation hose can cause big problems, it’s important to test your system at the start of the season as well as before going away on any trips.
Clear out the garage. There’s no better time than summer to take on a large project like cleaning and organizing the garage. Depending on how disorderly your garage is, this task may take a couple weekends to accomplish. It may be helpful to block off the time needed before you start so that there are no conflicts, and to find out where certain items can be taken, such as donations, hazardous waste, etc. Arranging for a dumpster may be necessary for really messy garages. Once the garage is cleared, think about incorporating some sort of storage system (wall-mounted is good) to keep things neat and orderly going forward.