Spending time outside during the Summer is a must! It’s such a great way to spend time with neighbors, friends and family. Plus, you get to utilize a space that many forget during the rest of the year…the ever popular outdoor space. If you are looking to maximize your fun in the sun, take a look at these Summer Home Fun tips and tricks to get your home ready and keep it in shape for summer.
Grill Prep – Is it really summer if you don’t bbq or grill something? We don’t think so. If you have a charcoal grill, make sure to empty all previous’left overs’ completely. Wipe down and try to remove as much residue as possible. Avoid harsh cleaners as they may be flammable. Instead, try using water and dish soap to remove buildup. And don’t skip the outside! Pollen, dirt and whatever else exists outside can cake to a grill causing buildup in areas you may least expect. For gas grills, crank her on and let sit on high for about 30 minutes. Once the grill is cool, use a brush to “sweep” grates and interior elements. Again, don’t forget the outside! Keeping your grill clean and ready for use not only extends the life, but extends the outdoor enjoyment as well!
Porch & Deck Maintenance – If you have a porch, deck or pavered outdoor area, it will inevitably need a cleaning. Instead of just sweeping away the loose top layer of nastiness, try using a specialized cleaner purchased from your local hardware store. Not only are these solutions specifically made for decks and flooring that are exposed to the elements year round, but they are easy to use and will make a huge summer improvement.
And for a helpful tip: try using an outdoor broom as a scrubber to release dirt and debris trapped between boards or hard to reach spots. If you have a deck, now is the time to check for loose boards before Aunt Martha puts her foot through one. Also, drip some water onto different boards to see if your deck needs to be resealed. If the water pools, you are good to go. But if it is absorbed by the wood, it’s time to reseal.
Wash the Windows – It’s not the most glamorous of outdoor chores, but it will make a huge difference. While you are at it, wash or change your window screens. Hot soapy water usually works best. For tough spots, spray down with vinegar and let sit for a few minutes. The vinegar will help break up whatever has decided to cake itself to your screen so you can wipe or spray off with water.
Drop Some Mulch – For flower beds or any landscaped areas you don’t want to tend to all summer long, add mulch. Not only does mulch help retain moisture so you don’t have to water as much, but it also helps to suppress weeds. Plus, it looks good! While you are at it, trim back any trees or hedges that are touching or about to touch your home. Look for branches overhanging your roof or any covered porches and cut back. Ideally, tree branches should be at least 8 feet from your roof. Thin out ground cover to help prevent any unwanted pests and add plant food to any foliage lagging behind. Get rid of yard debris like leaf piles and twigs.
If you live in a hot climate (like Florida), don’t cut grass too short during the summer months or it will burn and begin to thin out. Another good place to thin out the foliage is around your a/c. Make sure your spouts are clean from creeping vines or vertical plants and remove any debris within 3 feet of your unit.
Gutters, Downspouts & Concrete – We think the pressure washer is one of the best inventions! They are affordable and come in handy for so many outdoor projects. One of which will make a HUGE difference in the curb appeal of your home. So get to it and start pressuring washing your driveway! But don’t stop there; sidewalks, pavers, decks, and exterior walls can all use a little love from the pressure washer. And if you clean gutters and downspouts first, you can blow that crud right outta sight! After pressure washing, make sure to look for any cracks or holes in your driveway or front steps. Make sure to fill and repair early before the damage spreads. Consider sealing concrete or pavers to make future maintenance easier.
And finally, it’s time for Pool Maintenance – In addition to the regular cleanings and chemical balances, you should give your pool a good look at least once a year. Check for any crack or fractures in the pool deck and address asap. Check to make sure there are no loose tiles or aesthetic pieces. Look for staining or discoloring on the side walls and along the bottom. Make sure you continue to have good suction on your skimmer and all jets are functioning properly. Want a fun project? Replace the pool light! And if you are looking to upgrade, think about switching from chlorine to saltwater or adding a heater so you can continue the fun all year round.
We love summer, it’s our favorite season! And with helpful hints, tips and tricks, you will be able to enjoy your outdoor areas long into the hot months. If you are looking for a new outdoor space, give us a call! We are happy to help.