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Seasonal Home Checkup: SUMMER

Summer is almost officially here! Every change of season can be a reminder to check in with your home to make sure it’s in tip top shape. Summer is an especially great time to focus on the exterior of your home, your garage and your yard.

Exterior of home

  • Inspect your roof for any missing or torn shingles. If you notice damage, contact your roofing contractor for help.
  • Inspect your window wells for debris. Also make sure they are covered properly so no wild animals get trapped and to ensure the wells stay free of debris.
  • Clean your outside dryer vent. According to Danny Lipford of Today’s Homeowner, 15,000 house fires a year in the U.S. are caused by dryers. Cleaning the vent that goes from your dryer to the outside can help avoid this tragedy. Watch his video on how to do it opens in a new window1
  • If you didn’t do it in the spring, be sure to clean your gutters to ensure rainwater is swept clear away from the foundation of your home.
  • Inspect and wash your patio furniture.
  • Have your air conditioner inspected and serviced.
  • Re-caulk external seams around doors and windows, if necessary. Cold temps sometimes cause caulk to crack, especially if it's older...and when it's warm, it's much easier to apply and have cure. Good for energy efficiency and pest control.
  • Speaking of pest control, spraying around doors, entrances and even where your exterior walls meet the group can help control ants, spiders, etc. Again, this is a plus with older homes with brick walls, where bugs tend to find a way in.
  • Along the same vein, regular weed and feed spreading can help control weeds in your lawn before they completely take over.

Yard tools

  • Sharpen the blades of hedge trimmers, lawn mowers and shears. This will make your trimming jobs much more efficient.
  • Change the oil in your lawnmower. Most lawnmowers’ oil needs to be changed every 20-50 hours of use. Check the manual to be sure.
  • Sand and inspect wooden handles from rakes, hoes and other garden tools and clean the grime and dirt from last year to avoid getting splinters or getting injured from a broken handle.

Cars and bikes

  • Thoroughly inspect your bikes to make sure they are ready for your next ride. Consider taking them to the nearest bike shop for a comprehensive tune up, or check to see if there is a mobile bike service in your area.
  • Give your car a little extra love with a waxing. Wax acts as a barrier between your car’s paint and the sun and rain, and it likely needs to be refreshed after a harsh winter.

Closets, garage and storage spaces

  • Clean out the garage, closets, storage spaces and basement and purge! Take a good, hard look at what you're storing (as opposed to what you're actually using), and consider getting rid of it. If it's hazardous (i.e. paint thinner, paint, old oil, etc.), there are often drop-off locations that open up during the summer. It's a great opportunity to free up space in areas that get clogged during the winter. 
  • Think hard about larger items that you're not using (i.e. exercise equipment, power tools, spare building materials like wood or shingles, sporting goods, etc.). In many cases, you'll be able to sell this stuff on craigslist or just donate it and get a tax write-off before the end of the year. Remember, timing is everything...retailers often offer big deals and discounts in January and June, so waiting until July and August to sell this stuff might be a good idea. But don't wait too long to sell power tools -- most DIY project work gets done in the spring/summer -- waiting until October might mean that DIYers aren't interested in buying anything, if their projects won't start again until the spring. If you have lots of clothes to get rid of that are in great shape and less than five years old, order a Thred Up Cleanout opens in a new window




1 How to Clean a Dryer Vent. (2015, August 09). Retrieved from opens in a new window