We are past the midpoint of summer but it’s not too late for seasonal maintenance. There’s still time to make your home a serene oasis. Here are summer home maintenance tips to get your home and yard ready for late summer barbecues.
Look for Leaks
During the summer months, you use hoses and outdoor faucets more frequently. Outdoor leaks are less noticeable, but they can lead to considerable water loss and expensive water bills. Inspect your faucets and hoses and repair any leaks. If you have in-ground sprinklers, notice if the water pressure is low or puddles form when you use it. That could indicate a costly leak best repaired by a plumber.
Summer also brings weather-related leaks. Heavy rains flood basements or seep in through windows and roofs.
When drywall or other surfaces get wet, mold can grow in as little as 48 hours. Mold is a health hazard that produces allergy-like symptoms. If you see or smell mold, work quickly to remove it. For a moldy area that is larger than 10 square feet, the Environmental Protection Agency recommends using a clean up and restoration contractor. For example, experts from SERVPRO use a six-step mold remediation process to contain, clean and restore your space.
Clean and Reverse the Ceiling Fan
Ceiling fans keep you cool by moving the air around your skin. To reduce your energy bill, use only the ceiling fan, rather than air conditioning, when the weather is not too hot.
But a dirty fan spreads dust and allergens and intensifies hay fever symptoms. Clean the fan blades and while you’re up there, change the direction to counterclockwise. This creates a cooling breeze by pushing the air down.
Refresh the Paint
To instantly improve your curb appeal, repair and repaint any chipped or cracked exterior paint. This will refresh your home’s appearance and help shield it from the elements.
Check the forecast before you paint outdoors. For best results, apply paint when the temperature is between 50 and 85 degrees F with humidity of 40 to 70 percent. Paint in the shade, rather than the direct sun, so the paint will not dry too quickly.
Service the Air Conditioner
Regular maintenance extends the life of an HVAC system and increases its efficiency. Change your filters regularly and schedule a professional check-up once a year.
Perfect the Patio
Weeds are unwanted guests that destroy the peace of a patio space. Use a weed-killer spray to eliminate weeds growing between the pavers. If you prefer a chemical-free option, pull weeds by hand, then pressure-wash the patio.
To remove moss growing between the pavers, sweep it away with a stiff brush. Then spread a solution of water with 15 percent bleach on the affected area. Brush again, then rinse with fresh water.
Wash the Windows and Screens
Clean the windows inside and out to let the sunshine in. If your screens are dirty, they can obstruct your view, so wash them also.
Spruce Up Your Yard
Summer yard maintenance involves keeping your lawn, trees and shrubs, and flowers healthy.
Achieving a lush green lawn that is the envy of the neighborhood takes a schedule of weeding and feeding. In general, spring and fall are the best times of year to apply fertilizer and weed killer to your lawn. However, if your grass needs help during the summer, apply a summer lawn product once between June and August.
Poor mowing practices can damage or even destroy your lawn. Using a lawnmower with dull blades will tear or pull up grass. Sharpen your blades two to four times a season or take the mower to a retailer for sharpening.
Don’t mow the grass too short in hot weather. It weakens the lawn and makes it vulnerable to weeds. Landscape experts recommend removing no more than one-third of the height of the grass.
During the summer, caring for trees and shrubs involves keeping them watered and pruning suckers, or stray shoots that grow near the roots. Evergreen bushes can be trimmed and shaped during the summer. However, any major pruning of trees or shrubs should wait until the plant is dormant.
Help your flowers thrive by adding a layer of mulch on top of the soil. Mulch helps the soil retain moisture, prevents erosion and controls weeds. Certain types of mulch add nutrients to the soil and color to the garden.
If you have potted plants in your outdoor space, they also benefit from added mulch. Water your outdoor plants fully and put them in areas where they will get shade during part of the day.
Take Advantage of These Summer Home Maintenance Tips
Even if you are behind on your summer home maintenance, there is still time to spruce up your home and yard. Make a schedule for yourself and enjoy completing your summer home maintenance checklist. When it’s done, enjoy your comfortable space indoors and outdoors. Have your morning coffee outside. Or go ahead and invite friends for a barbecue.