To-Do list: Summer maintenance

Make sure to tick these household chores off of your seasonal to-do list.

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As temperatures rise, make sure to tick these household chores off of your seasonal to-do list:

Get a watering schedule in place.
The scorching summer heat that springs on the Northern Virginia area is the reason you want to have a plan for keeping your grass green and your plants alive. Doing a bit of preplanning will make those 90-degree days easier.

Patch the driveway and walkways.

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Prune shrubs.

Clean up the porch.
It is your greeting zone, so make sure it looks nice. Sweep out any cobwebs and dust. Give the floor and beams a good wash. And give it a little update with seasonal plants, some fresh paint on furniture and maybe an of-the-moment outdoor pillow and rug.

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Mulch your beds.

Check outdoor venting.
This includes anything from your dryer vent to your chimney vent. Look for clogs, cracks and water damage.

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Inspect the deck.
To make sure your deck lasts, you need to maintain it, no matter how much time it will take during a weekend.

  • Inspect your deck for any protruding nails, loose boards or boards that need replacing.
  • Clean your deck to remove any dirt and buildup that has accumulated. To get at the buildup between the boards, a power washer is your best bet. Use a cleaning solution and scrub every inch of deck space. Then apply a sealant once the wood is dry. Make sure any nearby plants or utility units are covered to avoid getting sealant on them.
  • Paint or stain the deck to your aesthetic, making sure to use a primer first.

Inspect your air conditioner and change out filters.

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Paint your exterior.
While this is not necessary every year, you should always check for cracking or peeling paint. The rule of thumb for a major job is:

  • 3-7 years for wood siding
  • 5 years for aluminum
  • 5-6 years for stucco
  • 10-15 years for cement fiberboard
  • 15-20 years for painted brick

Replace doormats.
All the dirt, salt and chemicals that were spread on your driveway and walkways in the winter can still be found in your doormats. Don’t be a penny-pincher—spring for a new, summery welcome mat.

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Reverse your ceiling fans.
For the summer you want your fan rotating in a counterclockwise direction.

Scrub down any mold or mildew on siding and/or trim.

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Replace window screens if needed.
You’d be amazed at how simple this task is. If you’ve got holes or just some extra give in your screens, it’s best to replace them. Keep the frame and pull out the surrounding rubber, or spline, then remove the old screen. Lay the new screen over the frame and press the spline into the frame. Cut away the excess screen. Yes, it is that simple.

Check your crawl space and attic.
During the colder months, you’ve most likely had some squatters living in your attic or crawl space. Check for any damage that may have been left behind, most likely in your insulation.

Give your windows a thorough cleaning.

(June 2017)