8 Tasks You Shouldn’t Ignore This Summer

Like a regular health check-up, a home maintenance schedule is important for every house’s upkeep. Continuing to check on your exterior, appliances, heating and cooling, plumbing, security, and electrical systems will help prevent breakdowns, save money, and keep your home looking its best.

Naturally, you may not want to spend a large chunk of your free time this summer doing home maintenance. But you don’t want to put it off till it’s too late either. Below is a list of common items to consider. Decide which are priorities for you and tackle those first. Then divvy up the responsibilities or hire professionals to make the best use of your time.

1. Wash & Seal Your Driveway and Deck

A great place to start with summer home maintenance is to seal your sidewalks, deck, patio and driveway. Sealing is one of the best ways to extend the life of your deck and protect it from the elements. It isn’t a difficult DIY project for a homeowner. Choosing the appropriate sealant is the first step to ensuring quality results. The key to properly sealing these surfaces is to prep and clean them using a pressure washer. It does a great job of washing away all the dirt, mold, grime etc. that’s built up over the past year. You can check with your local home improvement store about renting a pressure washer for about $40 a day if you don’t own one.

Remember that concrete and wood have two different maintenance needs. So be sure to read the how-to for driveways/sidewalks and patios/decks.

2. Inspect and clean your roof, gutters, and downspouts

Now would be a great time to inspect your roof, gutters, and downspouts. The coming fall and winter weather can exacerbate any existing roofing issues and cause further damage than already exists. The roof is the gateway to the rest of the home, and once the seal is broken, water can make its way into the house. If you find missing, cracked, or damaged shingles, it’s a tell-tale sign that your roof needs repairs or even be fully replaced. Signs of water damage homeowners can look for are streaks, mold or water spots inside the attic or on the ceiling.

Your gutters and downspouts control the flow of rainwater on your house, protecting your roof, siding and foundation. Clogged gutters can cause a roof to leak or water to infiltrate your house. Clean them at least twice a year (or more frequently, depending on how many trees surround your property and hang over your roof).

3. Check the dishwasher, faucets, toilets, and showerheads for leaks

Frozen winter conditions can cause leaks and make it difficult to work on plumbing. Now’s the time to get them fixed. Check our plumbing maintenance page for some DIY tips to fix leaks.

Tip: A “clean out” pipe, located on the outside of you home, helps you determine if you have a clog. When you unscrew the cap and notice its full, that means there is a clog in the pipe between your home and the city sewer line.

4. Clean your refrigerator and freezer coils

The nooks and crannies of our appliances can sometimes get overlooked when we’re rushing from one chore to another. Refrigerator coils are one of these hidden trouble spots – coils that trap dust, dirt, and pet hair can impede air flow and make your refrigerator inefficient. Don’t stress your refrigerator in the season of energy-driven power outages. Clean the freezer coils—and the rest of your fridge while you’re at it.

5. Clean, inspect, and rotate ceiling fans

Fans become vital in keeping cool air circulating through your home as the temperature climbs. This increase in use can also cause added wear and tear to the units. Ensure your fans remain dust-free to keep the air inside your home as fresh as possible. Give them a thorough inspection—looking out for bent or loose blades, excessive wobbling (more than ⅛ inch), or a damaged motor.

Also be sure to switch your fans to a counterclockwise rotation, as opposed to clockwise in the winter. A counterclockwise rotation pushes cool air towards the floor, keeping the temperature in the room up to 8 degrees cooler and saving you money on additional air conditioning costs.

6. Change air conditioner filter

The frequency in which you change your A/C filter varies on several factors, including the type of filter, household size, pets, and allergies. When homeowners forget to change their filter before the summertime, they often get fooled into thinking their HVAC system has stopped working altogether.

Air conditioning use increases during the summer months, so be sure to change your filter at the beginning of the season. This will ensure the cleanest and coolest air flow possible, as well as help to increase the lifespan of your unit.

7. Inspect windows and doors for broken seals

Energy efficiency is a great goal for any homeowner to reduce bills and help the environment. Nobody wants to run the A/C only for the cool air to escape outside. Resealing windows and doors, or performing any necessary repairs can help keep cool air in and your energy bill lower.

8. Flush your water heater

Water heater maintenance is essential year-round. However, water usage tends to sharply increase in the summer. Increased use makes it essential to get the manufacturer-recommended care you need. Primarily, you likely need a water heater flush. Over time, harmful sediments can build up in your water heater. These particles cling to your water heater tank, reducing its efficiency, effectiveness, and lifespan.

The solution? A simple water heater flush.

Water heaters should be flushed, on average, once a year to keep your unit in good health. During this process, your plumbing professional will drain your water heater and clean it with a chemical solution. This process will remove the sediment buildup and restore your water heater functioning.

So, there you have it – our summer home maintenance tips. The above tips will help you clean up and take care of your home this summer. Decide which are priorities for you and tackle those first. Then divvy up the responsibilities or hire professionals to make the best use of your time.