Setting up a summer maintenance routine for your home will help keep it operating efficiently and looking good while providing a safe, comfortable space for you and your family. Regular TLC also maintains your home’s value, which is important if you decide to sell. Here are some must-dos for the months of June, July and August (your home owner’s manual is also a great guide for year-round maintenance tasks). And don’t forget: summer is also meant for relaxing in your new home, so maybe one of your tasks should be setting up a hammock!
Once a month, check your outdoor unit for vegetation or debris blocking air flow. The same goes for air vents for your dryer and other equipment.
Keep your indoor air fresh and clean by checking air filters in your cooling/heating system and range hood. Check your home owner’s and appliance manuals for how often you need to do these tasks.
Blocked attic vents can reduce the life of your roof. Use a pair of binoculars to check for blockages every couple of months. At the same time, check bathroom fan vents and roof shingles for blockage or damage.
Make sure you have an extinguisher in or close to the kitchen and any other fire-prone areas. Check the gauge once a month and make sure you and your family to know how to use the fire extinguishers. More information here.
Test ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) outlets in the bathroom, outside and other wet areas where water could cause a severe electric shock. Do this monthly. Learn how here.
The ground around your foundation may settle over time. Building it up with top soil and sod keeps rainwater away from your foundation.
Fertilizer and watering keep your lawn looking great during Eastern Ontario’s dry spells. Consider replacing at least some of your water-guzzling grass with native plants that are drought-hardy, support pollinators and look lovely all summer. Check this guide for advice. Hardy white Dutch clover, available at garden centres like Ritchie Feed & Seed, is also a good alternative to grass and pollinators love it.
Do an occasional inside and outside check for dangers like loose boards or handrails, unsafely stored chemicals or flammables like gasoline, frayed appliance or extension cords, and tripping hazards.
Get ahead of the fall rush and ensure your family stays cosy all winter by booking your yearly furnace cleaning and inspection in August.
Late summer is a good time to get the mudroom ready for fall and winter. More wall hooks and a spot for outdoor footwear are smart ideas. More mudroom ideas.
Water can evaporate from the trap of a rarely used sink or tub, sometimes allowing sewer gases to enter your home. Turning on the tap for a couple of minutes replenishes the water in the trap.
Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors
A monthly test is easy and keeps your home and family safe.
Windows and window coverings
Keep your windows closed on hot, humid days. That reduces the work your air conditioner has to do (and the money you need to spend operating it!). It also keeps indoor humidity at a lower level so it can’t warp floorboards and other interior wood. On steamy summer days, keep the heat outside by closing blinds and other window coverings.
It’s easy to forget about these. Check them periodically for debris that can stop the wells from draining properly, potentially leading to damaging water infiltration in your basement.
Originally published July 15, 2021