As the temperatures rise, there’s no time like the present to get started on your summer home maintenance projects. We’ve compiled a list of tasks to do so you can enjoy your home, both inside and out, while the weather is warm.
13 Projects to Get Your Home Ready for Summer
Outdoor Home Maintenance
1. Power Wash Your Driveway and Sidewalks
A great place to start with summer home maintenance is to thoroughly inspect and clean your sidewalks, deck, patio and driveway. The key to cleaning these areas is to use a pressure washer. Before you start power washing, it’s a good idea to check these areas for any cracks and weeds. Once you have given everything a full inspection, wash away all the dirt, mold and grime that’s built up over the past year.
You can check with your local home improvement store about renting a pressure washer for about $40 a day if you don’t own one.
2. Clean Out Gutters and Downspouts
Shane McDonough, Director of Marketing at Ned Stevens Gutter Cleaning, knows that one tough and tedious task you’ll need to check off your summer home care list is cleaning the exterior of your home – specifically your roof, gutters and downspouts.
“From stains to moss to bacteria, dingy roofs, siding and decks not only look poorly from the curb, but can also contribute to an array of other household problems and even shorten the lifespan of your home. While pressure washing can damage your home and lead to expensive repairs, soft washing is a safe, eco-friendly, biodegradable option that can boost curb appeal, increase energy savings and extend the lifespan of your home.”
Shane McDonough | Ned Stevens Gutter Cleaning
Soft washing is recommended for items such as screens, outdoor wood furniture, cedar, wood or vinyl siding. You can use your same pressure washer, just replace the tip with a nozzle that widens the spray of water so it’s modified to a lower PSI (pressure per square inch).
3. Wash Windows and Replace Window Screens
Washing your exterior windows won’t make much of a difference if you don’t wash your window screens, too. Remove your window screens and gently scrub them with hot, soapy water. If your screens are too filthy to be cleaned, you may want to replace them.
While you’re spending time examining your screens, you should also examine your windows and doors to ensure they seal tightly and function properly to conserve the cool air from your air conditioning. If your home isn’t equipped with central air, check out our tips for cooling your home without it.
4. Prevent Bug Breeding Grounds
Since warmer weather calls for more time spent outside, you’ll want to maintain a yard that isn’t swarming with insects. A quick spritz of outdoor bug spray around the perimeter of your house and yard will keep you relaxed in your yard, instead of running inside for cover. You can also caulk your windows and doors to help stop bugs and ants from infiltrating your home.
5. Beautify Your Yard
Make your yard look fresh from the grass to the trees. Start by removing all dead parts from trees or plants and doing some weeding. Laying mulch in your flower beds will help keep weeds away and let your plants retain moisture. This is also a great time to get your home and backyard ready for summer cookouts and pool parties with some new landscaping.
6. Prep Your Grill for Backyard BBQs
Clean and test your grill to make sure it’s ready for hamburger and hot dog season. If you have a gas grill, heat it up for about 20-30 minutes and then scrub the grates clean with a grill brush. For a charcoal grill, grab a bucket of hot, soapy water and clean with a sponge.
To ensure proper grill safety, check hoses for cracks, holes and blockages. Don’t forget to place your grill 10 feet or more away from any structures, railings or other flammable items before firing it up.
7. Stage Outdoor Furniture
Ditch the rusty old hand-me-down chairs and check out your local home goods store for some simple furniture to create a comfortable outdoor space you’ll want to spend time in.
Indoor Home Maintenance
8. Examine Your (Indoor) Hoses
First on the summer home maintenance checklist for your indoor spaces is to inspect the hoses to your washer, dehumidifier, dishwasher, icemaker, toilets and refrigerator for any signs of wear and tear, leaks or cracking. You should replace these hoses once every 3-5 years, but it is important to regularly check for any signs of leaking.
9. Test Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors
Replace old batteries and check to ensure things are in working order with all smoke alarms, carbon monoxide detectors and home timers.
10. Clean the Garbage Disposal and Dishwasher
This summer home maintenance tip isn’t necessarily a warm weather chore, but it is important to clean out your garbage disposal and dishwasher every once in a while. You can clean out your garbage disposal by flushing it with hot water and some dish soap. To clean your dishwasher, add 2 cups of vinegar to the bottom of the machine and run the machine on low wash. If your dishes are still coming out dirty, it may be time to replace the appliance.
11. Reverse Ceiling Fans
It’s a good idea to reverse the direction of your ceiling fan during the summer so that it spins counter-clockwise. This pushes the air straight down, creating a nice breeze. To do so, shut off the fan and wait for the blades to come to a complete stop. Once everything is still, use a ladder or step stool to locate the direction switch – this will probably be on the side of the fan above the blades. Flip the switch in the opposite direction and then turn the fan back on. While you’re up there, make sure to dust your fan blades as well.
12. Perform Washing Machine Maintenance
Your washing machine is one of those appliances that needs some light maintenance every now and then. When your washer is not in use, inspect the seal between the door opening and the drum for areas of soil buildup or stains. If you find any, you can clean it with a mixture of ¾ cup of chlorine bleach and a gallon of warm water. Rub the area with the bleach and water solution and let it sit for about 5 minutes. Wipe dry with a clean cloth, and let it air dry. This will remove any odors and keep your clothes from getting stained by dirt deposits inside the seal.
Take note of the age of your washer and dryer and be prepared for when they’ll need to be replaced.
13. Wipe Down and Clean Baseboards
Baseboards are often overlooked when it comes to cleaning. It can be tough to muster up the energy to get on your hands and knees and clean the trim, but it is something you want to do at least once a year during a deep clean of your home to keep dust and dirt from building up. A damp cloth and a little patience is all you need to clean up the trim around your home.
Prepare Your Home for All Seasons
Now that you’ve successfully tackled these summer home tips, check out our other seasonal project lists to keep your home maintenance on track year-round: