Summer officially begins on June 21 this year- this coming Sunday. This week is your last opportunity to get your home ready for enjoying and surviving the hottest months. We've got you covered, though. Keep reading for our Summer Home Maintenance Checklist.
Clear the School Clutter
Several Greater Cincinnati area schools took advantage of June to make up snow days this year, so your home may still be in end-of-school mode. Help your kids go through their backpacks and store them until they are needed again. Sort out what's worth keeping from their school art and work (or take photos of what you'd like to preserve instead), and recycle what you can get rid of. Supplies that aren't needed for the summer can be placed in a box and stored.
While you're at it with the kids, since you're switching from school clothes to summer clothes, now is also an ideal time to clean out their closets and dressers. Donate what they don't need anymore, and store what's not needed until Fall in airtight containers.
Get the AC Ready
Regardless of the type of air conditioning system your home uses, take the chance now (before temperatures hit the 90's every day) to have your unit cleaned, recharged or tuned up. Turn the air on and check each vent in all the rooms. If you don't feel the cold air, check that the vent is open, or contact your HVAC repair company to schedule a vent cleaning. This is also the point in time when you should change the direction your ceiling fans spin. The air should be pushed downward to keep your rooms cool.
Check Your Mower
Just like cars, lawn mowers need the occasional tune-up. If you aren't familiar with the maintenance needs of yours, contact a mower repair company for a quote to check it out for you. Start the season off with clean and sharpened blades and a full gas tank. Do the same with any other yard equipment you may have, such as a weed-wacker, hedge trimmer, or power gardening tools.
Clean Out the Garage
Give the garage floor a good sweep (or if needed, a power wash), and move non-seasonal items to the back to make room for bikes, gardening tools, and summer sports equipment.
Get the Pool, Patio, Play Equipment and Grill Ready
Save yourself headaches later by taking the time now to get your hang out, play, and entertaining areas ready. Sweep away winter and spring debris from your patio or deck (and consider retreating if it looks like it's due). Identify maintenance needs and repair what you can, particularly if there is a safety concern. Get your pool components cleaned, and make sure you have all the chemicals you need on hand to get through at least the first month. Is it time to replace the propane tank for your grill, or do you need charcoal?
Give Your Home a Mini-Inspection
Start outside, and look around your home exterior for signs of pests, leaks, wind damage, or grime. Wash what you can if it looks like a simple cleaning is all that's needed. If larger issues exists, contact a professional to come out and take a look. Clean the gutters (or install a gutter cover system), and make sure all your downspouts are clear and flowing in the right direction. Don't forget to check the dryer vent for lint build-up.
Move inside and check the attic and basement for signs of trouble, particularly cracks that may have occurred over the winter. Check all your windows and repair or replace any damaged weather stripping or caulking.
Give your fireplace some attention as well. Close the damper to ensure that hot summer air stays out (and your temperature-controlled air stays in). If you're feeling adventurous, take a weekend to give the fireplace a thorough cleaning. Otherwise, bring in a professional chimney sweep to get your unit cleaned up so that it's not an issue during the summer and it's ready to go when the temperatures start to cool.
Freshen Up Inside
Make sure all your off-season holiday decor has been put away, and give your home a good vacuuming and dusting. Mop your hard-surface floors according to their maintenance needs. Consider shaking out area rugs and storing them for the summer. Get your bathrooms and kitchen's all tidied up for summer guests, and switch out the bedding on your guest bed. Get your home bar re-stocked, and make sure you have some party staples on hand for those impromptu evening gatherings.
Turn to the Experts for Major Issues
Most of the smaller things you may come across in this checklist are quick and easy DIY projects, but if you are unsure of how to repair or clean something, or if it's more than a few hours of work, it may be best to call in a professional. If you live in the Greater Cincinnati area, contact Neal's if you'd like a referral.