1. Maintain Defensible Space Around Your House
Defensible space is a term used to describe the area around your home that is free of flammable materials and vegetation, which helps to prevent the spread of wildfire. Click here for how to keep your property lean and green to help protect your family and home.
2. Check Your Roof for Debris
Gutters and downspouts can get clogged with debris, leaves, and other materials, which can cause water damage to your home’s roof and foundation. To prevent this, inspect and clean your gutters and downspouts regularly, especially after heavy rainfall. Use a ladder, gloves, and a bucket to remove any debris, and use a hose to flush out the gutters and downspouts. You may also consider installing gutter screens to make next year’s job easier!
3. Replace HVAC Filter
Assuming you have air conditioning, your HVAC system works harder during the summer months, so it’s essential to maintain it properly to ensure it runs efficiently. Here’s a great guide on how to do it. And even if you only have heat, don’t forget that during wildfire season you can run your system on “fan only” to help filter the indoor air – you’ll want a clean filter for that, too.
4. Inspect and Vacuum the Dryer Vent
Does your dryer seem to take a lot longer than it used to to dry your clothes? It may be because the vent is clogged with lint. Clogged dryer vents can hinder the performance of your dryer and can also be quite dangerous if the problem gets severe. Regular cleaning is critical to keeping your appliance running smoothly (and for a long time) as well as keeping you safe. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to clean your dryer vent.
5. Test Smoke Detectors
Here’s another critical safety item that is the bane of our existence. It feels like smoke detectors just go off in the middle of the night or when we are on vacation. Is that the only time the batteries die? Well, there is a reason they are required by code–they save lives. And they can’t save your life if they don’t work. So, test them regularly. We only do these tips twice a year and recommend you go ahead and change the batteries twice a year. Heck, it might even help you avoid the dreaded 2am alarm! More info here.
6. Remind Your Family of Your Emergency Evacuation Plan
OK, this isn’t really a home maintenance item but it is an important “household” item, so I’ve included it. And another hint – if you don’t have an evacuation plan, make one! Then, review it with your family periodically. Don’t take anything for granted. Here’s a great resource.
7. Check Your Emergency Kit
Assuming you already have a kit, review it for expired food, water, medications, etc. And if you don’t have a kit, please take some time to put one together. Don’t be like me and still have extra diapers in your kit when your kids are old enough to deftly negotiate for more screen time! Here’s a good place to start.
8. Clean Your Refrigerator Coils
Cleaning the coils of your refrigerator can help improve its efficiency, reduce energy consumption, and prolong its lifespan. It’s also pretty quick to do. And you might find something you thought you lost behind the fridge. Or a winning lottery ticket. So what are you waiting for, get started!
9. Clean Range Hood Filter
OK, I’ll admit, this is one of my least favorite ones. And is one reason to invest in a high-quality range hood where you can put the filters straight into the dishwasher. Go ahead and put it on your wish list for that kitchen remodel. I probably don’t need to tell you that all the grease and smoke from your cooking gets caught in the range filter and, like other appliances, the more clogged it gets, the harder the motor has to work and the more stress it puts on the hood. Here are some good steps to follow when cleaning it.
10. Power Wash the Deck and Inspect for Exposed Nails, Screws, or Splinters
Power washing your deck can help extend its lifespan and keep it looking beautiful for years to come. It may seem intimidating but it’s one of those projects that gives you a great deal of satisfaction and isn’t as hard as it might seem. First checking for nails or screws which have popped up and setting them back flush with the level of the deck is a good safety measure. Sand down any areas that are splintering, as well. Then, follow these steps to powerwash the surface. Be careful to test your powerwashing skills on a small area before tackling the most visible areas of your deck. Keep a chilled cocktail at the ready to celebrate your handiwork!
11. Clean the Grill and Check the Propane Tank
Having seen a major grill flare-up at an elementary school fundraiser, this is an important one. By regularly cleaning your grill and checking your propane tank, you can ensure that it’s safe and ready to use, while also improving the performance and lifespan of your grill. Yes, it’s a dirty job and here are some tips to do it right.
In conclusion, summer is a great time to tackle essential home maintenance tasks that can help keep your home safe, efficient, and beautiful. From inspecting your roof and cleaning your gutters to maintaining your HVAC system and outdoor spaces, these tips will help you maintain your home’s value and comfort. By taking care of these tasks, you can enjoy a stress-free summer and avoid costly repairs down the road.