Summer Home Maintenance Tips

We have several Summer Home Maintenance tips for you to follow to get your home ready for a safe and fun summer!


Indoor


Did you know that the leading cause of home clothes dryer and washer fires was the failure to simply clean them? Failure to clean your clothes dryer leads to 32% of all dryer related fires!

Clean the lint trap EVERY TIME you use the dryer. Lint traps get clogged with dust, fiber, and lint, which are great fire starters. The lint gets hot as the heat builds up and eventually ignites. That is why it is important to make it a ritual to check the lint trap before using it and to clean the lint trap after every use.

Clean your dryer vent annually. Did you know that there is a metal flexible vent that goes from your dryer to outside of your home? This vent can also trap lint. We recommend having it cleaned annually.

Here are a few more maintenance tips to prevent dryer fires:

· Never put any plastics, foams, rubber, or any pieces of cloth that may have been used to clean any potentially flammable of combustible liquids in the dryer. Remember dryers can ignite these easily.

· Since dryer exhaust is very hot, never use white vinyl hoses. Insist on metal hoses to vent your dryer.

· Only run a dryer when someone is at home.

· If the dryer is gas-powered, have it routinely inspected by a professional to ensure that both the gas line and connection are safe. Gas leaks can be explosive.

· Keep a fire extinguisher on hand!

· In the case of a fire, disconnect the power to the dryer immediately. Do you know which circuit breaker it is? If not, hire an electrician to upgrade your electrical system and label your circuit breaker panels for you.

Bathroom vent fans are designed to pull moisture out of the room, but as they get older, they can become noisy due to a build-up of dirt and lack of lubrication. To quiet a loud fan:

· With the fan turned off, remove the fan cover and vacuum out any dust or dirt that has become lodged in the fan.

· Lubricate the fan with silicone spray.

· Reattach the cover on the fan.

· If the problem persists, buy and install a replacement unit.

Do a test of your smoke detectors and your carbon monoxide detectors. Replace the batteries if needed.

Get your cooling system ready. Consider getting your air-conditioning system serviced. Proper air conditioner maintenance can help your AC last longer and prevent air conditioner fires. This one is especially important for summer home maintenance since you don’t want to be stuck without air conditioning when the temperature starts climbing.

In the summer, ceiling fans should rotate counterclockwise to push cool air down to the floor. Changing the direction of your ceiling fan at the beginning of the summer and winter months will help improve your heating and cooling circulation and keep costs down. If you have a remote, you can easily change the direction of the blade movement. If not, follow these simple instructions to manually change the direction.

  • Shut off the ceiling fan and wait for the blades to come to a complete stop
  • Using a ladder or step stool to reach the motor housing, locate the direction      switch
  • Flip the switch in the opposite direction
  • Step down and turn the ceiling fan back on
  • Verify the ceiling fan blades are moving in the right direction

And don’t forget to clean the blades. Use a damp rag or a clothes dryer sheet attached to a paint roller to clean all ceiling and house fans.

Outdoor

Be a leak detective. Check your hoses and exterior faucets for leaks -- even a tiny drip can add up to a big waste of water. Pinhole leaks in hoses can be covered up by winding regular electrical tape around the (dry) hose in overlapping layers.

If you plan to use your BBQ grill or outside cooker, it’s important to give them a good, deep cleaning before having everybody over.

  • Gas grills: Start by turning the heat up  and let the grill cook for about 20-30      minutes. Allow to cool and then scrub with a grill brush.
  • Charcoal grills: Empty the grill completely and clean with a sponge dipped in hot, soapy water.

Deck maintenance: Hammer any loose nails sticking out and examine your deck thoroughly to ensure there’s no structural damage, such as rotting. Also, check if it needs re-sealing; you can do this by spraying with water. If the water soaks in, you know it’s time for some more sealant.

Plants and trees: Remove any dead parts from your plants and trees, especially from any perennials and annuals that haven’t had a trim in a while – and any shrubbery near your large A/C unit. Add mulch. Not only does mulch keep the weeds away, but it also helps your plants and trees retain moisture in the summer heat.

Protect your home against unwanted guests. Yes, unfortunately sometimes critters decide that your house is the place to be. From snakes to squirrels, take steps to close off your home to non-pet animals.

· Cover any holes that are more than a quarter-inch wide.

· Get your tree branches trimmed back so they don’t create a highway for squirrels to your attic. Branches should be at least 8 feet from your roof.

· Make sure your outdoor trash bins are tightly sealed to prevent a buffet for pests.

· Do away with yard debris. Leaves and twigs are a haven for animals that might decide to invade your home.

· Tend to your lawn frequently by mowing.