The Ultimate Homeowner's Summer Maintenance Checklist

Make your home the family and friendship hub for summertime fireworks, celebrations, barbecues, and daily festivities. Here are some home maintenance tips to help prepare your home inside and out for everyday safe, fun times.

First, outside...

Barbecue cleaning

  1. Scrub the grill grate with a wire brush, ideally every time you use it.
  2. Remove and wash burner protectors in 5 gallon soap filled bucket and scrub.
  3. Clean grime from the burners and plates with a wire brush.
  4. Remove and wash the tray that serves as the grease collector with a wire brush. 
  5. If you don’t already have a cover for the barbecue unit, get one.

Patio, walkways, driveway cleaning

  1. Make sure there is no wood rot or exposed nails.
  2. Clean with pressure washer...if water bubbles form, good...if not, time to reseal the wood.
  3. Prune whatever grass/plant/vine growth around walkways and steps for safety and eye pleasing curb appeal.

Home exterior

  1. Remove stains, bacteria, moss, etc. on decks, siding, roofs, etc.
  2. Use soft washing, eco-friendly, biodegradable soaps/cleansers to boost curb appeal, energy savings and extend the lifespan of the home.
  3. Do NOT use pressure washing as it can cause damage and lead to unwanted repairs.
  4. Paint touch-ups...if you can’t remember the exact paint color, ask a professional to come out and help find a perfect match.
  5. Check for pests that might be hiding in gutters, cracks, crevices, holes, etc.  If you suspect any kind of infestation, contact a professional pest control service.

Windows

  1. Clean and/or replace window screens...hot soapy water and a stiff brush are the only cleaning tools you need for screens.
  2. Wash the windows (2 X year) with a strip applicator and warm water with dishwashing soap; squeegee the now clean windows and wipe the corners with a dry rag. 
  3. Window coverings and awnings help create shade and energy efficiency inside the home. Honeycomb weave window blinds and heat reflecting light colored curtains help reduce light; window films and solar screens reflect sunlight away from the house.

Gardens and fences

  1. Primp and prune perennials and annuals to keep them productive.
  2. Add a layer of mulch to keep weeds down a help the ground retain moisture.
  3. Water deeply 3 X week rather than light watering daily.
  4. Remove weeds, dirt, rocks from around fencing to reduce moisture buildup and potential wood rot.
  5. Keep dirt “outside” the doors
  6. Sweep exterior entrance ways regularly to keep dirt at bay.
  7. Invest in a coarse exterior doormat and softer and/or cloth interior mat just inside the door to catch the dirt.
  8. Some people have a “shoes off inside the house” rule.

 
Now, inside…

Air conditioner and fans

  1. Make sure all the condensing coils are free of dust, lint, etc.  Use soapy warm water to clean.
  2. Clean the filter every 2 weeks with either warm water or a vacuum cleaner.  If your unit is “newer,” it may have a self cleaning function.
  3. Clean and/or replace the fan...remove the fan frame found under the mounting points, remove the fan and clean/wipe it with warm water.
  4. Reverse the direction of ceiling fans to counterclockwise by first turning off the fan, finding the direction switch on the side of the fan above the blades and flipping the switch to the opposite direction.  The counterclockwise direction will push the air down and create cooling breezes inside.

Clean/replace the furnace filter

  1. Turn off the furnace, find the filter behind the service door.
  2. Remove and clean it and/or replace it.

Clean tile/travertine

  1. Use DuPont Stone-Tech Professional Stone and Tile Cleaner and simply follow directions. Product can be used for both interior and exterior tile.

Appliance cleaning

  1. Refrigerator - clean door gasket with soapy water and vacuum coils.
  2. Garbage disposal - run with hot dish soapy water.
  3. Dishwasher - on short cycle, add 2 cups of vinegar. 
  4. Range head & filter - wash in soapy water or dishwasher.
  5. Dryer - remove lint in filter every cycle and clean vent/hose with vacuum
  6. Washer - clean with ¾ cup chlorine bleach and warm water.
  7. Inspect all hoses  for leaks, cracks, wear and tear. Replace in 5 years.

Bathroom

  1. Showerhead - remove and soak in vinegar overnight or replace.
  2. Drains - remove clogs/hair; pour down bleach, let it sit 5 minutes, flush.
  3. Fan vent - vacuum dust and spray parts with silicone lubricant.

Attic and basement inspections

  1. Check for pests, insects, mold, mildew, water leakage, etc.
     

Enjoy your summer in your clean, sparkling, safe home!