Living that sweet summer life usually means two things: sunshine and relaxation.
We’d like to add a third to that list—home maintenance. Better weather makes it far easier to start tackling home projects, but it adds some pressure too, especially if you have a property you’re wanting to rent out for the season.
Not only can we help with the lease agreement and tenant checks in that regard, but we’ve also put together a full guide on indoor and outdoor summer home maintenance. This might be the season of backyard BBQs and pool parties, but there are also heatwaves and bugs to prep for. In this article, we’ll help you manage all of it.
- Summer home maintenance is just as much about preserving the aesthetic features of a property as it is about protecting the health and safety of those who use it.
- While many home maintenance tasks aren’t season specific, the warmer weather definitely brings unique challenges.
- Most things can be solved with a bit of elbow grease and simple tools that you already have.
Outdoor Home Maintenance Tips
The best part about the temperatures going up is that outdoor spaces can finally get more use. Before you set up the patio furniture though and invite people over, there are a few outdoor projects you can do to help ensure that your place is looking great and safe for guests.
Here are some key summer home maintenance checks to do on your outdoor areas to ensure your home is ready for summer rentals or gatherings:
Wash Driveway and Sidewalks
The winter and spring months may have had you using a snow blower to keep your driveway and sidewalks clear, but now it’s time to wash it down. Driveways and sidewalks can become covered with mold and algae if they’re not cleaned regularly. Not only will this take away from your curb appeal, it can also make areas slippery or hazardous to walk on.
The simplest way to clean driveways and sidewalks is to just scrub the surfaces down. All you’ll need is some eco-friendly soap, hot water, and a hard-wearing sponge that doesn’t have any metal in it (it could cause damage).
The next step up from that is pressure washing. You can buy or rent a pressure washer, or just get an attachment for your garden hose that can mimic one. If you’re feeling inspired to do more, we’d recommend using a degreaser for stubborn tire marks and rust stains.
Summer Lawn and Landscape Care
The most common mistake that people make with their lawns is thinking that as the temperatures go up, they simply need to water more frequently.
Here’s the summer home maintenance checklist you need to follow instead to get your landscape looking good:
- Water your lawn more deeply rather than more often and try to make sure that your grass gets at least one inch of water per week (depending on the type, and your climate).
- Don’t let the sun steal all that good hydration you’ve added to your garden by watering in the middle of the day. Aim for morning or evening watering sessions.
- Adding to that, a drip irrigation system is great for the warmer months as they water plants slowly enough that it doesn’t evaporate or simply run off.
- Check your sprinkler heads to see that their filters aren’t clogged and preventing water from getting out.
- Make sure to have a strong mowing routine to keep your lawn looking fresh.
Some other aspects to add to your lawn maintenance and landscape care are de-weeding, clipping back dead parts that didn’t survive winter, and adding a little fertilizer to keep the soil healthy.
Summer is the growing season of most species so now is a great time to add new plants and trees to your space if your exterior areas need sprucing up.
Maintain Your Pool
No one wants to swim in green, mucky water so if you’ve got a pool you’d like to use over the summer, these are the things you need to be doing regularly to keep it clean:
- Trim the Trees: If you have any trees near your pool, make sure to cut back any overhang that may grow over the summer to avoid added leaves ending up in it.
- Use a Skimmer to Remove Dead Leaves and Debris: Scooping debris off your pool’s surface every day is much easier than trying to remove it once it’s already sunk to the bottom.
- Brush Your Pool Walls: Use a brush to clean the sediment off your pool walls weekly, preferably aiming the dirt toward the man drain so it’s easy to vacuum.
- Vacuum the Pool Floor: An automatic vacuum makes this job easier but whatever machine you have, just make sure to vacuum up the accumulated sediment from the bottom of your pool at least once a week.
- Clean Out the Mechanics: Another weekly task is checking that your pools’ skimmer and filter are clean and free of anything that may clog them. Backwash your filter every week if the pool is being used a lot or when you see that your filter gauge’s reading is higher than normal.
- Test the pH and Add Chemicals: When your pool’s being used frequently, the water’s pH levels need to be tested at least every week. Add chemicals as needed to keep the algae at bay.
Bring on the pool parties!
Ensure Your Porch and Deck Are in Good Condition
The same basic washing guidelines that we mentioned regarding driveways and sidewalks can be applied to the summer maintenance of your porch and deck too. The only major difference is that a wooden porch needs to be resealed every few years and, if the color has dulled, may need to be stained again.
Over time, wood can swell and shrink so check your porch for any loose nails or screws that may need tightening again. As wood ages, it can also rot, splinter, and come loose so know that you may need to replace or repair a few deck boards.
Our last big summer home maintenance tip for your porch and deck is a safety one: check that any necessary railings are secure and repair or replace them as necessary.
Clean BBQ and Outdoor Cookers
We wouldn’t dare write a summer home maintenance checklist without mentioning the importance of taking care of your BBQ and outdoor cookers. Cleaning a gas grill versus a charcoal grill is a little different but here are the main points to check off:
- Make sure your grill is cool to the touch and if it’s a gas grill, completely disconnected, before you start cleaning.
- Now it’s time to disassemble and clean. Charcoal grills need to have the ash removed first but otherwise, both grill types need to have the grates taken out and cleaned.
To wash them, you just need a grill brush and warm, soapy water. If the grate needs a deep cleaning, you can always leave oven cleaner on it overnight before scrubbing it down with the grill brush.
- Wipe down the interior and exterior of the grill with hot water and soap.
- Replace the grate, get the heat going, and start planning those backyard BBQs for the summer!
Indoor Home Maintenance Tips
As much time as we spend outside over the summer months, your indoor areas still need to be in top shape if you’re to survive the bugs, heat, and other less fun parts of the season …
Clean Air-Conditioning Filters
There’s a point every year when the summer heat goes from being delightful to straight-up sweaty. When that happens, you’re going to want as much cool air in your home as you can get. What you don’t want however is your air conditioner or central air systems blowing dust and other allergens into your home.
To keep your air as clean as it is cool, make sure to add “clean air-conditioning filters” to your summer home maintenance plan. The best way to clean your filters is to remove them, vacuum and then wash them. A garden hose works well as it has a bit of pressure but never use anything stronger on the filters as they can be quite fragile.
Once you’ve reinstalled the filter into your air conditioner, not only will your air be cleaner, but you’ll be helping to ensure that the whole unit functions better for longer. As with so many maintenance tasks, the payoff is usually worth the effort.
Prevent Bugs and Other Pests in Your Home
We’re not the only ones who love a bit of warmer weather. There are plenty of bugs and other pests that tend to come out of the woodwork over the season – both figuratively and literally. Here is your summer home maintenance checklist for keeping them out of your home:
- Lower Points of Entry: The fewer places that bugs can sneak through, the better. Seal your doors with weather stripping and inspect your home for any cracks in door frames and walls needing repairs, or gaps around pipes that need filling with caulk or sealant.
- Manage Your Trash: This is a big summer maintenance must as your garbage disposal system hugely affects pest problems. Exterior garbage bins should be well-sealed and have self-closing lids so they’re less likely to stand open and attract unwanted guests.
Your garbage disposal should also be done regularly so that nothing is left to rot inside where it could attract flies etc.
- Don’t Let Water Collect: Mosquitoes are usually the enemy of the summer months as they tend to breed in warm conditions. They lay their eggs in and near water so just make sure that outdoor faucets or irrigation systems aren’t leaking, and that water isn’t gathering in your yard or near the foundations of your property.
- Install/Repair Window Screens: Those with window screens installed already need to inspect them each summer for any gaps that might have developed. If you don’t have them but are struggling with bugs, they’re a highly effective addition worth considering.
Test Smoke Alarms and Carbon Monoxide Detectors
No matter what time of year we’re dealing with or what the weather looks like, your maintenance checklist always needs to include a point to inspect and test any smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors. Especially if you’re looking at renting out a summer home, there may be legal implications for not doing proper inspections, depending on the state.
All detectors have a “test” button that you can press to check that it beeps or lets off a siren as guided by the manufacturer.
You can also “crisis” test your smoke alarms by placing something smokey beneath them to see that they go off appropriately. When it comes to fire administration and health risks, smoke and carbon monoxide aren’t things to be ignored.
Plan for Heat Waves
According to a 2022 report from the EPA, heatwaves are occurring far more frequently in cities across the US, lasting for longer and becoming more intense over time. What that means for your summer home maintenance checklist is that planning for heat waves is now a must.
If your home isn’t adjusted to these extreme instances of heat, it can expose the people in it to health risks, especially those with heart issues. To be more proactive about heatwaves, pay attention to these maintenance tasks:
- A nice breeze won’t be enough to cool you down in a heat wave. Inspect any ceiling fans, air conditioning units, fridges, and freezers to ensure that they are in good working order. Both you and your food need to be kept cool through intense temperature spikes.
- Make sure your ceiling fans turn counterclockwise so that they move the cool air downward and not up. However, it must be noted that if temperatures rise above 90 degrees, your ceiling fan could simply be dehydrating you rather than lowering your body temperature.
- Have curtains or some kind of cover ready for any windows that get sun. The darker you can keep your home during the day, the cooler it will stay.
Wash the Exterior Windows
One of the best home maintenance tips we can give is also one the most obvious: clean your windows. Having clean exterior windows and glass sliding doors makes a world of difference to your home, especially in summer. What’s the point of nice weather and getting your garden in order if you can’t see out to enjoy it?
A bit of water, soap, and a good microfiber cloth or mop can get your exterior windows sparkling.
Maintain Your Bathrooms
This isn’t necessarily a summer-specific maintenance task, but it is one that you have to pay added attention to as things get warmer as it’s likely to inspire the growth of more mildew and mold in bathrooms.
For that reason, inspect your exhaust fan to see that it still works, and then clean any grime that’s collected with a damp cloth so that it can function properly. Those fans do a lot to keep moisture at bay and should make your life far easier by minimizing how often you have to deal with mold issues.
If the problem you’re facing is bad water pressure in the shower, it’s usually a sign that either the water heater needs to be seen to, or you just need to clean out the shower head. A toothbrush and vinegar usually work best for cleaning out mineral deposits in a shower head that could be plugging water flow.
Summer Home Maintenance Checklist [INFOGRAPHIC]
Summer Maintenance FAQs
Quickfire answers to the questions we’ve seen you asking:
How Do You Take Care of a Summer House?
Take all the suggestions we’ve given so far and add a few more, including checking gutters for blockages, inspecting the roof for any leaks or issues, and generally doing a mold check throughout. These issues are especially important if the property has been shut up for a while.
How Do You Maintain a Seasonal House?
As with the previous question, this summer home maintenance checklist is a great place to start. The main trick is to simply put aside the necessary time and get it done, no matter how tedious it may seem.
To lessen the repairs and maintenance needed between seasons, you can also do things like making sure the pool is covered from early fall and that the home is well-sealed. That way you’re less likely to find unwanted surprises upon your return.
What Is Normal Maintenance on a House?
It all depends on the house but generally, every property needs to have its exterior and interior spaces inspected for things that are either causing an eyesore (like dirty exterior windows) or simply aren’t functioning properly and could cause damage to the house (blocked gutters and a damaged roof).
The Point of Doing Home Maintenance Task
The bottom line is that the more you do to keep your home in order, the less likely that costly damage will occur or that the look of the place will degrade.
It doesn’t matter if you’re just wanting to keep your house looking great for summer parties, or if your goal is to attract renters, ticking off everything on your summer home maintenance checklist is a worthwhile investment.
Another great investment? Renting out your home for the season. Whether you’re new to the game, or a long-experienced landlord, the products and team at Legal Templates are here to assist.