Get Set For Summer: 10 Awesome Summer Home Maintenance Tips

Home maintenance may not be top of your mind when the sun is shining and the lake is calling, but now that summer has (finally) arrived, there are some things you should be thinking about to get your property in top notch condition – whether to put it on the market, or simply enjoy it yourself.

TIP 1: Seal Up Tight

Air loss through ducts can lead to high electricity costs and, according to the experts, can account for nearly 30% of a cooling system’s energy consumption. Use caulk to seal cracks and openings in your home as an inexpensive way to save money on your utilities, as well as help improve your home’s air quality, prevent moisture problems, and prolong the life of your HVAC system. Pay particular attention to leaks around doors, windows, attic access panels, recessed ceiling lights, electrical outlets, and switch plates.

TIP 2: Scrub the Decks

Get your outdoor space ready for backyard barbecues and lounging by decluttering and cleaning. Use a broom, leaf blower, or wet-dry vacuum to remove debris from all patio surfaces. (To really deep-clean your deck, considering renting an electric pressure washer.)

TIP 3: Don’t Forget the Furniture

Next, tackle the outdoor furniture. Use a mixture of warm water and dish detergent to gently wipe down furniture cushions before leaving them out in the sun to dry. Open your patio umbrella, and use a vacuum or broom to remove any cobwebs. Wash the umbrella with soapy water and leave it open to dry. Finally, wash the patio furniture frames with soapy water, and rinse everything off with a hose.

TIP 4: Dust Ceiling Fan Blades

With summer here you will want to keep cool off your home and keep the air circulating – just be sure you're not circulating dust and cobwebs as well. It only takes a few minutes to dust your ceiling fans.

TIP 5: Get Wasp Traps and Hang Them Away from Eating Areas

Nothing ruins a great meal on your patio quicker than being bothered by pesky wasps. Hang wasp traps about 20′ from your outdoor living and dining area and entice these pesky little critters away from you and your guests.

Tip 6: Plan for Extreme Heat

Hopefully the temperatures will be less extreme this summer than last year’s heat dome, but heat waves are a part of summer.  Keep the cool air in and hot air out by ensuring you have adequate weather stripping on your doors, windows and garage doors. Remember that weather stripping wears out over time, so you'll want to replace these where needed.

TIP 7: Freshen Your Pool

Nothing looks less appealing than a pool full of algae, so take a few easy steps to keep your water nice and clear.  Test the pH level weekly with a pool water test kit to make sure chemicals are balanced and safe. (Chemical level guidelines vary depending on the season and weather conditions, but the pH level should remain between 7.2 and 7.8 for the cleanest and safest water.) To destroy any contaminants, you’ll want to shock the water—preferably at night so the sun doesn’t burn off the chemical cocktail.

Note: Take care to never add the shock directly to your skimmer or directly to the water (which can bleach and weaken your liner). Instead, dissolve the shock in a bucket of water before adding it to your pool.

TIP 8: Inspect Your Windows

Not only will poorly insulated or installed windows let in all sorts of pesky summer bugs, it also can drain energy from your home. Make sure to inspect your screens for holes and check for any gaps between your windows and their casings.

TIP 9: Show Your Washer and Dryer Some Love

Hot sunny days can lead to extra laundry so make sure to keep your appliances in tip top condition (nobody wants to be schlepping down to the laundromat when you could be playing beach volleyball instead). A bit of diluted bleach or white vinegar in the washer drum will usually take care of most cleaning needs and prevent mold from growing.

If you have a front-loading washer, also make sure to clean the gasket (that circular piece of rubber that seals the door). Using a diluted vinegar or bleach solution, wipe behind the gasket to remove any buildup of detergent or debris. Leave the door open when you’re done to allow the gasket to dry.

Also, remove and wash the lint screen in your dryer (especially important if you use dryer sheets). If you find that the automatic cycle isn’t fully drying your clothes, check for excess lint in the dryer vent tube.

Note: Take it easy on detergent! According to the experts, using too much detergent can damage your washer. Detergent residue can build up in the washer (and on your clothes) causing unpleasant odors in the machine, clothes not completely rinsed, and -over time- can cause machine components to fail.

TIP 10: Drain Your Water Heater

Just like changing your car’s oil, flushing your water heater improves your unit’s efficiency and life span—and keeps your showers as hot as you like them. You should drain your water heater once a year to clear out built-up sediment and minerals that could affect its performance.

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