Summer is filled with pool parties, cook outs, ice cream, and trips to the beach. As a homeowner, the last thing on your mind in the summer is deferred maintenance to your home. However, if you don’t stay on top of the little things now they can become big problems in the fall and winter. As we enter the heart of summer, there are a few important household items you should consider conquering before the weather changes. Individually, they won’t take you more than a few minutes each, but the impact will be felt for months down the road. Take some time on a quiet weekend morning and tackle these six tasks before the end of the summer.
Clean the Grill.Every year there are dozens of house fires caused by dirty grills. All it takes is some debris in the bottom of the grill to ignite a flame. Not only is a dirty fire a safety hazard but it can cause your food to be unsafe to eat. Regardless of how often you use your grill, you should plan on giving it a good cleaning every year. If the grates are old, you can replace them for less than $50. The actual cleaning requires nothing more than a damp sponge and maybe a wet/dry vacuum. Giving your grill a good cleaning can make it look as good as new.
Check the Smoke Detectors. When is the last time you checked your smoke detectors? If you are like most homeowners, it has probably been a while. It is a good idea to replace the batteries every few years. There are smoke and carbon monoxide detectors that can last for up to ten years without changing the battery. These will cost you a little more to change, but you can have peace of mind for a very long time.
Clean the Dryer Vent.According to the U.S. Fire Administration there are over 2,900 home clothes dryer fires each year totaling roughly $35 million dollars in property damages. You may not think that failing to clean or replace the dryer vent can do that much damage, but it can. It should go without saying that you should clean the vent every time you put clothes in the dryer. Even if you do, your dryer hose gets clogged and needs to be cleaned or replaced from time to time. Replacing the hose requires nothing more than a Phillips head screwdriver and ten minutes of your time.
Power Wash. A good power wash to the exterior of your home is like going through the car wash for your property. Simply hosing your siding or wood down doesn’t have the same effect as a power wash. A power wash can remove months of old dirt, grime, and debris. If you don’t own a power washer, you can affordably rent one for a few hours at your closest big box home store.
Change the Door Mats/Runner.Sometimes the smallest things with a home are the ones that stick out the most. Once a year you should change up the door mats and runners in the front entry way. Sure, you can keep the same door mat forever, but for $20 or less why not give the exterior a fresh look?
HVAC Maintenance.By the end of July, you are probably giving your HVAC a full workout. Using your central air is a great convenience, but it takes a toll on your HVAC. If you haven’t already, now is the time to perform a seasonal checkup on your HVAC unit. It may feel like summer is coming to a close but you will still use your AC for at least another 45 days, if not longer.
You can’t neglect your property just because the sun is out and the weather is nice. Spend a few minutes and knock these six items out before summer comes to a close.