Taking care of your home year-round will help you avoid massive renovations and costly repairs. Summer may seem like the best time of year to relax and enjoy the warm weather, but it is actually the best time to schedule yearly maintenance appointments and increase your home’s curb appeal through updates.
These 8 maintenance tips will help make sure your home stays in top shape.
1. Safety First: Check the Smoke Alarms and Carbon Monoxide Detectors
The smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors are vital to your safety, but we hardly ever think about them. The first thing you should do on your summer home maintenance agenda is to check to make sure they are working correctly. Replace the batteries if needed, and run a test just to be safe.
2. Prepare Your HVAC and Fans
A properly working air conditioner isn’t just for comfort. In many parts of the world, air conditioning isn’t just a luxury. It is a must for the occupants’ safety. After you’ve done a thorough check of your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors, it’s time to make sure the AC unit is working.
First of all, you’ll probably need to contact a professional to have the unit serviced. Poorly working AC units can waste energy and lead to an unexpected, sky-high electric bill. Always change the filter before running the AC for the summer season. Making sure the AC unit is in good working condition will also ensure that it lasts a long time, keeping you and your family cool, comfortable and safe in the summer heat.
Ceiling fans will also help to circulate cool air and keep everyone comfortable. Turn them on and make sure they are working, and dust the blades. You might also need to change the direction of the blades, too. You want the fans to spin counterclockwise. That way, they push the air downward, keeping the rooms cooler. If your fans are turning clockwise, you’ll want to find the direction switch on the side of the fan to switch it to the other direction.
3. Check the attic and the basement
The perfect time to check out the basement and attic of your home is the summertime. That is because they are usually cold in the winter months, so they don’t need much attention. However, during the spring and summer there is more heat in the air, which can cause damp, dark areas to grow mold and mildew.
Check for leaks that may have happened over the winter, and if you find mold or mildew, you can clean it with white vinegar or a mixture of bleach, and then apply a mold-killing spray to finish the cleanup. If you have a swamp cooler or your house feels like there is extra humidity in the air, consider using a dehumidifier to prevent mold from coming back.
In your attic, check to make sure animals or pests haven’t made their way in, and check for leaks as well. If you notice any signs of holes/leaks in the roof or pests, make sure to contact a professional immediately to prevent serious damage from occurring in your home.
4. Clean Up Internal Systems
The air vents in your home are often forgotten when spring cleaning. Vents can collect a lot of dust & other allergens over the winter, which irritates sinuses. The same goes for bathroom vents.
Replace corroded or leaky shower heads, and clean out the bathroom and kitchen drains.
Chimneys collect dirt and dust, and they outside can also crack which allows holes for water to come in. Repair the chimney flashing to stop leaks and mold growth during the summer. It is cheaper to have chimneys looked at and repaired during the summer months, and then it will be ready to help heat your home when winter comes back around.
5. Wash Window Screens and Doors
Clean and clear windows and doors can increase your curb appeal and give your home a fresh look. Bright and sparkly windows will also get potential buyers interested in your home if you’re planning to list it this year.
You’ll want to remove the screens and soap them down separately with a sponge. Any torn screens should be replaced. Clean off any leaves, twigs, and cobwebs from the sills, then wipe down the outside and inside of the window glass with a high-quality, streak-free window cleaner.
6. Gussy-Up Your Deck and Porch
The winter months are hard on wood, especially decks and porches, but the summer is when you want to be spending time outdoors grilling or hanging out with friends and family. Restaining and repairing decks and porches at the beginning of the summer will set you up for worry-free entertaining.
Make sure to clear off furniture and debris, then check for repairs that you might need to make like nails sticking up, rotting boards or areas that need to be sanded.
The check if you need to reseal the area, spray it down with a hose or pour a bucket on it. If the water beads up and forms small puddles, the seal is still good. However, if it soaks into the wood the seal is cracking or worn off and needs to be replaced to prevent the wood from rotting.
It is a good idea to check the fence as well, wooden fences especially. Metal or white picket PVC fence doesn’t need much maintenance. However, wooden fences go through the same weathering as decks and porches and may need to be repaired or resealed.
7. Test Your Outdoor Hoses & Faucets
Outdoor hoses and faucets get weathered during colder months, and can have tiny cracks that cause leaks. Hoses with minor leaks can be repaired with electrical tape temporarily. Faucets with leaks need to be tightened or replaced depending on the severity of the leak.
Make sure to check for mineral buildup as well such as hard water, rust, calcium or lime.
8. Clear Out Gutters & Downspouts
Gutters and downspouts stop water from collecting on the roof or around your home’s foundation. Making sure that these are clear from debris is crucial to the drainage system for your home, and will keep excess water from collecting around the foundation.
Spring is the perfect time to get started on your maintenance projects, that way you have plenty of time to relax the rest of the summer season. It is also the perfect time to get your home in top shape to get prospective buyers interested in your property.