Ah, summer...the smell of freshly-cut grass, BBQs, and sunscreen. We've survived months of rain, and now we get to enjoy the outdoors again!
Today is the first day of summer, and to celebrate, we've assembled a list of 10 home maintenance tasks to tackle as we begin this new season.
1. Inspect your deck. Are there loose or rotting boards? Hammer any nails that are popping up. Sprinkle water on it - if it beads up, great. If not, it might be time for a coat of sealer.
2. Wash your windows. Wash inside and out, plus the tracks and screens. (Or, better yet, hire a professional to do it for you!)
3. Check your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors. Make sure they're working, and replace batteries if necessary.
4. Clean your dryer vent. The accumulation of lint in the vent and hose causes 15,000 fires every year! Remove the dryer hose/vent from the dryer and clean the inside thoroughly with a special brush or vacuum. Also, make sure to clean the lint filter every time you dry a load of clothes.
5. Inspect your air conditioner. Make sure exterior units are clean and unobstructed by plants and other objects. It dissipates heat by sucking in air on the sides. If it can't do that, it won't operate correctly. Also check the condensing coils and clean if necessary. This can usually be done by spraying the unit down with a hose. Change the filters in your furnace/air conditioner. Consider hiring a professional to service your A/C to keep it in top shape.
6. Clean the gutters. Get them cleared out before the leaves fall again in a few months.
7. Clean your ceiling fan blades. A Swiffer duster is the perfect tool for removing that layer of dust.
8. Clean the BBQ. For gas grills, turn the heat to high, close the door, and let it cook for about 30 minutes. Then after it cools, use a grill brush to remove the residue. Clean it inside and out with hot, soapy water, and let it dry before using it again.
9. Add mulch to garden beds. Mulch minimizes weeds and helps the ground retain moisture in the heat.
10. Check hoses and exterior faucets for leaks. Even a tiny drip can add up to big water waste. If you have a hose leak, try wrapping it in electrical tape (while it's dry).