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Home Maintenance Tips for Summer

Summer may be the time to enjoy your home rather than fixing it, but it’s good to stay ahead of chores, updates and repairs. Here are some summer home maintenance tips to review before heading out to your next BBQ:

Outside
Sprinklers:
Check your sprinkler system to ensure your plants and lawn are getting enough water:

  1. Turn on the sprinklers manually, one station at a time.
  2. Check that each sprinkler head is positioned upright by walking around the yard.
  3. Clean the valves and look for clogs with water from a hose or brush. Replace any leaky valves.
  4. Adjust the valve flow and/or trim plants to make sure the spray isn’t blocked by any plants and has a wide reach.
  5. Check and set sprinkler timers.
  6. Signs of cracked underground pipes include low pressure, leaks or pooling water.

Pools and bird baths and water features: Maintain regularly throughout all four seasons. Skim the water surface to clean up leaves and debris. Keep algae growth under control by scrubbing the sides once or twice a month.

Home exterior repairs:
Summer is a great time to paint the outside of your house, repair your porch or power wash the exterior.

Inside
Ceiling fans:
To create a nice breeze and push the air down inside your home, reverse your ceiling fan setting to counterclockwise.

Air conditioning:
Clean your filters once a month, especially in the summer. You can do this with a vacuum hose or attachment, depending on the filter material.

Extreme heat:
Prepare your home for inevitable summer heat waves by checking the weather stripping around doors and windows that help keep cool air inside. Draw blinds during the morning or afternoon to help block out the sun. Heat waves can cause blackouts or brownouts, so update items in your disaster supply kit such as bottled water, medicine and canned food. Check in on neighbors with young children or older ones who live alone. Create a family emergency plan and review it annually.

Bugs and pests:
You may notice more critters such as ants, bees and mice waking up during summer months. A trail of ants can be handled with hot water and vinegar, but a more serious infestation such as termites or roaches requires a professional visit. A single visit can get expensive so if you have seasonal pest control issues, consider an annual contract with a pest control service.

It’s always a good idea to stay ahead of home improvement projects instead of waiting until the last minute. Because most contractors are booked for outdoor projects in summer, plan indoor fall and winter home improvements projects now.

Adapted from NYT.