As the temperature rises and the sun shines brighter, it’s easy to get wrapped up in the joys of summer and forget about performing necessary home maintenance. Our Summer Maintenance Guide is here to help you avoid costly repairs and future complications. With a detailed breakdown of items for inspection, you can ensure that your home is running smoothly and efficiently, leaving you free to enjoy the season without worry. From the exterior of your home to your lawn and garden, now is the perfect time to tackle those backburner projects and keep your property in top condition.
Inspect air conditioning to ensure it’s properly functioning; schedule a tune-up if necessary.
Summer’s heat means that your air conditioning unit has to work hard to cool your home, and if not maintained properly, it can cause your electricity bill to rise. To ensure your unit is running as efficiently as possible, clean and replace your air filters regularly, and if need be, contact a professional contractor to clean the coils, check the fans for damage, and remove any debris.
Reverse the setting on your ceiling fans to counterclockwise.
Ceiling fans are a great way to keep your home cool and comfortable. By reversing the setting on your ceiling fans to counterclockwise, the blades will push air down and create a refreshing breeze. This helps to maintain a consistent temperature throughout the day and reduces the need for your air conditioner to be running constantly.
Check and reset ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs).
GFCI outlets help protect you from electrical shock, as they are specially designed to cut power from the outlet when an imbalance or power surge flows through them. To test, locate the two rectangular buttons between the cord slots. Press the test button with your finger; you will hear a snap that trips the outlet and cuts off the power to the two plug connections. Once confirmed that the safety function is working properly, press the reset button to restore power to the outlet.
Test smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors.
Test your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors to ensure they are working correctly. Check your fire extinguishers to ensure there are no leaks and that the pin is in place.
Air out your damp basement on a dry, sunny day.
Airing out your basement cleans and freshens the air throughout your whole home, and can help reduce mold growth, as it eliminates moisture in the air. We strongly encourage you to purchase a stand-alone dehumidifier and run it in your basement to alleviate excess moisture. This unit should be kept running throughout the warmer months and can also be used on damp winter days.
Check or clean exhaust fans.
Turn the fan off at the switch or circuit breaker, then remove the cover. Use a vacuum cleaner equipped with a bristle brush attachment to clean the cover and grill thoroughly, then reinstall the cover.
Check the water heater for leaks.
For gas heaters, if rust is present without signs of a leak, condensation may be forming inside the tank. Call Enercare for servicing matters.
Clean or replace your furnace filter, humidifier, and heat recovery ventilator (HRV).
Furnace filter: A clogged furnace filter will impact air flow throughout the house; be sure to replace it every three months.
Humidifier: Ensure the equipment is turned off during the summer months and before servicing (consult your user manual for instructions).
HRV: Ensure the equipment is off before servicing (consult your user manual). Gently clean and dry the HRV filter before reinstalling. A light vacuuming of the HRV unit may be required, as some dust and debris from the exterior can make its way in.
Check and clean the dryer vent.
To prevent potential fire hazards, ensure that the exhaust vent, which carries hot air out of your dryer to the outdoors, is checked regularly for blockages. Remove lint from the dryer vent. While the dryer is running, check that the exhaust is coming out. It should smell of fresh laundry. If there isn’t much exhaust, check for blockages. Hire a professional if needed.
Inspect, clean, and repair grout in the kitchen and bathrooms, if necessary.
Inspecting and repairing tiled surfaces will prolong their life and keep them looking fresh. To clean and repair grout in your kitchen or bathroom, begin by scrubbing the grout lines with a mixture of baking soda and water. Rinse with water and dry thoroughly. For tougher stains, use a commercial grout cleaner. If the grout is cracked or missing, prepare a new batch of grout according to the manufacturer’s instructions and apply it to the affected area. Allow the grout to dry completely before wiping away any excess. Finally, seal the grout to prevent further damage.
Inspect plumbing for leaks and clean aerators on faucets.
Go around to all your faucets and toilets and check for any small leaks, and make necessary repairs. If you have poor water pressure coming out of a faucet, the aerator may be the culprit. To clean aerators, turn off the water supply and remove the aerator from the faucet spout. Disassemble the aerator and remove any debris or mineral buildup using a brush or toothbrush. Soak the parts in vinegar for an hour, rinse, and reassemble. Finally, screw the aerator back onto the faucet spout and turn on the water supply to test it.
Deal with any insect or pest infestations to maintain a healthy living environment.
Insects and pests can carry diseases and cause damage to your property, which can be costly to repair. To deal with infestations, start by identifying the pest and its source. Then, remove any sources of food or water that may be attracting the pests. Use insecticides or traps to eliminate the pests and prevent them from returning. Consider hiring a professional pest control service for severe infestations. Regular cleaning and maintenance can also help prevent future infestations.
Remove debris from overhang and vents, and check the roof for wear and tear or damage.
Remove leaves and other debris caused by spring blooms and inspect roof shingles for damage. Shingles that are cracked, buckled, and loose or that are missing granules need to be replaced. To prevent injury, consult with a professional to clean debris from your home’s overhang and vents.
Check sealing around windows and doors for air and water leaks.
To boost your home’s energy efficiency, it’s essential to maintain the seals on your doors and windows by re-caulking them. Weather stripping wears out over time and should be replaced as part of regular homeowner maintenance.
Clean out debris from window wells.
Cleaning window wells in the summer is crucial for preventing water damage and keeping homes safe. Debris, leaves, and other materials can block the drains causing water buildup that damages the foundation. Regular cleaning ensures clear drainage and prevents costly issues.
Check garage and garage door tracks for deterioration and lubricate bearings.
With the garage door closed, check your garage door panels from the inside, ensuring there are no loose pieces, cracks, separations, or damage. If necessary, lubricate the garage-door opener, chain, door, hinges, and bearings.
Clean the garage.
Cleaning the garage during the summer is crucial for homeowners who want to create more space, reduce clutter, and prevent pest infestations. Garages often become a dumping ground for unwanted items, and regular cleaning can help remove debris, dust, and dirt that accumulate over time, making the garage a more pleasant and functional space.
Inspect doors and locks for proper closure.
Check that exterior doors are opening and closing smoothly, and do not bind or drag when in use. Ensure that weather stripping is installed and replace it if need be. For locks, the dead bolts should fully extend into their respective jambs, and keys should smoothly lock and unlock the deadbolt.
Turn on hose bibs.
Turn on both your garage and rear yard hose bibs. For homeowners receiving sod this season, ensure you have garden hoses in place.
Keep the garden healthy and tidy.
To keep your garden looking great, set your lawnmower on the highest setting to avoid cutting the grass too short, which can lead to drought and weeds. Dig up weeds weekly and water the plants regularly, deadheading flowers that are past their bloom. If you hire a professional landscaper, check local ordinances to ensure compliance with any equipment restrictions. Finally, prune trees and shrubs to keep them looking neat and tidy.
Check the sprinkler system to ensure it’s working correctly and efficiently.
Start by inspecting the system’s components, including the sprinkler heads, valves, and pipes, for any signs of damage or leaks. Then, turn on each zone to check for proper coverage and adjust any misaligned or clogged sprinkler heads. Check the system’s timer settings to ensure they match your watering needs and adjust accordingly. Finally, consider installing a rain sensor to prevent unnecessary watering during rainy periods. If you notice leaks, pooling water, or low pressure, it may indicate the presence of cracked underground pipes, which typically require the assistance of a plumber.
Clean and repair the deck or patio as needed.
To keep your deck or patio safe and looking good, it’s essential to maintain it regularly. Clean it by giving it a thorough washing, and check for any loose boards or posts that could pose a safety hazard. Repair them as needed. Furthermore, consider re-staining your deck to protect it from the damaging effects of the weather.
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