Day One: Detectors & Cooling Units
We’re gonna ease you into these set of home maintenance tips for summer by knocking a few important (though easy) items off the to-do list on the first day.
I recommend that you focus on the following:
- Detectors: Replace old batteries and check to ensure things are in working order for all smoke alarms, carbon monoxide detectors and any home timers.
- Fans: Use a damp rag or a clothes dryer sheet attached to a paint roller to clean all ceiling and house fans, including bathroom vent fans. If you’re feeling inspired, clean the back of your washer and dryer units too.
- A/C units: You may want to let a pro handle your central unit, but replacing filters and cleaning up portable A/C units can boost performance and cut energy bills.
Day Two: Refrigerator & Range
There are a ton of to-do list items one can tackle in the kitchen (if only there were 29 hours in a day), but key areas to look at in day two include:
- Fridge coils: Dusty condenser coils, the items responsible for removing heat from a fridge, can lead to high energy bills (just be sure to turn the fridge off before vacuuming the condenser coil).
- Range hood and filter: Letting grease and dust accumulate can cut short the life of a range hood fan, not to mention smell less-than desirable. Wipe this area down with a citrus-based cleaner and soak the filter in soapy, hot water to make it good as new.
Day Three: Bathrooms
You’ve already tackled the bathroom vent fans, now it’s time to finish the job and make your bathrooms better than ever. A couple of summer home improvement tips to focus on in this area of the house include:
- Showerheads: Mineral deposits can collect on your showerheads, affecting both performance and longevity. The easiest way to clean these is to screw the showerhead off and soak in a pan of vinegar overnight. Or, if need be, swap out your old model for a new one.
- Drains: Nobody likes to clean drains, but the cost down the road can be significant if not attended to. Simply pull out the drain mechanism, clean it with a drain stick, pour some bleach down and rinse.
Day Four: BBQ/Outdoor Cookers
It’s time to head outside. If you plan to use your BBQ grill or outside cooker, it’s important to give them a good, deep cleaning before having everybody over.
A couple of tips for getting maximum benefit:
- Gas grills: Start by turning the heat up and let the grill cook for about 20-30 minutes. Allow to cool and then scrub with a grill brush.
- Charcoal grills: Empty the grill completely and clean with a sponge dipped in hot, soapy water.
Day Five: Porch & Deck
Once you’ve cleaned up your outdoor grills, it’s time to look at your outdoor entertaining areas. This means taking a gander at things like:
- Porch: Give your porch a good cleaning by sweeping them up thoroughly, then mopping them. You’ll be surprised how much better they look. Give them a scrub, or a material-compatible polish, if you want to go the extra mile.
- Deck: Hammer any loose nails sticking out and examine your deck thoroughly to ensure there’s not structural damage, such as rotting. Also, check if it needs re-sealing; you can do this by spraying with water. If the water soaks in, you know it’s time for some more sealant.
Day Six: Flora
Once you’ve got some of the big structural summer home maintenance items out of the way, you can focus on the beautification of your home. That includes tackling things like:
- Mulch: Not only does mulch keep the weeds away, but it also helps your plants and trees retain moisture in the summer heat.
- Plants and trees: Remove any dead parts from your plants and trees, especially from any perennials and annuals that haven’t had a trim in awhile – and any shrubbery near your large A/C unit.
- Irrigation systems: Test all your irrigation systems for any cracks or worn-out sections.
Day 7: Thorough Once-Over
You’ve done all the summer home maintenance heavy lifting. Now it’s time to walk through the house and check for any areas that need attending to. Pay particular attention to problem areas such as:
- Leaks (of any kind)
- Mold and mildew
- Excess moisture in crawlspace
- Holes and cracks (especially the driveway)
Doing What You Can
You may not get to every single item on this summer home maintenance checklist. Life happens; you may not even get to all of the items on day one.
Hopefully you have some ideas for small ways that you can improve and beautify your home. The next time you find yourself with a bit of spare time this summer — in between Little League games and trips to the county fair — you’ll have some idea of what summer home maintenance tasks to add to your to-do list.