Summer is upon us and it is a welcome thought after spending so much time indoors. A lot of you are ready to head for the lake and enjoy the weekends at your home away from home! Before you make too many plans however, you may want to invest the first weekend in airing the place out and giving your Summer Home a little TLC to be sure everything is in good working order.
Once you have your favorite investment protected and the basics taken care of, you can invite the family and friends to come hang out and have fun! Here is a list of 10 essentials that will need a little time and attention in order to be ready for summer.
- Replace or clean Air Conditioning filters and do a test run to be sure everything in operational. At least once a year it is a good idea to call your local HVAC people to perform an inspection for peak efficiency.
- If you have a chimney that has been used or left unattended for long periods, it’s a good idea to get it inspected as well. Be sure the flu is closed to birds and insects and that everything is ready for the next cool evening.
- Clean your Grills if you left them less than perfect last year. If you have a gas grill you can heat it up for 30 minutes or so, let it cool down and then clean with a grill brush. If you have a charcoal grill use hot water, soap and a scrub brush to clean.
- Clean all the leaves and debris out of your gutters so they will not overflow when it rains and so they do not become a mosquito breeding den. (Also be sure downspouts have not gotten jarred loose or turned toward the house.)
- Check your decks, patios and docks for needed repairs such as loose or rotting boards, nails that are sticking up, etc. Pressure wash any baked on dirt or grime away and if needed apply a new coat of waterproofing. (Test boards by pouring water on them. If it is absorbed into the wood you need new sealant; if it beads up you are fine.)
- Clean any smudged windows and remove and wash window screens if needed. (Soapy water and a gentle brushing is usually all they need.)
- Fun in the lake creates a lot of bathing suits and other things that need drying. If you did not do it at the end of last season, it is very important to prevent a potential fire by checking your dryer vent and exhaust duct for dust and lint that may have collected after multiple loads of clothes.
- Clean your ceiling fans or window fans before using. It is amazing how a fine layer of dust can accumulate in an empty house over the winter, but a quick once-over with a damp cloth will take care of the problem.
- If you have flower beds, pull any weeds up by the roots and add a layer of mulch to preserve them during summer heat.
- Test all smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detector batteries!