Taking care of your home this season isn’t just about hopping on all every summer décor trend that comes out; it’s about getting those dreaded seasonal maintenance tasks done and out of the way before the cold months arrive.
Admittedly, it can be tempting to skip these exhausting chores, especially in the sweltering heat of July. Crossing off your maintenance to-do list as early as possible, however, ensures that you can still enjoy the rest of your summer while keeping your home in tiptop shape.
Follow this 4-point maintenance checklist to make sure your Virginia home is ready for the season.
1. Clean and inspect your roof
Summer storms are common in Virginia, so you want to make sure your roof can protect your family and your house when the strong winds and rains come.
First, clean out the gutters and downspouts. You can use a trowel or gutter scoop to clear large debris like twigs and leaves. Then, spray the gutters down using a hose to remove the dirt and other smaller gunk.
For stubborn gutter dirt or stains, you can mix mild liquid detergent with two gallons of water and half a cup of bleach. Use this solution to scrub the outside of your gutters then let it sit for five to ten minutes before rinsing.
You want to be careful with the bleach if you have plants growing beneath your gutters, though, as they may damage the plants. Make sure to cover your plants using a tarp before washing the gutters this way.
After cleaning your gutters, inspect your roof for warped, loose, or torn shingles. Damaged shingles are an invitation for leakage and water damage that could lead to more serious roof problems. Replacing a roof is one of the most expensive repairs for homeowners, so always include this task in your summer home maintenance checklist!
2. Protect against pests
Summer is the season of insects; the warmer temperatures provide the perfect conditions for pests to breed. And Virginia, like all Southern states, is home to hundreds of bug species. As such, you want to make sure your home is sealed and protected from pest infestation this season.
Start by checking your basement, attic, windows, and doors for gaps that insects can crawl into. You can seal these holes using weatherstripping tape. What’s great about weatherstripping is that it also covers up leaks in your home that let out warm air and increase your energy bills.
You can also have a mosquito control treatment done, especially if you have a wide yard with lots of dense shrubs, a pool, a fountain, or any other feature with standing water. Make sure to look for a service provider that uses plant- and animal-safe pesticides.
3. Deep-clean your mattress and couch
Cushions and fabrics accumulate huge amounts of dust and dirt in just a few months, so you want to give them a deep clean every season. To deep clean your mattress, start by vacuuming its top and sides using an upholstery vacuum attachment. Clean your mattress horizontally then vertically to pick up as much dirt as possible.
Next, sprinkle the top of the mattress with a layer of baking soda and let sit for an hour. This helps deodorize and soak up the moisture from your mattress. You can use an entire one-pound box of baking soda if you’ve never deep-cleaned your mattress before.
Vacuum the mattress again to remove all the baking soda then air out your room by opening the windows.
You can clean your couch the same way using a vacuum cleaner and baking soda. Remember to do a spot test first to make sure that baking soda is safe to use on the upholstery.
4. Clean out your AC units
Finally, cleaning your air conditioning units is an absolute must in your home maintenance list for the summer. This not only ensures they are fine-tuned, but it also helps maintain your indoor air quality, which is important if you or a member of your family has allergies or dust sensitivities.
To clean your AC unit, turn the power off at the breaker box first. Open the unit and use a soft brush to remove dust from the evaporator coil. You can use a no-rinse coil cleaner, which is a spray that foams up then drips into the unit’s drain pan. You can buy this from your local hardware or home improvement store.
Next, clean the drain pan with warm, soapy water. Pour the solution down the drain to make sure it’s clear. If the water doesn’t go down easily, that means something’s clogging the drain. Call an AC repair specialist and have them unclog it for you.
Apart from these four maintenance must-dos, you also need to dust hard-to-reach areas, vacuum your rugs, and prune your bushes and trees for the summer. If you’re not up to doing all these chores on your own, you can always call a home maintenance service to help you do everything speedily.
Home maintenance may sound like a lot of work but it’s critical in keeping all the components of your house functioning the way they should. Diligently maintaining your home also saves you a lot of costly repairs in the long run.