Home maintenance and the myriad of checklists and tasks associated with it can be daunting, to say the least. We’d recommend breaking things up seasonally as a ritual of welcoming in a new chapter of the year. Yes, these tasks take some attention and work, but there is something warm and meditative about giving a little extra time and TLC to that wonderful shelter that does so much for you, year-round (#househugger).
There are certain tasks that lend themselves more to one season than another, and others that could be done at any time of year but are easy to forget! We’ve put together a mix for you below so that some of those “anytime” tasks aren’t forgotten.
10 Summer Home Maintenance Tips
1. Clean up the green stuff nudging your exterior walls. Walk around your house and cut back any limbs, bushes, tree branches, and vines that are growing over or against your walls. They all carry water and pests that can damage your brick or wood siding!
2. Get your air conditioner ready.
Window A/C units: Clean the filters of your window A/C units. They get dusty, so don’t welcome all that accumulated dust back into your home when you crank these on for the first time! Also, they will run better and more efficiently with clean filters.
Central A/C: If you have central A/C, have it checked and serviced. You may want to do this before summer to ensure you find someone who’s available to come out to your house before the busy season—so plan ahead next year! Ensure the A/C fan is functioning well, the coils are clean, and there isn’t faulty wiring that could cause a fire. Don’t forget to change your filter!
3. Check/install a carbon monoxide (CO) detector. This poisonous gas is colorless, odorless, tasteless, and can be fatal, so don’t skip this one! If you have only one detector, install it near the bedroom, where it can wake you from sleep. Additional detectors on every level are recommended. Replacing your dirty air filters and having regular check-ups on fuel-burning appliances will help reduce risk as well.
4. Check your window screens. Repair or replace any screens that your cat refused to believe was a barrier (or that were damaged in less adorable ways). Remember, you don’t need to replace the frame, just the screen “fabric,” which can be bought at your local hardware store.
5. Wash those windows, inside and out. You’ll be amazed by how much more light will come in and how green everything is out there! Whooooaaaa.
6. Check your roof. Inspect flashing around chimneys, vents, satellite dishes, skylights, and/or parapet walls. Flashing could have loosened during a harsh rainstorm or hailstorm causing water to leak into your attic. And while you’re up there, remove any gunk or leaves in your gutters—yes, even better to do this in the fall, but take the opportunity while you’re at the top of your ladder!
7. Keep your foundation dry. Make sure sidewalks, gangways, and the soil around your home pitch away from your foundation. Keep in mind that over time, soil will erode and need to be built back up. Disconnect your downspout and add an extender that drains water away from your foundation, too. Just make sure you’re not sending water to your neighbors!
8. Do your exterior air sealing. Do any exterior caulking that is needed around windows, door frames, siding, and exterior penetrations to keep out unwanted air flow and moisture.
9. Refresh that exterior paint. Walk around and look for any chipped, cracked, or faded paint on wood siding, window frames, and fascia. Paint looks nice, sure, but it’s also functional as a solid coat that protects wood from harsh weather and UV damage. Pick a cloudy, dry day with moderate temps or you may find that any new coats have bubbled up the next day and need to be redone—intense sunlight and paint don’t mix well. Remember that you should not paint your brick or limestone as it can cause moisture issues by trapping water behind the paint!
10. Clean that grill.
Charcoal grills: Empty the grill and wipe away any dust or residue. Use hot water, dish soap, and a scrub brush to clean both the outside and inside of the grill. Be sure to let the grill dry off before you use it again!
Gas grills: Close the lid, turn the heat on high, and let the grill cook for around 30 minutes. Let the grill cool down and then use a grill brush to sweep it out. Wipe down the outside with a sponge and cleaner, and then clean out all the drip trays.
There are countless maintenance checklist examples online if you are looking for spreadsheets, additional chores, monthly vs. seasonal breakdowns of chores, etcetera. Some people really geek out on tracking their maintenance tasks, so if that’s your thing, we salute you, homeowner.