By Brentnie Daggett
Although many associate cleaning with springtime, summer cleaning tasks deserve their time in the sun as well. With warmer temperatures and longer days ahead, there’s no better time to open the windows, throw on the rubber gloves and get to work. Deep cleaning your home and getting rid of dirt and dust is important, but don’t forget to take care of heavy-duty home maintenance tasks as well.
Seasonal home maintenance is crucial to keeping your property in good shape and avoiding things like moisture damage that may have occurred during the winter months. As you cross items off your summer maintenance checklist this year, be sure to add these key tasks that may not have crossed your mind:
Pull a Sherlock Holmes
There's more to fostering a great environment in your home than simply finding the right style of decor. Taking the time to perform annual inspections of your home can save you time and money, and avoid safety issues down the road. Put on your best detective hat and start inspecting all those little clues that may have cropped up around your home over the course of the year. While you’re already moving throughout your house to clean it, check out a few other areas that may have been neglected.
Take this as an opportunity to make sure all of your safety devices (smoke alarms, carbon monoxide detectors, fire extinguishers, etc.) are in good working order. Check for mold or moisture buildup that may have occurred as a result of winter and spring interior humidity—pay close attention to attics and basements. Quickly examining all your appliances, plus their correlating hoses and/or electrical wires, will ensure your safety and extend the life of your appliances. Walk around the exterior of your house to check for hazards like loose railings, debris, cracks and holes in the foundation, as well as roof issues. Nothing can ruin a summer day like a hazardous situation.
Check Your Exterior
Power washing is a relatively easy and inexpensive way to give the exterior of your home a quick refresh. Blast off any residual grime that may have built up during those spring showers. However, be sure to do this before the very hot months make extraneous water use irresponsible. Keep an eye out for any chips or cracks in the exterior paint—exposed wood and siding can be subject to rot, so protect areas with a fresh coat of paint, if needed.
Rain and snow can lead to branches, leaves and other debris clogging foundation vents, gutters and downspouts. Clogs and leaks in your gutter system can lead to expensive damage to the roof or even the interior of your home. Check your gutters and downspouts for any accumulated gunk that might cause an issue—you'll want to make sure they're prepared to drain properly for those spring showers. If you do come across a clog in your gutters, try removing the debris or using a garden hose to force out any built-up material. If the debris proves to be too difficult to remove on your own, consider hiring a professional.
Spruce Up Your Outdoor Living Spaces
Spring isn't the only season known for its beautiful blooms, so tackle those annual landscaping tasks to boost your curb appeal. Summer landscaping can include planting drought-resistant plants, covering gardens with mulch to protect roots from the hot sun and picking out summer-ready flowers like sunflowers and lavender. Make sure branches and shrubs are trimmed away from your roofing and siding to prevent moisture damage and provide pest control.
Mowing and weeding your grass now will help you stay on top of any sudden growth that takes place when the weather warms up. Planting annual perennials, which love the summer heat, is a low maintenance way to give a dash of color to your yard and increase your property's curb appeal as you begin to enjoy the outdoors more and more.
Bring In the Big Guns for Your HVAC
Your home's heating and cooling system should be inspected, serviced and cleaned at least once a year, and it makes sense to do so when the temperatures will be changing drastically. While you may be tempted to, once again, don your detective hat, this is a good time to call in the professionals for an annual once over. Your heating system likely worked hard all winter, and as you switch to your cooling system, regular maintenance can extend the life of your furnace and postpone expensive replacements.
Change the air filters regularly to prevent major HVAC issues. If your home has foundation vents, be sure to clean them by hand or with a shop vacuum. Foundation vents usually have screens that become a catch-all for leaves, twigs and assorted debris.
A sense of satisfaction and accomplishment is often part of why we're driven to tend to seasonal cleaning in the first place. Taking it the extra mile by adding a few essential items to your checklist can help protect your home and prevent unnecessary damage. Sticking to routine maintenance will protect your investment and allow you to enjoy the space you've worked so hard to build. Maintenance, cleaning, servicing and landscaping guarantees that your house is in good shape and protected for years to come!
Brentnie Daggett is a writer and infographic master for the rental and property management industry. She loves to share tips and tricks to assist landlords and renters alike. To learn more about Daggett, and to discover more great tips for renters, visit www.rentecdirect.com.