Important Tasks To Complete Around The House This Summer
As the temperatures continue to heat up this summer and many people are busy enjoying summertime vacations, it’s important that homeowners don’t neglect their homes.
A couple of months ago we published an article which provided some important home maintenance tasks to complete in the springtime. Since the article was well received, we figured it would be an excellent idea to write an article on the most important summer home maintenance tasks to complete over the next couple months.
Whether you’re thinking about selling a home during the summertime or not, it’s vital to your homes “health” that you complete certain tasks during the summer months.
Below you’re going to find out some very important tasks that you should complete around your home this summer. By completing the following summer home maintenance tasks, you greatly increase the chances that you’ll have costly issues arise around your home.
1.) Wash Exterior Windows
An important home maintenance task to complete during the Winter and Spring months is to wash the interior windows of your home. Now that the temperatures are heating up, this is a great time to address the exterior windows of your home.
The first summer home maintenance task is to wash the exterior windows of your home. Depending on the type of home, you may find that some of the windows can be difficult to access.
For example, if you own a 2 story home some of the windows may be very high up. If this is the case, you’ll either need the proper tools to wash the exterior of your homes windows or you’ll need to hire a professional.
When you’re washing the exterior windows of your home, the basic tools you’ll need include a ladder, access to an active hose, a rubber bladed squeegee, and some type of window cleaning product.
If you’re unsure about how to clean windows, hiring a professional typically is not that costly. Washing the exterior windows of your home can make a huge difference with the amount of light that gets through them.
2.) Inspect & Clean Window Screens
As you’re completing the first summer home maintenance task, washing the exterior windows, another task to complete is cleaning and inspecting the screens. One clear sign of a neglected home are ripped and dirty screens!
If you have ripped window screens, there’s a good chance that there is a local hardware store in your area that can repair them inexpensively.
Recently while selling a home in the Rochester NY area, the homeowner had several screens that were ripped and in poor condition. For only $50 the homeowner was able to have 5 screens repaired at the local hardware store and this made a big difference in how potential buyers initially viewed the home.
If your window screens are in good condition but are dirty, cleaning them can be completed. One tip for cleaning window screens that have dust and a small amount of dirt on them is to use a vacuum with a soft brush attachment. If the screens have an excessive amount of dirt and dust, you may need to use a brush, such as toothbrush, to get them clean.
Not only are ripped and dirty screens not good for selling a home, it also doesn’t allow a homeowner to open their windows to get some fresh air unless they want bugs flying around in their home.
3.) Check & Clean Your Homes Exterior
Another summer home maintenance task to complete is to check and clean your homes exterior. The type of exterior your home has will determine how you should go about completing this summer home maintenance task.
Below are the common types of exteriors and how to go about checking and/or cleaning them.
- Vinyl – If your home has vinyl siding then it’s less likely it’ll require much maintenance. As your completing this important summer home maintenance tasks, walk around your homes exterior to see if there are any areas of missing vinyl siding. If so, when a vinyl siding upgrade is completed on a home, it’s likely there was some left over siding. Replace any missing or broken pieces of vinyl siding. Vinyl siding can become dirty but one of the best features of vinyl siding is that it can be cleaned. Understanding how to clean vinyl siding is important so that you do not ruin it.
- Aluminum – Another type of siding that requires relatively low maintenance is aluminum. Similar to vinyl siding, aluminum can become damaged or can even come loose from a home. If there are missing or damaged pieces of aluminum siding on your home, you can buy replacement siding at your local hardware store. One of the biggest drawbacks of aluminum siding is that it can become oxidized and give a faded appearance. If this is the case, the good news is that aluminum siding can be painted.
- Wood – As you’re checking and cleaning your homes wood exterior, you may quickly realize that a fresh paint job is in need. Wood siding is quite durable, however, it typically needs to be painted every 5 years or so. If your home is located in an area that experiences severe weather, it’s possible it may need to be painted every few years.
- Composition – If the exterior of your home is composition board, you’ll be on the lookout for cracked siding and also areas that require painting. Composition siding is quite durable as well, similar to wood siding, but also requires paint maintenance every 5 years or so.
Regardless of the type of exterior, it’s important now that summertime is here, that you check on your homes exterior. The condition of the exterior of your home is very important. Keeping a clean and crisp exterior is one of the best summer curb appeal tips for homeowners!
4.) Inspect & Clean Your Ceiling Fans
Many homeowners aren’t aware that ceiling fans can be set to spin in different directions, depending on the time of year. During the summertime your homes ceiling fans should run in a counter-clockwise direction which forces air downwards creating a cooling effect.
An easy, but important, summer home maintenance task to add to your checklist is to inspect and clean your ceiling fans. Each fan is different, but most ceiling fans have a visible switch that changes the direction in which the fan rotates. First and foremost, ensure your fan is running in a counter-clockwise direction for the summer.
While you’re ensuring your ceiling fan is running in the proper direction, take the time to clean your fan and check the light bulbs. Ceiling fan blades are notorious for collecting dust, so while checking on the direction of the fan, grab a cleaning rag and clean up your fan.
5.) Check Your Deck and/or Patio
One of the greatest things about the summertime is spending time outside of your home, whether it’s on a deck or patio. Before you sit down and enjoy the time on your deck or patio, it’s important to tend to them first. An important summer home maintenance task to complete is to check the deck and/or patio at your home.
If you have a deck that requires maintenance, such as a wood deck, you should take this time to inspect whether you should stain or paint the deck. Wood decks typically require painting or staining every few years.
Not staining or painting a deck can shorten the lifespan and also doesn’t look very appealing. A freshly painted or stained deck is not only a great way to keep a home in tip top shape but it’s also a great way to add value to a home on a budget.
If your home has a patio, it’s recommended you take a look at the condition of the patio. If the patio is a concrete patio, you should be looking to see if the patio is in need of any sealing. If the patio is a brick patio, you should be on the lookout for missing or damaged bricks.
6.) Clean Your Outdoor Grill
This summer home maintenance task applies to those homeowners who consider themselves “grill masters.” Summertime is great for hosting backyard BBQs and picnics with your friends and family, so it’s vital that your outdoor grill is ready to go! Understanding how to properly clean an outdoor grill is important and can significantly lengthen the time a grill will last.
In order to lengthen the lifespan of your outdoor grill, one of the first things you should address are the grates. It’s recommended that each year you soak and scrub the grates on a grill. If you neglect cleaning grates, they will deteriorate quickly.
It’s also suggested to wipe the interior and exterior of the grill. Debris in the interior of a grill will often reduce the lifespan of the grills firebox as well as the burners.
After you’ve checked and cleaned out your grill, now you should make sure that you have your heating fuel ready to go.
If you have a gas grill this means you should check your propane tanks to ensure they’re in safe, working order and that you have a backup tank ready to go. There is truly nothing worse than running out of propane when grilling!
If you have a charcoal grill, you should make sure you have a sufficient amount of charcoal ready. A great tip for buying charcoal is to purchase during holiday weekends, such as Memorial Day, since stores like Home Depot and Lowe’s often run special deals on their charcoal on these weekends.
7.) Focus On Your Gardens
If you were unable to get to your homes gardens during the spring, don’t worry it’s not too late. During the summer is a fantastic time to focus on the gardens to help beautify the appearance of your home.
One easy and relatively inexpensive summer home maintenance task to consider is using mulch in your gardens. Mulch is great for creating a clean and crisp appearance but also can help keep weeds out of your gardens and also will help lock in moisture which will keep your plants alive during the hot summer months.
In addition to throwing mulch in your gardens, another thing to keep in mind while you’re tending to your gardens is to trim bushes, shrubs, and trees. It’s important that as you’re focusing on trimming up bushes, shrubs, and trees that you make sure they’re kept away from your homes exterior, roof, and also your homes central air conditioning unit. Trees, shrubs, and bushes that rest on a home can create some damaging effects, such as wearing a roof.
8.) Check Your Fence
If you have fencing at your home, the summer is an excellent time to check on it. Another summer home maintenance task to consider completing during this time of year is to check on the condition of your homes fence.
If your home has a chain linked fence, you want to ensure there are no parts of the fence that are broken. This is especially true if you have fencing to help keep your dogs safe and secure.
If you have privacy fencing, also known as stockade fencing, you’ll want to check to make sure there are no broken or missing fence pieces. In addition to checking on the condition of the fence, you may also want to consider painting or staining your fence. Just like painting or staining a deck will prolong its life, the same can be said about a fence.
9.) Inspect The Grading Around Your Home
One of the quickest ways to scare away potential home buyers or put yourself at risk in your home is by allowing water inside. One of the most common reasons why a home may have a wet basement is because of the grading around the exterior of the home.
Inspecting the grading around your home is another very important summer home maintenance task to complete. As you’re inspecting the grading around your home, you want to ensure the pitch of the ground around your homes foundation is sloping away from your home. This allows ground water to run away from the home and not towards the home.
As you’re checking on the grading around your home, if you notice low areas where the grading is at the lowest point on the foundation, simply adding some top soil can correct this problem.
10.) Check Your Gutters
Last, but not least, another important summer home maintenance chore to complete is checking on the gutters of your home. Gutters can not only get damaged over the winter and spring months but they also can become filled with loose debris such as leaves.
The grading around your home definitely plays a part in whether you may or may not have water issues, however, gutters also can impact this. Clogged or damaged gutters may potentially not function properly which can lead to water problems inside your home.
As you’re checking the gutters on your home, ensure they aren’t damaged and that they’re all connected. In addition to the actual gutters on your home, review your gutter downspouts. It’s important that your downspouts are taking any water as far away from your home as possible, which can be accomplished by installing inexpensive extensions.
Summer home maintenance is important and should not be forgotten, even though summers are typically a time for relaxation and vacations. The above maintenance tasks can go a long way to ensure your home remains in great condition. Homeowners who decide these summer home maintenance tasks are not important often end up costing themselves more money in the long run, since deferred home maintenance can be very costly.
Other Summer Home Maintenance Resources & Tips
- New Homeowner Maintenance Tips via Anita Clark
- Tasks To Complete After Closing On A Home
- How To Maintain A Home Properly via Bill Gassett
- Wood Siding Care & Maintenance Tips via Kevin Vitali
If you’re a homeowner in Rochester NY, yes we understand that our summers are short, but that doesn’t mean you should neglect your home. The above summer home maintenance tasks are important. If you’re unable to complete some of these tasks due to time restraints, you’re still better off paying someone to complete them rather than choosing not to have them completed. If you’re in need of recommendations for Rochester area contractors who can help with these summer home maintenance tasks, contact me and I’ll get you in touch with a quality and affordable professional.
About the authors: The above article “Summer Home Maintenance Checklist And Tips For Your Home” was written by Kyle Hiscock of the Hiscock Sold Team at RE/MAX Realty Group. With over 35 years combined experience, if you’re thinking of selling or buying, we’d love to share our knowledge and expertise.
We service the following Greater Rochester NY areas: Irondequoit, Webster, Penfield, Pittsford, Fairport, Brighton, Greece, Gates, Hilton, Brockport, Mendon, Henrietta, Perinton, Churchville, Scottsville, East Rochester, Rush, Honeoye Falls, Chili, and Victor NY.
© 2017, Kyle Hiscock. All rights reserved.