It is officially summer. That means school is out, cookouts are commencing, and there is plenty of time for home maintenance. Right? If you’re like most people, the answer is no. I don’t know about you, but summer in our family has never been a time to slow down. We rarely experience the lazy summer days I read about. Maybe that is because the real estate industry is typically at its peak time during the summer, so I am gone more and often find myself dealing with an unpredictable schedule. That leaves little time for additional projects around the house. However, as we shift into summer, it is important to think about what we need to do at home to make sure our houses are in top shape for withstanding heat, entertaining friends and family, and of course relaxing (even if only rarely)!
I also want to encourage this extra home maintenance for homeowners who are thinking of selling and investors who might be welcoming new tenants or buying new properties. Buyers and renters alike really scrutinize potential new homes, and the summer months are the perfect time to get your property in top shape because the weather is warm and the days are long.
In this post, I’d like to share a few of my recommended tips and projects to tackle throughout the summer season. No need to do them all in one week, but try to make time to complete a few at a time and then move on to the tasks you think are highest priority for your home.
Check your detectors: Check your home’s smoke and carbon monoxide detectors to make sure they’re working properly. If you don’t have a carbon monoxide detector, now is the time to get one!
Inspect air-conditioners: If you haven’t already, prepare air conditioners and fans for their busiest season. Remove and clean AC filters or have the unit serviced by a professional. Clean all ceiling fans and other fans with a damp rag. If you have high ceilings, a ceiling-fan duster can help you clean hard-to-reach blades.
Clean your outdoor grill: Give your grill a deep cleaning. Be sure you look up how to clean your grill properly because instructions vary a bit based on whether the grill is gas or charcoal.
Polish your porch or deck: Thoroughly sweep porch floors; then mop them if necessary with an all-purpose cleaner. Clean all furniture and hose down or wash any cushions where people will sit. It’s also a good idea to spray for bugs. It’s hard to relax with mosquitoes and spiders around!
Analyze your porch or deck: Look over your deck or porch for signs of rotting and hammer in any nails that are poking up. Then, determine if your outdoor space needs sealing or other structural maintenance. If you’re selling, these kinds of issues do show up on inspection reports, so get it fixed properly.
Wash your windows: If you didn’t tackle exterior window washing in the spring, now’s the time to get your glass clean. It’s a lot of work, but I promise it will be worth it! We actually just did this at our house, and I cannot believe how much brighter our home looks.
Make time to replace mulch: Add a layer of mulch to keep weeds down and help the ground retain its moisture in the heat. It’ll give your plants a chance to grow and keep your landscaping looking fresh.
Look for leaks: Check your hoses and exterior faucets for leaks because even a tiny drip can add up to a big waste of water. Pinhole leaks in hoses can be covered up by winding regular electrical tape around the (dry) hose in overlapping layers. You’ll use your outside faucets and hose a lot throughout the summer, so we want it to be in great shape.
Primp your plants: Fertilize, trim and weed both perennials and annuals to keep them productive. If you have visible dead foliage from spring bulbs, pull it out to maintain a tidy look, but if the daffodil or tulip leaves are still green, leave them alone; they’re actually busy nourishing the bulb to bloom again next year. This is a great time to pamper your plants so they will hold up throughout the summer. Many parts of the country will experience hot, humid days for the next several months, which is not ideal for many types of plants.
Plan your watering schedule: Train your garden and yard to endure dry days by watering deeply a couple times a week instead of watering lightly each day. This style of watering will promote the growth of deep, strong roots and help your flowers and grass withstand the harsh summer.
Leave dirt at the door: Keep summer’s mud and muck outside with not just one, but two doormats at your main entry door. Place a coarse mat at the exterior and a softer, cloth one on the interior to catch the most dirt. Even better, instruct family members to remove their shoes upon entering your home. This is especially helpful if you have children in the house.
What projects are you tackling around your house this season? Are you working on special tasks to prepare your home to sell? I’d love to know! Like I mentioned, this is the perfect time to get these tasks done so you can enjoy your home all summer and know it is in top shape for all your warm-weather activities!