Summer Home Maintenance Tips
But the season of BBQing, beach trips and cottage relaxation also brings with it a whole new set of maintenance tips for our beloved abodes.
So before you dust of the old grill, leave some time in your schedule for these all-important home maintenance tips:
Inside the House
Prepare Your Cooling System
One of the best ways to keep your family cool and comfortable throughout the hot summer months is by making sure your cooling system is in good working order. Start your summer on the right foot by inspecting your HVAC system, which includes checking that your air conditioner is in working order for the summer months to come. Be sure to clean your air conditioner filter by using a vacuum or washing with warm water. Make sure to clean the filter every two weeks to keep it running optimally all summer. If there are any parts that require repairs, take care of them as soon as you can, so you can keep your home cool and comfortable.
Test Your Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors
Testing out this important piece of technology is a vital part of home maintenance that homeowners often forget. Before summer arrives, remember to test out your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors on each floor. If they need replacing, do so ASAP – your local home hardware store most likely sells dual smoke/carbon monoxide detectors, making the task even easier for you.
Clean Your Bathroom Showerheads
After a long winter of warm showers, your showerheads are more than likely in need of some TLC. To clear up stains and calcium buildup, use this one easy yet super effective trick – slip a rubber band over the top of the showerhead, using one or two loops. Then, fill a plastic bag with white vinegar and attach the bag to the showerhead – just slip the top of the bag underneath the rubber band. Remove the bag after an hour, then turn on the shower head. Afterwards, polish with a cloth and there you have it – clean shower head, with almost no effort.
Dust – and Reverse – Your Ceiling Fans
If you can’t remember the last time you dusted your ceiling fan, now is the time to reach for your extended reach duster, get on your stepping stool, and get rid of the dust bunnies perched atop of your ceiling fan blades.
Before doing any dusting, you’ll want to turn off your fan, of course. If you don’t have an appropriate duster on hand, you can use a pillowcase instead – simply slip the pillowcase over the first blade, then use the pillowcase to wipe the dust off of the top, bottom and sides of the blade, trapping dust inside the case. Repeat for each blade.
After you’ve dusted, you’ll want to reverse the direction of your fan, if it’s spinning clockwise. A fan spinning counter-clockwise will push the air straight down, which helps to create a cooling breeze. On the flipside, when it spins clockwise, it helps to heat up the room in wintertime. To reverse the fan’s direction, get on your step stool and find the direction switch – typically above the blades on the side of the fan – and flip the switch to go in the opposite direction.
Outside the House
Take Care of the Lawn and Yard
All that snow and slush over the winter months can leave your lawn looking less than stellar by summertime. Give your lawn the attention it deserves by watering it with at least an inch of water once a week. Increase the amount you water when the temperature rises to extra heat levels. Water your lawn deeply and regularly to keep it healthy and green – if you don’t have time to water as regularly, you can help your roots become more drought-tolerant by watering deeply and less frequently.
Mow your lawn regularly to keep it looking fresh. Keep your mower blades sharp, and raise them in the summer to 2 – 3 inches – taller grass tolerates drought better, grows deeper roots, and helps to provide shade, which helps keep weed seeds from germinating.
Inspect Your Roof
Heavy snow, rain, and windstorms can do a number on our roofs. Get ahead of the game by inspecting your roof in early summer, to ensure your family doesn’t experience unexpected ceiling leaks in the months to come. If you come across a few missing tiles or shingles, you can go the DIY route and repair them yourself using our DIY guide. If your roof needs to be replaced entirely, you’ll want to call a trained professional who can safely and properly replace your roof in its entirety.
Wash Your Exterior Windows
Your windows surely need a good clean after a long winter and mild spring, and summer is the perfect time to do so. Since the outside of your windows are exposed to the elements, and therefore typically have more dirt and stains, you’ll want to pre-clean them by rinsing them down with the hose. Then, prepare a bucket of water and a few drops of liquid dish soap. Clean the window’s surface with your cleaning mixture by using a microfiber cloth. Use a sponge, cotton, or microfiber mop to reach the windows higher up.
Afterwards, spray the windows with a vinegar and water solution, or a commercial cleaning product like Windex. Then, wipe the windows dry using a rubber-bladed squeegee. Be sure to wipe the squeegee with a towel at the bottom of each pass. For stubborn stains (including unsightly bird droppings) saturate thoroughly with vinegar and water, and let sit for several minutes before wiping away with a disposable rag.
To clean window screens, rinse them with plain water and then spray them with a water and vinegar solution, before rinsing them with water once more. Let them dry fully before replacing them.
Prepare Your Swimming Pool
Having a swimming pool is like having your own private summertime sanctuary, right in your backyard. But before diving into those sunny days of swimming, splashing and lounging this summer, you’ll want to properly prepare your pool first. From cleaning to filter checks to water level management, follow our step-by-step pool maintenance guide to help get your backyard oasis in pristine condition, just in time for summer.
Review Your Home Insurance
Besides cleaning AC filters, washing windows and inspecting gutters, there’s one more important home maintenance task that you shouldn’t skimp on when summer rolls around – reviewing your home insurance plan.
At Desjardins, we offer Home Insurance that’s tailored to you and your family, so that you can have peace of mind knowing your home is protected and get back to what’s most important this sunny time of year – enjoying summer with your family.