Summer heat, storms, and dry spells can be hard on your home. This important summer home maintenance checklist will help you get your home through the season with lower utility bills and less wear.
Clean Ceiling Fans and Replace AC Filters
If you only notice the underside of your ceiling fans, you’re in for a grimy surprise. Ceiling fans collect dust and grease (especially if they are close to the kitchen). Use an extendable duster with a damp cloth wrapped around it to clean ceiling fans and bathroom vents.
Inspect window air conditioning units and clean both the outside intake and inside air vents, and clean or replace the filter. A clean unit uses less energy. If you have central air, consult a pro.
Check Detectors and Replace Batteries
Test your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and replace the batteries if they aren’t hard-wired. Detectors can malfunction if they get dusty or if summer bugs get inside, so carefully dust the exterior.
Sweep Porches and Seal Decks
If you have a leaf blower, it can clear sidewalks, porches, and decks quickly—but beware of blowing out the sand in brick or stone walkways. Inspect your deck for nail pops and wear. If water soaks in rather than beads up, your deck needs a new coat of deck sealant.
Check for Leaks
The outdoor faucets and hoses provide some heat relief and summer fun, but leaks can cost you a lot in water bills. Check for leaky faucets and seal pinhole leaks in hoses with electrical tape.
Don’t wait until your basement floods to have your sewer line checked. Heavy summer use of appliances and toilets can cause clogs and backups. Contact a licensed plumber to inspect and rod out your sewer line. Sewer line repair and replacement is expensive, so preventative maintenance is the way to go.
Wash Windows and Scrub Screens
By midsummer, your window screen can get dusty and dirty, and your windows can get streaky. Remove and scrub screens. After they are rinsed and drying, wash the exterior of your windows. Replace the screens when they are dry, and head indoors to finish the job on the other side. If you don’t have windows that open inward for cleaning, be extremely careful using a ladder—falls are a major cause of injury and even death. A hose with a spray nozzle can do the job from the safety of the ground.
A critical look at the exterior of your home will tell you which shrubs need trimming and whether the siding needs cleaning. Look for missing shingles and call a pro to inspect and repair the roof. Check for cracking caulk around doors and windows. Arrange to have your chimney cleaned, so it will be safe and ready in the chill of the colder seasons. Add a new layer of mulch to the garden to hold moisture and discourage weeds. The list of summer home maintenance projects can get too long for just one weekend, so space out the chores and take advantage of good weather to get the jobs done.