With the days getting longer, now is a good time to get going on some larger home projects both indoors and out. Hotter weather is also your cue to tune up those irrigation systems, boost shade and (finally) clean out the garage. Check these to-dos off your list to get your home and garden in top shape for summer and keep it that way all season long.
- Keep mosquitoes at bay. Mosquitoes need stagnant water to breed — but it’s not just ponds and puddles that cause problems. As Jody Gangloff-Kaufmann, entomologist at the New York State Integrated Pest Management Program at Cornell University, reported to Houzz, even something as small as a soda cap filled with water can become a breeding ground for mosquitoes. To stay ahead of the problem, walk around your property twice a week and dump out any water that has collected, including bird baths (feel free to refill with fresh water), flower pots and saucers, children’s toys, tarps, patio furniture and anywhere else water collects.
- Inspect kitchen and bath fixtures. Keeping an eye on sinks and tile surrounds can help prevent costly water damage and repairs down the road. Make note of areas in need of new grout or caulk, as well as any slow leaks to repair. While you’re at it, freshen the kitchen drain by grinding a few ice cubes along with a few tablespoons of salt in the garbage disposal.
- Check safety devices. Smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors should be tested at least once a month and replaced every 10 years, according to the U.S. Fire Administration. Test smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors by pressing the test button; replace batteries as needed. Also, take a moment to check the expiration date on any fire extinguishers in the house and replace them if needed.
- Prep your porch, patio, deck. Summer is prime time for hanging out at outdoor spaces with icy cold drinks and watching the world go by. Get your space ready by cleaning the floor, exterior windows, windowsills and door/slider. Use a long-handled duster to wipe cobwebs from the ceiling, light fixtures and high corners. Lay down a fresh doormat, and plant a pot of flowers. If you have outdoor furniture, clean it off and wash the cushions.
- Deep-clean your grill. Grilling season has arrived! Make sure your grill is ready to hold up to plenty of backyard barbecues by giving it a deep cleaning — a clean grill works more efficiently and prevents flare-ups. If you have a gas grill, be sure to check the fuel line for cracks and clean out any clogged burner holes. Clean the grates and interior with a grill brush and wash the exterior with warm, soapy water.
- Tune up your lawn mower and garden tools. Sharp tools are safer and do a better job. Take your lawn mower and clippers in for a sharpening and tune-up so they’re ready to work hard. Keep garden tools in good shape throughout the season by wiping them off with a damp cloth after use, drying them well and coating them lightly with a few drops of a multipurpose oil.
- Test sprinkler systems. A sprinkler system hose/line that has a blockage or leak can quickly cause major problems for your lawn and garden. Test your sprinklers and irrigation system at the beginning of the season, and again before leaving on any trips. In need of a recommended servicer? Message me for my recommendations!
- Clean out the garage. Summer is a good time to tackle a big project like cleaning out the garage. If your garage is jam-packed, it will likely take more than one weekend to fully sort through it all, so schedule several blocks of time on the calendar in advance. It also helps to think ahead and find out where you can take items (donations, hazardous waste, things to sell) and arrange to get a dumpster if you think you will need it. Once your garage is cleaned out, consider adding wall-mounted storage to keep things neat and off the floor. If you need someone to haul away anything, message me for my recommendations.
- Add shade to outdoor spaces. Having enough shade in the backyard can make the difference between an appealing outdoor space and one you avoid when the sun is high. Add freestanding umbrellas for portable shade around outdoor seating and dining areas, or install a shade sail for a more permanent shady spot.
- Schedule big home projects. Whether you’re dreaming of a landscape makeover or need to replace a deck, don’t delay booking a contractor for the job. Their schedules tend to fill up quickly in the summer — plus, the sooner the work is done, the longer you will have to enjoy it.
Please feel free to reach out if you need contractor or service recommendations!
Content for the blog brought to you by Houzz Magazine.