So, it’s finally time to crawl out of the depths of winter and get ready for summer! Besides
getting your sandals and the kiddy pool out, you're good to go… right? Well, there are actually
several things you should inspect as a homeowner to ensure your home is in optimal condition
heading into the summer.
For one, doing simple routine checks of your home's interior and exterior can help you identify any issues early in the season so they can be addressed and fixed before they become more significant problems. Before the height of summer hits, you'll also want to spend some time getting your landscaping in order and, of course, preparing for the summer heat itself. So, today let's discuss some of the top tips you need to know on our summer maintenance homeowner's guide to keep your family safe and ready for some fun in the sun this summer.
De-Winterize Your Home
As the days become longer and hotter, it's a good idea to get a jump start on de-winterizing your home so you can enjoy your summertime to the fullest. Therefore, you'll want to complete a series of interior and exterior checks, fixing or replacing things as needed, to keep your home in tip-top shape. Here are some things you need to consider when de-winterizing your home.
Sometimes when the snow goes away and the sun comes out, we migrate outside so quickly that we forget certain areas of the home's interior need to be inspected. So, this summer, don't forget to remove any weather stripping or storm taping you've added to your doors and windows to keep the moisture out and the heat in throughout the winter. As you're checking over the windows and doors, be sure to look for any damaged window screens so you can prevent bugs from entering your space. Fixing these minor things now can save you a headache down the line and prevent them from becoming a more significant issue. For example, ensuring your sump pump is working and quickly checking for moisture in your basement or crawlspace before they turn into leaks or a full-blown flood can save you time, money, and hassle in the future.
Another interior check that you should be completing is changing your air filters (as needed), either with the help of a professional or the household handyman. This quick update helps safeguard the air quality in your home, protect your family from any dust or allergen particles the filter has trapped, and avoid system failure. Not to mention, an efficiently running HVAC system can save you money on your energy bill since it doesn't have to run for extended periods to try and pull air through a clogged filter. Similarly, a quick check over your washing machine's water hoses for cracks and the dryer vent for lint buildup is an excellent way to be proactive against possible future issues. Finally, you'll want to visually inspect your air ducts, and any other place with the potential for buildup, for any sign of mould, allergens, or debris. If you do determine there are signs of these things, avoid these areas and contact a professional to help you eliminate this issue at the source.
Now that you've done your interior checks, it's time to complete a series of exterior inspections. For starters, walk around the perimeter of your home, noting anything that might require your further attention. For example, you’ve already checked your windows and doors from the inside, but why not do the same type of check from the outside – just in case. If possible, inspect your roof to ensure there are no leaks or cracks that could lead to a more significant problem over time. This is also the time to check your foundation and any other random areas like your gutters and downspouts to ensure they re in optimal working condition.
Another visual check you'll want to complete for the exterior of your home is inspecting any wooden decks, railings, windowsills, or steps for signs of rot or structural integrity failure. Of course, if you do come across anything, you'll want to call the household handyman or a professional once again to address the issue before it has the chance to worsen. Beyond these visual checks, you should always pressure wash your deck or patio, driveway or walkways, and outdoor furniture, so they're clean, free from debris, and ready to use all summer long.
Give Your Landscape Some Love
Now that you've finished doing these exterior and interior checks, it's time to give your landscape some love. Before you get too far into the season, if you have outdoor sprinkler heads, be sure to inspect them for any damage they might have received from the snow ploughs or cold weather. This would also be the time to double-check your ponds or outside water sources to ensure they haven't been affected during the winter months and are still functioning as you'd like. Of course, if you're a gardener, the spring and summer months are the ideal time to get your seeds or bulbs in the ground so they can begin to root and grow. Finally, no summer maintenance guide featuring landscaping would be complete without mentioning lawn maintenance. If lawn care isn't your forte, consider hiring a professional to attend to your yard. They'll have the expertise and tools to get the job done right; however, you could also spend time researching the best products to use in your yard for yourself. Look into what fertilizer is best, if you need a weed killer, and if you have all the necessary tools, such as a lawnmower or weed whipper, to get the job done.
Gear Up for Summer
Now that you've done your interior and exterior checks and got your landscape in order, it's time for you and your family to gear up for summer! Of course, this means buying new inflatable toys and sunscreen, but it also means pool and AC season. Depending on what kind of pool you have, the maintenance may vary. For example, if you just need to pull your inflatable pool out of storage, it probably only requires a quick wipe, check for any damage, and then to be filled with water. However, if you have a built-in pool in your backyard, you'll want to give your pool a thorough ‘chemical open’ before use, which entails things like assembling the filtration system, cleaning out the baskets, and removing any plugs that were placed in the pool at the end of the previous season. You also might consider getting your water professionally tested to ensure your water quality is ideal for swimming.
When it comes to AC unit maintenance, there are a few things you should be aware of. First, you'll want to remove the cover and carefully clean your outside condenser before checking your refrigerant line. Next, you'll want to ensure your furnace filter has been recently changed and then inspect the drainage pipe to check it’s free from any blockages. Lastly, you'll just want to make sure your thermostat is working in conjunction with your AC unit, and you should be good to go! Remember, if you're not very familiar with your AC unit, you may want to hire a professional to do a complete tune-up, so you're ready to beat the summer heat.
Many of these checks you will be able to do yourself as a homeowner to ensure your home is running optimally. However, there may be a few that you cannot complete yourself, and that's when you should schedule a professional early in the season to make sure they can come and address any of your needs. You might also consider creating a master list so that it's easier for you to execute these inspections each season. Ultimately, being mindful of the things you need to check before the summer hits is critical so you can identify and right any potential issues and get back to enjoying all your favourite parts of summer!