How to Prepare Your Home for Summer
Summertime is here, which means it's time to do some preparation and maintenance to ensure that your home is in good shape and ready for summer fun.
Here are some things you should think about doing before the start of summer to ensure that your home stays in good shape in the short and long run.
Are you opening the windows to cool the house down? Before doing so, it's a good time to check your window screens for holes and damage that insects might fly right through before those pesky mosquitoes start to hatch. You may need to replace some of your screens before the weather heats up.
Check For Places That Attract Mosquitoes
About those pesky mosquitoes, check your yard for standing water in which they might lay their eggs. Make sure to drain water from grill covers and don't let water sit in your baby pool or any toys. Change the water in outdoor pet bowls, birdbaths, bee waterers, etc, regularly. Make sure that your pond is treated.
Pressure Wash Your Patio and Driveway
Pressure washing is not too painful on your wallet and will make your house look new. You should pressure wash your driveway, patio, decks, and all of your exterior spaces. This will increase your home's curb appeal and make your outdoor area more pleasant. It also makes for a good opportunity to examine your driveway for cracks and potholes that might have shown up over the winter and look into getting them patched.
However, do not use a pressure washer or power washer on your siding or masonry, as it can damage your house. Instead, wash down the exterior of your house with an ordinary garden hose after making sure all windows and doors are closed. Just make sure not to forget the windows - there's nothing better than freshly cleaned windows to allow more natural light into your home.
The most important time to clean gutters is in the fall, but debris can collect in the winter too. You can easily clean your gutters yourself, so don't waste money on hiring a professional unless you're not comfortable with the idea of using a ladder to reach your gutters, or if your physical condition limits you from performing this task.
You should already have reseeded any bald patches in your lawn and trim branches that are overgrowing around power lines or in a neighbor's property.
Now is time to feed your lawn, but don't overdo it with the fertilizer. Get out the lawnmower and make sure you perform maintenance on it first. This includes draining the fuel or adding a stabilizer, checking and cleaning the motor, etc.
Plant your annuals, check that your perennials survived the winter, and get out the lawn furniture.
If you own a grill, you want to make sure you have it cleaned and maintained before Memorial Day. Assuming you clean it when you use it, this shouldn't take too long, but you do need to deep clean the grill to make sure that it's not full of storage dust, which can be a problem even if you used a cover.
While you are at it, make sure that you have enough charcoal or propane for that first cookout. Nobody wants to have to run to the store between batches of burgers.
The ideal time to service your HVAC system is right before you start needing the air conditioning. Make sure to have your system professionally inspected and serviced, your filters changed, etc.
Winter is the time when plumbing is under the most stress since pipes are more likely to burst in colder weather. Check under sinks for leaks, look for water stains on your ceilings, check all of your faucets for drips, and your toilet's cistern for a worn flapper.
Oh, and if you have a sump pump, check that too, and make sure that it's still functioning, especially if you live in an area (like DC) that is at all in the tropical storm zone.
Doing all this maintenance will help you enjoy the summer heat and keep your home in good condition for now and into the future.