Summer is coming and if you endured a couple seasons of harsh weather conditions, or if you have some deferred maintenance to take care of, it is time to get started. Rain, wind, and other weather fun may have wreaked havoc with your roof, your fence, or your yard, but the “obvious” fixes are only the beginning. Use this guide to address some common issues that can help you fix up your home this summer and make it run and look better all year long.
Do a deep fridge cleanout
Have some unidentified leftovers in a Tupperware way in the back or a long-ago expired jar of pickles in the door? The first step is to chuck it all – but make sure to schedule your cleanout to coincide with the trash pickup for the week. The last thing you want is a jar of mayo siting out in the bin for five consecutive 100-degree days.
Change the batteries in your smoke detectors
Smoke alarm batteries should be changed out every six months. To make it easier to remember when it’s time, do what the upper-organized do: Put yourself on a twice-a year-schedule in summer and winter (June 1 and December 1, for instance), and mark the dates in your phone so you don’t forget.
Change out your filters
This is one of those areas where homebuyers don’t tend to heed product manufacturers’ guidelines. The general recommendation is every 30–60 days. Been a little longer than that for you? That means dust, dirt, and allergens could be invading your home.
Deep clean your carpets
You should be doing this at least once a year to protect your carpets and limit allergens. Summer is the perfect time in most climates because the rainy season has passed, which means there’s less likelihood of kids and pets tracking in mud.
Have your air conditioning unit serviced
If you’re the type of person who only makes a call about your air conditioning when it’s not working, consider this: Units that are serviced regularly tend to last longer and have a lower incidence of breaking down.
Check your deck
Look over your deck for signs of rotting and hammer in any nails that are poking up. Then, determine if your deck needs sealing. Sprinkle water on the deck’s boards. If the water beads up, you’re in good shape; but if it soaks right in, it is time to reseal.
If you haven’t cleaned your showerhead in a year or, ever, it is well past time. This involves one of our favorite home maintenance tips of all time, because it takes almost zero effort.
First slip a rubber band over the top of the showerhead. You may want to loop it around the shower arm once or twice so the plastic bag will stay in place. Then fill a plastic bag with white vinegar. Attach the bag to the showerhead by slipping the top of it underneath the rubber band. Wait one hour, then remove the bag and turn on the water to flush. Polish with a soft cloth.
Examine your clothes dryer vent
This is a critically important maintenance issue and should be done regularly, about once a year depending on the size of the household and dryer usage. Not only will a clean vent make your dryer run more efficiently and dry your clothes faster, but it will also help keep your home and family safe. Dryer vents accumulate highly flammable lint, and failure to clean out lint is the leading cause of dryer fires. According to the National Fire Protection Agency, over 15, 000 dryer fires occurred in the U.S. in 2010. A plugged dryer vent can also burn out the heating element.
Check your roof
A strong storm season may have left you with loose tiles or shingles. Now is the time to have your roof checked to make sure you won’t end up with leaks when the rain comes again.
Do a leak check
Chances are, your utilities will cost more in the summer because of the expense of cooling your home, so every little bit of savings helps. Check your hoses and exterior faucets for leaks, even a tiny drip can add up to a big waste of water.