Home tune-up tips for the summer.
June's warm weather is perfect for using high-powered water to strip the winter grime off your siding, pathways, porch, deck, and outdoor furniture. Make them look like new again! Be sure to start with a low-pressure stream and turn it up slowly until you reach the level that seems right for whatever you're cleaning.
Clear the view.
Did you know clean windows are less likely to crack, and that dirt can actually scratch the glass? They are also less likely to leak your A/C out through damaged seals. Tackle window washing — inside and out — before the heat gets unbearable.
TIP: Skip the squeegee and use a microfiber cloth for a streak-free shine.
It's a bug battle!
And you're going to win. Start by eliminating standing water. Install a fan under the roof of your outdoor space, or just bring a portable fan outside (mosquitoes are very weak flyers). To keep away other kinds of pests searching for shade or shelter, trim back any foliage that touches your home and cut the grass regularly.
Go on walkabout.
Time to tackle the indoor things that often get overlooked. Gather together screwdrivers, hardware, and caulk. In each room in your home, tighten handle screws on cupboards and doors and check fasteners on furniture, replacing any that are missing. Jot down locations that need touch-up paint.
So sweaty, so much laundry.
It's hot. You're probably doing a lot more laundry than you were just last month, so let's give your clothes washer and dryer a tune-up. A simple solution of white vinegar and baking soda will clean up the washing machine, prevent mold growth, and stop dirt and grime from being transferred back to your clothes. For the dryer, empty and wash the lint tray, vacuum out the exhaust hose, and clean off the moisture sensors to make sure they are reading your clothes' degree of dryness correctly.
Safe and sound.
Does your home need a security boost? There are so many gadgets that can help you beef up your home security, like smart lights, smart locks, cameras, and alarms that you can control from your phone. But don't discount low-tech. Make sure your deadbolts work smoothly, install motion- or light-sensitive outdoor lighting, and check your window locks.
Fix up the patio.
With a glimpse of fall visible up ahead, it's time to turn a critical eye to the deck or patio you've been enjoying all summer. A good power wash is the first step. For a deck, check all the hardware, inspect it for splits or damages, and decide whether it needs resealing. For a concrete or paver patio, look for cracks that can be easily filled while they are still small, or replace damaged stones.
Prepare for the unexpected.
Hurricane season is peaking, tornados and thunderstorms are still a possibility, and flood season isn't quite over yet. Now's the time to perform a safety check on your home. Unpack your emergency and first aid kits, check expiration dates, throw away what's expired, and make a note of new supplies you need to get. You should also test your fire and CO2 alarms and check the expiration date on your fire extinguishers.
Freshen up the fridge.
Remove everything inside, check expiration dates, and toss what you're not using. Clean each shelf and drawer with mild soap and water, and while you're in there, use a fridge thermometer to check temperatures and adjust them if necessary. Vacuuming the coils on the back will also keep your fridge from working too hard..