Behind every eye-catching house is a homeowner that works hard to keep it that way. Roof, siding, windows—every piece of your home needs routine care to work efficiently and keep up curb appeal.
A simple seasonal checklist will help keep track of your home’s growing to-do list and ensure nothing gets left behind (or worse, left to fester into a more expensive and time-consuming repair).
Take advantage of the summer sunshine and long hours and get to work on this summer maintenance checklist:
Part 1: Easy Maintenance
Tasks that take 30 minutes or less to complete
- Window Treatment: Investing in sun-blocking window covers and a new screen is energy efficient and hygienic, reducing costs while keeping out pesky bugs and dirt. Clean the exterior glass of debris and smudges while you’re out there.
- Clean Sink Disposal: An unattended kitchen disposal can become a smelly, clogged mess. If your disposal has a baffle, clean-up is easy. Simply take it out and wash out the food buildup. Otherwise, try freezing vinegar ice cubes and running them down the disposal to keep things smelling fresh.
- Test House Alarms: This easy (but life-saving) home maintenance step takes less than five minutes to complete. Simply push the test button on your smoke and carbon monoxide alarm and listen for the alarm. Don’t hear anything? Put in new batteries and repeat the test again.
- Vacuum the Vents: Do you have an irritable bathroom fan? You know, the kind that sounds like it’s wheezing and spitting every time you turn it on? It’s probably just full of dust and debris. Remove the coverings on your vents and vacuum out the dust. The result will be a quieter and more efficient vent.
Part 2: Hour-Long Projects
Tasks that take a few hours to complete
- Check for Leaky Pipes: Leaky pipes are a bank breaker. They hike up your water bill, ruin your lawn, and cause mold and mildew in your house. Feel your walls for wetness, check your water pressure, and monitor your water bill. Any suspicious signs could mean a leak.
- Inspect the Air Conditioners: There’s nothing worse than a 90-degree day without AC. If you have a window unit, be sure to remove and clean the filter every season. If you have central air, the rule of thumb is to have the AC unit inspected by a professional once a year to keep the frigid air blowing.
- Check Your Roof: Weather, wind, and everyday wear and tear can hurt your roof. Check for missing shingles or mold or anything that might hurt your home’s head. Better to make small repairs every summer than spend thousands of dollars to replace the whole roof.
Part 3: The Tough Tasks
Tasks that take a day or longer to complete.
- Restore the Deck and Patio: Decks and patios can take a beating with heavy snowfall in the winter and the thawing and refreezing of spring. Summer is the perfect time to restain the deck and check for loose floorboards or mold. Give the whole surface a good scrub, power wash, sealing, or even some sanding. A little elbow grease and you’ll be ready for that outdoor barbecue.
- Landscaping: An overgrown lawn can lead to animal and bug infestations, choke out existing plants, and reduce curb appeal. Make the most of long summer hours by putting in time mowing, weeding, and caring for your yard.
- Check Exterior Paint and Siding: Peeling paint and chipped siding can let in bugs and the weather. Algae and mildew can also show up if you live in a humid climate. Do a lap around your house and check for any problem areas. By painting, cleaning, and repairing issues now, you can avoid the vacation-killing expense of having to replace your home’s siding.
- Clean Your Gutters: Standing water and leaf buildup is the ultimate no-no. In the short term, unclean gutters can attract mosquitoes and other pests.