7 Home Maintenance Tips for Summer
Summer might be the perfect time to kick back and relax with a nice drink or head out for some activities with the family, but it’s also one of the best times to take on some home maintenance. We’ve put together a great list of home maintenance ideas for you to consider. Some are things that you might not need to do every year, but it’s good to be aware of the issues you need to watch out for.
Check in on the Air Conditioner and Fans
If you didn’t replace the filter in the spring, it might be time to do so. And if you have pets or people with allergies in the home, you may want to replace the filter every month or two. Many air conditioning units require annual maintenance, and if you don’t get this done, you could void the warranty. If you’ve been in your home for a year, it’s time to schedule that maintenance.
Using ceiling fans can help your home stay cool while keeping the air conditioner at a lower setting. Make sure to dust off the blades, and check that the fan is spinning in the counterclockwise direction. People don’t always realize that fans have two directions - one for summer and one for winter. You want the summer setting.
Add Dirt and/or Mulch Around the Exterior of the Home
As the home settles, the dirt around it might shift and settle as well. This could present a danger to the foundation of the home. You want the dirt to slope away from the home, thus directing any rainwater away from the foundation. It’s a good idea to check the exterior to see if settling (or even gardening!) has created a situation where water can pool around the foundation. If so, add some extra dirt or mulch to these areas.
Repair Cracks in the Driveway and Walkway
During the winter, water can seep into any cracks in the driveway and walkway. When it freezes, it expands, making the cracks bigger. The summer is the perfect time to repair these cracks because you usually need a few days of warm, dry weather for the repairs to take hold.
If your home is fairly new and your driveway doesn’t have cracks yet, try to keep it that way. Re-sealing the driveway is inexpensive and will help you maintain its pristine look.
Keep the Bugs Away
Bugs are always out in full force during the summer months, and while you know they serve their purpose in the food chain, you don’t really want to have them hanging out in or around your home. Check that there aren’t any holes in your home where bugs can get in to build their nests. You may want to apply some mild pesticides to the exterior of the home.
You’ll also want to get rid of any conditions that they’ll thrive in. For instance, mosquitoes like to breed in pools of stagnant water, as you might find in a bird bath or an empty bucket that collected some rainwater. Other bugs like living in piles of yard debris. Make sure your yard doesn’t have these things, and you’ll have a better chance of keeping bugs away from your home.
Wash and Re-seal Your Deck
Many people don’t realize that decks need regular care until it’s too late. Depending on the type of deck you have, you should be staining, painting, or resealing it every two to three years. Even on the “off” years, a good power washing can help keep your deck in the best possible shape.
When you clean the deck, choose a cloudy day with a lower temperature. This allows you to clean it well without the risk of having the soap evaporated by the sun too quickly. At the same time, you don’t want it to rain soon after you reseal it, so if you plan on doing that, make sure to watch the weather reports, and choose a time when there’s no rain in the forecast.
Clean the Windows
You should wash your windows - inside and out - at least once a year, and summer’s usually a good time to do this because you won’t mind having the windows open. It’s best to use a glass cleaner or vinegar if you want to avoid streaks.
While you’re cleaning, check the caulking around your windows. It tends to deteriorate over time due to expanding and contracting as the weather changes. These cracks could allow bugs or water to enter your home, and both of these can cause expensive damage. Properly re-caulking the area around the windows can also improve energy efficiency, so you have an even better reason to do it.
Tackle Any Large Home Improvement Project
If there’s anything you’ve been thinking about doing to your home, the summer is probably a good time to get started. The longer days make it easier for you to stay focused, and you won’t have to worry about keeping your windows open to air out things like the smell of fresh paint. Furthermore, work tends to slow down a bit during the summer in many industries, so you may be able to take a few days off to tackle a project.
You want to be able to enjoy the summer in your new home, but taking on a few maintenance projects will give you the peace of mind you need to truly feel relaxed. Make a plan to do some of these things before your calendar fills up.