Summer is supposed to be about sunny days, crisp nights, and magical evenings with the people closest to you. It’s not supposed to be about roasting in your living room while you wait for a repair guy because your home’s air conditioner couldn’t take the heat.
Don’t let unexpected home repairs ruin your season. Start your annual warm weather home care now, and be ready before summer begins! Here is your ultimate summer home care checklist:
Boost Your Curb Appeal
1. Pull out the Pressure Washer
After a leafy fall, soggy winter, and pollinated spring, your home’s exterior could use a little TLC. Remove dirt, mildew, and stains by pressure washing the sides of your home. Don’t forget to cover windows, electrical sockets, and plants before you begin.
2. Check Your Roof
After finishing the exterior walls of your home, grab a ladder and (safely!) check the roof. Look for damaged flashing or other small issues that may lead to big problems down the line. You’ll thank yourself later.
3. Clean the Gutters
While you have the ladder out, give your gutters a quick clean. Remove any debris from last fall, as well as buildup of spring twigs and blossoms. This is an important step in preparing your home for summer storms, and it’s best to do when it’s warm and sunny.
4. Touch up Exterior Paint
Did you notice any chipped paint when you were pressure washing the house? Take advantage of low-humidity days to touch up any areas requiring attention.
5. Clean and Inspect Porches, Patios, Walkways, and Driveway
First thing’s first—check for cracks and weeds along your driveway, walkways, or patio. Once those are taken care of, pressure wash concrete areas or deep clean wood and tiles.
6. Check the Fences
Ensure your privacy and the safety of pets or children. Whether you have chain link or the quintessential white picket kind, summer is a great time to inspect and repair your fencing. Consider staining or painting stockade fencing to prolong its life and make maintenance easier next year.
7. Look for Standing Water
After a good hard rain, walk around your home and look for areas of standing water. Adjust your home’s downspouts or add new drainage. This can help prevent standing water from seeping into your home, as well as deter mosquitos and other summer pests.
8. Inspect Your Trees
Prevent damage from summer storms by identifying and removing unhealthy tree limbs now. Check for limbs growing over your roof, driveway, or other areas that could cause property damage, as well.
9. Focus on Your Gardens
Summer is the season of growth! Add a layer of fresh mulch to gardens and landscaping. Not only does it help make your landscaping look fresh, but it keeps weeds from growing and helps the ground retain moisture in the summer heat.
10. Inspect Your Hoses
Whether you use them for gardening or for summer playtime, having a working hose is an important part of your summer experience. Check now for leaks, and repair or replace if necessary.
Head off Home Maintenance
11. Check and Clean Your Windows and Doors
After your gallant efforts pressure washing the house, make sure your windows and doors are equally clean. While you’re cleaning, check the sealants and weather stripping. Your air conditioner (and your wallet!) will thank you.
12. Clean (or Replace) Window Screens
In addition to cleaning window glass, pull off the screens and clean with soapy water and a scrub brush. If your screens are too old or damaged to clean properly, consider replacing them. It may be the best way to enjoy fresh air without letting too much of the outside in.
13. Tune up Your Air Conditioning
Get ahead of any air conditioning issues before the mercury rises. Your A/C professional will check refrigerant levels and clean your coils. If you are performing your own A/C tune up, don’t forget to remove and clean the air conditioner fan.
14. Change Your Filters
If you didn’t change all your home’s filters when the clocks changed, now is the time. Check, clean, or replace water filters, A/C filters on window units, and the furnace filter. Clean humidifiers and replace those filters, too.
15. Check the Washer and Dryer
It may feel counterintuitive, but your washer needs cleaned at least once a year. On front-loading machines, check the seal between the door and drum for mildew. Your dryer needs love, too. Cleaning the vent of excess lint both keeps the dryer working at optimum levels and removes a potential fire hazard.
16. Clean the Dishwasher and Garbage Disposal
You should flush your garbage disposal with some dish soap and hot water on a regular basis. But if you haven’t done that recently, now is the time. Like your washing machine, your dishwasher also needs to run a cleaning cycle every season.
17. Explore the Attic and Basement
You checked the house from the outside for damage and leaks, but it’s important to check from the inside, as well. Heading off leaks can significantly lower your cooling bill for the season, as well as prevent pests.
18. Inspect the Grading around Your Home
If you’ve already corrected issues with standing water, you’re probably okay on this one. Nonetheless, it’s of vital importance to make sure the pitch of the ground around your home slopes away. This prevents water from seeping into the foundation and basement.
19. Inspect Wells and Septic Tanks
Check your water pressure and test your well for hard water, calcium build-ups, or contaminants. On the other end of your water system, check for soggy spots or odors in the ground around your septic tank. Make sure your home’s drains are flowing properly and pump the septic if it’s time.
20. Tune up Your Lawn Mower
Like all major pieces of home equipment, your lawn mower requires periodic servicing. Check the sharpness of mower blades, make sure filters and spark plugs are fresh, and that everything is properly lubricated so your mower works all season.
Make Your Home Entertainment Ready
21. Check Satellite Dishes and Antennae
It will be hard to have friends over to watch the game if you’re having problems with your signal. Inspect your satellite dish or antenna to make sure it is secure and functional.
22. Clean and Reverse Ceiling Fans
Pro home care tip: Clean off built-up dust before you reverse your ceiling fan for the summer. Otherwise, the fan will clean off the dust itself … all over your living room.
23. Change the Batteries in Your Smoke Detector
Don’t take any chances with your safety this summer. You should change the batteries in your smoke detector at least once a year. If you haven’t done it yet this year, do it now.
24. Clean the Shower heads
Give your shower heads a vinegar soak to remove any calcium buildup and keep the water flowing freely. All you need is a plastic baggie and a rubber band. You got this.
25. Do a Deep Clean of the Refrigerator
If you haven’t eaten that holiday fruitcake by now, you probably shouldn’t. Reach deep into your fridge and freezer to clear out any expired products (yes, freezer food can go bad). Dust or vacuum the fridge coils to keep the appliance running well through the summer heat.
26. Show Some Love to the Baseboards
You worked hard to get that crisp paint line between your walls and your baseboards. Don’t let your hard work be covered by dust and neglect. Wipe down your baseboards to remove allergens and show off your handiwork.
27. Deep Clean the Carpets
Extend the lifetime of your carpets and prevent harmful allergens in one fell swoop. Take advantage of warm, dry weather by opening your windows and giving your carpets a good, deep clean.
28. Keep Your Mudroom Mud Free
Spring showers bring May mud. Keep your doorways clean (and the rest of your house) by placing clean mats at each of your home’s entrances. Double up by placing a coarse mat outside the door and a softer one just inside.
29. Check the Deck
You’ll be using the deck a lot this summer, so make sure it’s ready for you. Look for signs of rot and any errant nails that could hurt bare feet. Does your deck need resealed? It’s easy to check—does the water bead up after a rain or soak in?
30. Prep the Pool
If you own a pool, head off any maintenance issues now. After you clean it, level the water, check the pumps, and make sure the chemicals are balanced. Give yourself a week’s head start before you plan to use it, just in case.
31. Clean the Outdoor Grill
A great grill master has a well-kept grill. Soak and scrub the grates, wipe down the outside and inside, and make sure you have enough propane or fresh charcoal. Test it out with a locally farmed steak before your guests arrive—we won’t tell!
All real estate is local. In order to make confident real estate decisions, we believe it is important for you to have timely and neighborhood-specific information. If you would like more information about buying a home in NC, our experts at EXP Realty are here to help. Contact us today to speak with a EXP agent about buying homes or land in North Carolina.