With the warm weather and all-day barbecues, summer can be a difficult time to focus on home maintenance. While it’s much more fun to soak up the sun and relax outside with friends, investing a little time and effort now can save you from future headaches and expenses. Here are several essential summer maintenance tips you should follow inside and outside your home.
Exterior Home Maintenance
Take a look at some things you can do to keep your home's exterior in good condition:
Inspect and Clean Your Gutters
Summer can bring heavy rain and thunderstorms, so keeping your gutters free of debris such as leaves, twigs, and dirt is important. Clogged gutters can lead to water overflow, causing damage to your roof, foundation, and landscaping. Grab a ladder, gloves, and a garden hose to clean your gutters thoroughly. You may also want to consider installing gutter guards to prevent future debris buildup.
Examine and Clean Outdoor Spaces
There are several outdoor home components and areas you should cross off your summer home maintenance checklist, including:
- Foundation — Examine your foundation for cracks and leaks, which can lead to flooding, pest infestations, and increased levels of radon gas.
- Siding — Inspect your home’s siding and see if it’s rotting, loose, or damaged. Power wash any built-up debris and consider hiring a contractor to handle any necessary repairs.
- Windows — Clean your windows inside and out using vinegar, water, and a clean, lint-free cloth. Consider using a foam paint brush to clean hard-to-reach window tracks.
- Decks, Patios, and Outdoor Furniture — Look for loose boards, screws, or nails on your deck and replace them as needed. Also, clean and reseal your patio or deck to protect it from UV rays and prevent rotting. Wipe down your outdoor furniture regularly, check for loose screws, and retighten them with a screwdriver if needed.
- Walkways and Driveway — Inspect your walkways and driveway and refill any cracks with a flexible sealant. You may need to patch, resurface, and replace your driveway if it's severely damaged.
Inspect and Maintain Your Roof
Your roof is your home's first line of defense against the elements. Summer is an ideal time to schedule a professional roof inspection. They will check for any loose or damaged shingles, signs of leaks, or potential issues with the flashing. Quickly addressing these problems can prevent costly repairs and extend the life of your roof.
Test Sprinkler Systems and Outdoor Faucets
Your landscape needs plenty of attention during summer, so now is an excellent time to test your sprinkler system and outdoor faucets. Run the irrigation system and turn on your faucets, then check for any visible leaks and make any necessary repairs. Also, set the timer so the system engages at dawn to save water. These temperatures are cooler during this time, allowing your lawn to absorb the water before it evaporates.
Maintain Your Lawn and Garden
Your lawn and garden also need to be well-maintained during summer. Here are some essential duties to keep on your to-do list:
- Mow and edge your lawn regularly. Make sure you set your mower to the highest setting to avoid cutting your grass too short, which can stress the grass and lead to weed growth.
- Weed your garden beds and apply herbicide if needed. Mulch can also help prevent weeds from returning and help your plants retain moisture.
- Hedge shrubs and prune overgrown flowers to help your plants grow thicker and more voluminous.
- Pinch off dead flowers to promote new growth.
Clean and Maintain Your Outdoor Grill
Grilling burgers and dogs is about as summertime as it gets. But if your grates are dirty, they can impart an off flavor and make your food get stuck. That’s why you should give your grill a good, deep cleaning once a season. Use a grill scraper or brush to remove burned-on grease from the grates and empty the drip tray. If the grill starts looking dirty after some use, consider putting all the burners on high with the lid closed for about 15 minutes, as this will help burn off any remaining grime.
Interior Home Maintenance
Maintain your home’s interior by following these tips:
Check and Clean Your Air Conditioning System
As the temperature rises, your air conditioning system will work harder to keep your home cool. Start by checking and replacing the air filters to ensure optimal airflow and energy efficiency. Clear any debris from the outdoor unit and ensure the condensate drain is not clogged. Additionally, you may want to schedule an annual professional maintenance check to keep your AC running smoothly throughout the summer.
Check and Repair Window Screens
Window screens are an effective way to keep pests out of your home while providing fresh air indoors. However, they can get damaged easily. First, check your screens for any tears. You can usually patch smaller holes, but you might need to replace the whole mesh screening for larger ones. Also, check for any frame damage. You may need to replace the entire screen if there’s significant damage.
Test and Maintain Smoke Detectors
Whether it’s in the dog days of summer or the throes of winter, house fires can happen anytime, so keeping your smoke detectors in working order is essential. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recommends testing your smoke detectors at least once a month using the test button on the device. If the sound is weak or nonexistent, replace your batteries. Also, if any detectors chirp, meaning the battery is low, replace your batteries as soon as possible.
Check Water Fixtures for Leaks
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reports that an average household’s leaks can account for nearly 10,000 gallons of wasted water annually. By fixing these leaks, you can conserve water and save about 10% on your water bill. Check the dishwasher, faucets, toilets, and showerheads for leaks and may any necessary repairs. You may also consider installing a leak detection device to help catch leaks early before they cause significant water damage.
Check and Seal Windows and Doors
Air leaks can make your home feel uncomfortable and raise your energy bill, so inspect your windows and doors to see if air is entering your home. If you can see daylight around the door or window frame, then there is an air leak. Luckily, you can usually seal these leaks with caulk or weather stripping.
Ensure your home remains in top shape throughout the season and beyond by following these summer maintenance tips. Another way to help keep your home protected is by purchasing homeowners insurance from Mercury. We offer best-in-class coverage at an affordable rate, giving you peace of mind whenever the unexpected happens.