Now that we are well into May, you’ve most likely noticed the dramatic change in weather. Although not everyday is sunny and hot, temperatures are rising as we get closer and closer to that long-awaited summer weather.
As usual, the change in season is a good opportunity to assess the state of your home. Some projects are just meant to be done in warmer weather, so with that in mind, we bring you our annual comprehensive Summer Home Maintenance Checklist.
We have tips on everything from landscaping to ways you can keep your home as cool as possible, so be sure to get a head start on our list to make sure you can relax when summer officially gets going!
Summer Maintenance Checklist
- Get out your seasonal home maintenance gear (lawnmower, garden hose, sprinkler, fertilizer, gardening tools, etc.) and make sure they are well organized, ready to go and easily accessible.
- Ensure your water supply has survived the colder weather and that you have no leaks or floods when turning on the outside taps (although you are already likely watering). Ensure you also observe watering restrictions.
- Summer is the perfect time to update your deck, door and window trims, picnic table and chairs with a fresh coat of paint/stain.
- Make your deck/balcony as appealing as possible by creating an outdoor extension of your indoor living space: make sure it’s safely-accessible, comfortable, clean and filled with your favourite things, like comfy chairs, flowering planters, candles and pillows.
- Gardening is a great way to enjoy the great outdoors and can actually make your home more appealing if you are thinking of selling. Watering the soil, not the leaves, with a long, slow drink is what is required to maintain good plant growth. Frequent shallow watering, instead of deep watering, encourages roots to grow towards the surface, making plants vulnerable in hot weather, especially lawns. Irrigate early in the morning and only on days when watering restrictions allow.
- Leave shallow containers (bowls, seashells, plant trays, etc.) with water around your garden for bees, butterflies, wasps and other beneficial insects. Be sure to add pebbles into the container so insects won’t drown while trying to drink. Refresh the water daily so it doesn’t provide a breeding opportunity for mosquitoes.
- For all outdoor yard work that takes 20 minutes or more, applying sunscreen is always advised. It is also recommended to wear a hat in these situations to protect yourself from the sun.
- Switch your ceiling fan to run counter-clockwise (the blades are tilted upward as they spin) to push air downward and create a stronger draft.
- Get an attic fan. Just moving the air around and having good ventilation up there could eliminate the need for costly A/C. Run the blower fan on your furnace as well.
- Replace your air conditioner’s filter and have your system professionally serviced. You’ll breathe easier with reduced possibilities of air-cooling malfunctions in the sweltering summer heat.
- Use awnings or shutters to shade the home. Shutters can provide security, shading and storm-protection in one simple device.
- Cupolas can be as functional as they are decorative. As warm air rises, cupolas allow hot air to escape at the high points in the home, while bringing up cooler air from below. This also creates a steady and cooling air flow, even when there is no breeze outside. In some homes, cupolas also provide soft, indirect sunlight that illuminates the home without bringing in the heat. This same principle can work to help summer cooling in almost any home, if you can assist air flow by way of an opening skylight or attic fan.
- Think about preparing easy, minimum-cooking meals like salads, etc. to keep extra heat out of the kitchen. Luckily there is a wide variety of healthy, nutritional options to choose from.
BONUS: Air out musty basements and crawl spaces whenever there is an opportunity. You will benefit from cleaner air inside your home!