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Summer Home Maintenance E-minder

Outdoor Home Maintenance: the earlier the better :)

Power Wash Your Driveway and Sidewalks:
You can rent a pressure washer from the local home improvement store for about $40 a day if you don’t own one.
Clean Out Gutters and Downspouts:
Soft washing is recommended for items such as screens, outdoor wood furniture, cedar, wood or vinyl siding. You can use your same pressure washer, just replace the tip with a nozzle that widens the spray of water so it’s modified to a lower PSI (pressure per square inch).

Wash Windows and Replace Window Screens. The pollen has come and gone. And you want to let the sun shine in! Remove window screens and gently scrub them with hot, soapy water. If your screens are too filthy to be cleaned, you may want to rescreen them. Then check the seal on your windows and doors. You don't want that cool AC leaking out! Replace weather stripping where needed.

Clean Your Grill for the Backyard BBQ. Clean and test your grill to make sure it’s ready for hamburger and hot dog season. If you have a gas grill, heat it up for about 20-30 minutes and then scrub the grates clean with a grill brush. For a charcoal grill, grab a bucket of hot, soapy water and clean with a sponge.
To ensure proper grill safety, check hoses for cracks, holes and blockages. Don’t forget to place your grill 10 feet or more away from any structures, railings or other flammable items before firing it up.

Indoor Home Maintenance:

Examine Your (Indoor) Hoses
First on the summer home maintenance checklist for your indoor spaces is to inspect the hoses to your washer, dehumidifier, dishwasher, icemaker, toilets and refrigerator for any signs of wear and tear, leaks or cracking. You should replace these hoses once every 3-5 years, but it is important to regularly check for any signs of leaking.

Check Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors
Replace old batteries and check to ensure things are in working order with all smoke alarms, carbon monoxide detectors and home timers.

Clean the Garbage Disposal and Dishwasher
This summer home maintenance tip isn’t necessarily a warm weather chore, but it is important to clean out your garbage disposal and dishwasher every once in a while. You can clean out your garbage disposal by flushing it with hot water and some dish soap. To clean your dishwasher, add 2 cups of vinegar to the bottom of the machine and run the machine on low wash. If your dishes are still coming out dirty, it may be time to replace the appliance.

Reverse Ceiling Fans:
It’s a good idea to reverse the direction of your ceiling fan during the summer so that it spins counter-clockwise. This pushes the air straight down, creating a nice breeze. To do so, shut off the fan and wait for the blades to come to a complete stop. Once everything is still, use a ladder or step stool to locate the direction switch – this will probably be on the side of the fan above the blades. Flip the switch in the opposite direction and then turn the fan back on. While you’re up there, make sure to dust your fan blades as well.

Perform Washing Machine Maintenance:
Your washing machine is one of those appliances that needs some light maintenance every now and then. When your washer is not in use, inspect the seal between the door opening and the drum for areas of soil buildup or stains. If you find any, you can clean it with a mixture of ¾ cup of chlorine bleach and a gallon of warm water. Rub the area with the bleach and water solution and let it sit for about 5 minutes. Wipe dry with a clean cloth, and let it air dry. This will remove any odors and keep your clothes from getting stained by dirt deposits inside the seal.
Take note of the age of your washer and dryer and be prepared for when they’ll need to be replaced. See my tab on the life expectancy of home appliances!

Wipe Down and Clean Baseboards
Baseboards are often overlooked when it comes to cleaning. It can be tough to muster up the energy to get on your hands and knees and clean the trim, but it is something you want to do at least once a year during a deep clean of your home to keep dust and dirt from building up. I put it on the summer chores since heat rises, and you might just find the floor to be the coolest place on occasion! A damp cloth and a little patience is all you need to clean up the trim around your home.

Enjoy the summer!!!