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Your ultimate summer cleaning & maintenance checklist

BY Claye Stokes | Thu May 17, 2018
Your ultimate summer cleaning & maintenance checklist

After a long and frigid winter, the sunny skies of summer can provide the perfect backdrop for simple tasks that can help you maintain your home from the inside out. From yard work to a quick inspection of your home’s mechanical systems, the work you do during warmer weather can help you save money, energy and promote general safety all year round. Check out and complete our summer cleaning checklist to keep your household in tip-top shape till next year.

To help you save money

☐  Clean your windows. Letting in some natural light through clean, streak-free windows can be a great way to heat your home for free and keep your utility costs down.

☐  Check the foundation of your home for damage and address accordingly. Stopping foundation issues before they snowball can save you thousands of dollars in repairs.

☐  Fill any small holes or cracks in your drywall. Small imperfections in your drywall can turn into larger problems and cost you a ton in repairs.

☐  Check your roof for stubborn ice dams and icicles. These could damage your roof and cause leaks, damaging your home’s interior and any personal belongings in harm’s way

☐  Clean your dryer vent to ensure that your dryer is running as efficiently as possible. Not all lint gets caught in the lint trap; some makes its way into the dryer vent. A clogged vent can make it take longer for your dryer to complete a cycle and could potentially cause a fire.

To help you save energy

☐  Clear vegetation, dust and vacuum around the HVAC system in your yard using a vacuum, brush and paper towels. This can help with efficiency, cut down on overheating dangers and allow your heating and cooling system to blow cleaner air throughout your household.

☐  Consider switching your indoor light bulbs with smart bulbs. You can control your light settings from your smartphone and save energy.

☐  Check seals around windows and doors. Winter weather can crack and harden caulk and other weather seals, so be sure to inspect them and repair or replace as needed. You’ll lower your air-conditioning bill and prevent water from entering your home and causing damage.

☐  Drain your water heater using the spigot near the bottom. Sediment builds in your water heater and routine drainage can help prolong its life and reduce your electric bill. Learn more about how to drain your water  heater here.

☐  Vacuum your refrigerator coils to help your refrigerator run more efficiently. The coils you’ll find on the bottom or back of your fridge conduct the hot air from inside the unit. If they’re coated with dust, they make your refrigerator work harder. Use a vacuum hose or a bristle brush on the coils.

To promote home safety

☐  Update your home security system. If you have a wireless security system, make sure it has fresh batteries and is responding properly. Click here to learn how to get a new security system in your home.

☐  Check to see if all of your doors have secure, updated locks that are in proper working order. Replace outdated equipment immediately to reduce the risk of unwanted guests in your home.

☐  If you haven’t already, install smoke detectors in every bedroom and in the common areas on each floor of your home. Check batteries regularly, and test them at least once per month. Replace batteries at least once a year according to the National Fire Protection Association.

☐  Install carbon monoxide alarms in a central location outside each bedroom and on each floor of your home. Carbon monoxide detector safety tips are similar to smoke alarms tips. You should test and replace batteries regularly to ensure proper use.

☐  Trim the shrubs and hedges surrounding your home to ensure that your street address is easily visible and that emergency personnel can find your home quickly if needed.

☐  Regularly vacuum lint from dryer exhaust duct to prevent household fires due to build up.

For general home upkeep

☐  Deep clean floors, blinds, ceiling fans and fixtures to clear built up dust. Take a duster or damp cloth to clean off the surprising amount of dust that builds up on floors, blinds and light fixtures so you don’t breathe it in. Better air quality will lessen the likelihood of allergy-related symptoms and promote better sleep and breathing.

☐  Sanitize your fridge, garbage disposal, counters and cabinets to rid your kitchen of nasty germs. Use common household items like white vinegar and baking soda to disinfect your refrigerator and garbage disposal.

☐  Dry clean all bedding and pillows. Bacteria and dust mites can accumulate on your sheets, comforters and pillows that can irritate allergies and cause mold.

☐  Use bleach bathroom spray or a homemade vinegar solution to disinfect your bathroom faucets, tub and sinks to restore shine.

☐  Check plumbing for leaks to ensure you’re not wasting water or compromising water pressure. Also check the caulking your bathrooms and scrub away any mold that’s accumulated. Have a repairman recaulk any leaks for you and do it yourself

☐  Look at your roof shingles and see if any are damaged or need to be replaced. The elements can really take a toll on your roof shingles. Shingles that are cracked, loose or missing granules should be changed out by a professional.

☐  Inspect your gutter for looseness or leaks. Make sure downspouts are aimed away from the foundation of your home and are free of blockage or debris for proper drainage.

☐  Prepare your yard for summer rains and storms by filling low areas in your yard with compacted soil. This will prevent flooding and water collection in your yard, which can create a breeding ground for pesky bugs.

☐  Look for freeze damage in your outside hose faucets. Turn on the water and place your thumb over the opening. If you’re able to successfully stop the flow of water, the pipe inside of the hose may be damaged and in need of replacement. Also check your garden hose for dry rot.

☐  Check out any painted surfaces outside of your home and look for chips, peeling and exposed services. Wood that’s exposed can begin to rot so repaint as soon as you notice imperfections in your painted areas.

Now that you’ve tackled your summer cleaning for the year, you can enjoy the warmer seasons in a safer, cleaner and more energy and cost-efficient home. Relax with a cold beverage, you’ve earned it!

Download printable checklist here: Summer Cleaning Checklist



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