While the majority of us have been spending lots of time at home the past few months doing our part to “flatten the curve” of Coronavirus, summer has officially arrived in New England, and our home maintenance likely hasn’t been at the top of our to-do lists. But with each change of seasons comes a new set of maintenance tasks for your home. Now that summer is in full swing, you’ll want to check on your exterior and interior, appliances, and electrical systems to help prevent breakdowns or unexpected repairs — and to help save you money down the line. Taking the time to do the proper maintenance now can help you catch small problems before they turn into larger ones in the future.
From air-conditioner upkeep to a fresh coat of exterior paint, these simple tasks will keep your home looking brand new. Here’s everything you need to do to keep your home and yard in tip-top shape this summer:
Check detectors. Examine your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors to ensure they are working properly. Run a test and replace batteries, if needed.
Refresh your gardens. Primp your plants by deadheading old perennials and annuals to keep them productive and encourage further blooming. Adopt a watering schedule for your gardens — train your plants to endure drier days by watering deeply 2-3 times per week, instead of lightly on a daily basis; this “schedule” will help promote the growth of strong, deep roots. Add a layer of mulch to keep weeds down, help the ground retain moisture during hot spells and give your plants a chance to grow.
Clean your grill. Give your outdoor cooker a deep cleaning for all of the outdoor grilling ahead.
- For gas grills: Close the lid, turn the heat up to high and let the grill cook with the lid closed for about 30 minutes. Let the grill cool then sweep it with a grill brush. Wipe away any residue and use hot water, dish soap and a scrub brush to clean both the exterior and interior of the grill. Wipe down the exterior with a damp sponge and a gentle cleanser. Clean the grill’s drip trays.
- For charcoal grills: Empty the grill and wipe away any dust or ashy residue. Use hot water, liquid dish soap and a scrub brush or sponge to clean the inside and outside of the grill. Let the grill dry completely before next use.
Power wash your porch and deck.
- Deck: Inspect your deck to see if there are any rotting boards that need to be replaced or nails that need to be hammered back in. If you notice bubbling and cracks in the sealant of the deck, it’s time to get have it resealed. Power wash your deck to maintain a fresh look and prevent wood from splitting/cracking.
- Porch: Sweep painted porch floors then mop them with an all-purpose cleaner. If you see a lot of built-up dirt on the floorboards, you may need to scrub them with a heavy duty brush.
Inspect air conditioners. If you have a central A/C system, consider having it professionally serviced. By doing this, you can extend the life of your A/C unit and reduce the need for costly repairs. If you have a window A/C unit, clean or replace the filter.
Inspect your water heating and filtration systems.
- Hot water tank: Drain your hot water tank to remove buildup and debris, then flush the system until the water runs clear. Draining about a quarter of the tank every few months helps keep the system free of debris — and you can do it using only a garden hose and a bucket!
- Water filters: Replace water filters if necessary (including the filter in the ice maker).
Inspect House Exterior.
- Power wash siding or brick: Eliminate any dust, dirt or mold that’s making your house appear dirty.
- Repair and Repaint: If you notice any chipped, cracking or faded exterior paint, repair and apply a fresh coat of paint to protect your home from the elements.
- Clean out gutters and downspouts: Even though this is typically done in the spring or fall seasons, it’s also a great idea for the summer months, as storms and powerful winds can cause debris to fall into the gutters.
- Wash windows: Give your windows a thorough cleaning both inside and out. You’ll notice a difference immediately!
- Inspect the foundation: Inspect the foundation of your home for any leaks or cracks. Foundation cracks can create an entry point for groundwater, which can lead to serious flooding.
- Inspect the driveway. Address any repairs or imperfections. In doing so, you’re preventing them from becoming susceptible to any additional damage.
- Inspect the roof. Check your roof for missing shingles, mold or anything else that might impact your roof’s integrity.
Inspect House Interior.
- Check for leaks: Re-caulk seals on leaky doors and windows. This can increase your home’s energy efficiency. Check for leaks in additional places such as the kitchen, all bathrooms and around bathroom cabinets.
- Clean the dryer vent and exhaust duct: Clean clogged lint and dust in dryer vents. This can prevent a house fire.
- Clean garbage disposal and bathrooms sinks/tub drains: Avoid the plumbers!
If you need a recommendation for a local vendor to assist you with these home maintenance tasks or if you have questions about which home improvements to make this summer, don’t hesitate to contact us! We’d be honored to help in any way we can.
For homeowners who plan to sell in the near future but feel as though this is not the right time, consider using this “quarantine time” to check these summer home maintenance tasks off your to-do list. There’s no better time than now to complete home projects! Now is the ideal time to plan ahead, gather information and weigh your options. Planning for a future home sale now can put you at a serious advantage when the time is right.
Interested in learning more about the home selling process? We’ll break it down for you. Join us for a Virtual Home Selling and Downsizing seminar to learn how to get started, what the process looks like from beginning to end, what projects yield the highest Return On Investment (ROI) and much more.
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