In the spring, we clean the inside of our home from top to bottom. But what about the outside? It needs attention, too, and summer proves the perfect season to give your home exterior a thorough inspection and any needed maintenance. Knock these items off your to-do list during the cooler hours of a few early mornings.
Inspect the Entire Exterior
Grab a sturdy ladder and get started. Check for any insect nests that need removing, chipping or peeling paint , and cracked stucco or masonry if applicable. Look for any signs of wood rot on windowsills and frames. The same goes for decking and fencing. Also check your gutters for debris that could keep them from properly draining. Note any tree branches or shrubbery growing too close to the house.
Make a list of any supplies and equipment you will need-insect spray, paintbrushes, tree trimmers, etc.-to complete the tasks needing to be done. Or note the to-do's for your professional handyman to tackle.
Re-Caulk Windows and Doors, Check for Leaks
Changing temperatures can cause caulk to shrink and to expand. Start the summer with your best chance for energy efficiency by checking the caulk around your windows and replacing it as needed. A simple candle test-hold a candle against the frame while inside-can tell you if there are breezes coming through closed windows
If there are, remove old caulk using a caulk softener and a putty knife before reapplying to a clean surface. After 16 hours or so of drying time, your windows should be resealed.
While your window screens are off, take the opportunity to rinse them with a garden hose and check for rips and tears. Replace or repair screens to help keep insects from entering your home through open windows in the summer.
If you're feeling especially ambitious, or perhaps if you moved into the home recently and have had multiple seasons worth of work to do, check out these other home maintenance checklists to learn which tasks need to be done regularly.
Other Summer Maintenance Tasks
AC Air Filters-The arrival of summer is also a good time to change or clean the air filters in your HVAC system. Dirty filters reduce the efficiency of your air conditioner, upping electricity bills already raised by the warmer temperatures. Grab a three pack so you will remember to change the filter monthly for the rest of the season.
Ceiling Fans-Whether indoors or out, ceiling fans get dirty. You can use the brush attachment on your vacuum to remove light dust from blades and a damp microfiber cloth if heavier dirt has accumulated. As always, be careful on the ladder and do not pull down on the blades, which can unbalance the ceiling fan and lead to a sound that will annoy you to no end. While you are up there, flip the switch to change the direction in which the fan will turn. It should rotate counterclockwise in the summer months, pushing cool air down.
Exterior Lights-Lights outside serve two purposes: They provide light for you, your family and guests, and they also shine light that can deter criminals. Ensure all outside fixtures and bulbs are in working order, and consider installing motion-detecting lights in areas where you might not want a light shining at all times, such as near a garage or near a bedroom window. If you do install new outside lights, be sure to check where they shine off your property. Your neighbors might not appreciate having a spotlight shined into their master bedroom each night.