There are a lot of things you need to do for your home throughout the year, and summer is the time when a lot of those efforts need a little extra attention. Consequently, putting together a checklist to follow for the rest of July and August is a great way to avoid unexpected issues.
Here are 10 things around the home you can’t afford to ignore this summer:
1) Check the smoke and carbon monoxide detectors
This is something you should be doing on a regular basis anyway, but if you haven’t done it in a while, now is definitely the time, according to Insurance Hub. Test every one and, if they don’t beep, replace the batteries. It doesn’t take much effort but it’s vital to protecting your loved ones and your home itself.
2) Dust the fans
Whether you have ceiling fans or the box version you pull out of the attic or basement every summer, it’s a good idea to make sure they’re free of dust and other debris before putting them into heavy use over the next few months. Making sure the blades and other components are cleared off is good for not spreading dust around a room, but also because it keeps the fan balanced and in good working order.
3) Inspect your air conditioners
The same is true of your AC units – whether you have a central system or install individual units in windows – because a lot more debris can build up around them. Due to how much power they use, an inefficient air conditioner can be quite costly, and there can also be some fire risk if the unit is in particularly bad shape. In that case, it might be better to get it repaired or replaced.
4) Give the grill a once-over
If you plan to do any grilling this summer, you will have to check that all components of it are in good working order, according to The Nest. First, you should clean it thoroughly, whether it’s gas or charcoal. However, if you have a gas grill, there’s plenty more to consider to make sure everyone is safe, including the propane tank and hookups.
5) Make sure the porch, deck or patio is in good shape
If you’re going to be spending plenty of pleasant hours hosting company or just reading a book alone in an outdoor space, you need to make sure all the masonry or wood is in good shape. If not, there may be plenty of steps you can take to fix them, but doing so sooner than later is vital to ensuring everyone avoids slipping or tripping – and potentially injuring themselves – when they come over.
6) Get to work on the appliances
There are plenty of appliances you should look over in the summer, from cleaning all the collected dust and debris off the back of the refrigerator to clearing out the exhaust fan above the stove, according to Better Homes and Gardens. You should also be sure to clear out all the lint that can build up around your washer and dryer, and inspect the dishwasher for leaks.
7) See if the trees and bushes are healthy
Not only are dead and dying trees or shrubbery around your home not good for the other plants in your yard, they’re also a potential risk. In the summer and into early fall, weather events like thunderstorms, tornados and hurricanes can threaten your property depending upon where you live, and in those cases, big overhanging limbs or the entire plant can put people and other objects in your yard in harm’s way. Pruning the vegetation back as necessary, or having them removed altogether, is usually a good idea for this reason.
8) Vacuum all the vents
Similar to clearing all the dust off your fans, tuning up your air conditioner and cleaning your appliances, you might want to ensure all vents in your home is clear of dust and other debris, according to Home Advisor. In the course of your regular vacuuming, making sure to get every vent you encounter – whether intake or exhaust – can help your HVAC system run more effectively. That’s true not only in the summer, when the A/C is often on full blast, but also the winter when you have the heat going.
9) Look at the roof
As mentioned, summer can bring with it some storms that pack heavy rains and winds, and even a little damage to your roof could lead to major problems for your entire home. Water damage that starts at the roof can have a very real (and literal) trickle-down effect that cost thousands or more to repair. With that in mind, it’s always a good idea to get up on the roof when the weather is good to make sure there are no missing shingles or tiles and everything is as it should be. If not, it’s time to repair the issues immediately.
10) Clear the gutters regularly
Along similar lines, there’s plenty of stuff that can get stuck in your gutters over the course of the year, and if you’re not making sure to clear them off regularly, you’re significantly increasing your risk of having a backup that causes water damage. As such, taking a few hours to make sure there are no leaves, pine needles sticks and other debris clogging up your gutters and spouts is going to be time well spent when heavy rains come. It can also be a good idea to make sure where the gutters empty out either has a rain barrel collecting the excess water or is properly designed to make it flow away from your foundation.
Every home has its own unique needs that owners must take into account when putting together a to-do list – the list of necessary maintenance tasks expands quickly if you have a pool, for instance. In general, common sense should dictate many of the steps you take to make sure your home is protected not only during these next few months of summer, but all year long.