Summer means outdoor activities, barbecues and sunny days. Unfortunately it also means scorching heat and the potential for damaging storms. Keep your home and your family safe with these summer home maintenance items to include on your to-do list.
1. Check your smoke detectors
Your risk of dying in a house fire is decreased if your home has working smoke alarms. To keep your smoke alarms in good working order, you should change your smoke detector batteries every year, according to the U.S. Fire Administration. You should also replace your entire smoke alarm every 10 years.
2. Change your air filters
Most service experts recommend changing your air filters every 30-60 days, however timelines vary based on the occupants of your home. If you have allergies or more than one pet, it’s recommended for you to change your filters every 20-45 days. If you don’t have pets, you can change your filters every 90 days.
3. If you have a deck, check it
Check your deck for any signs of rotting. Also check for any loose nails, and hammer in those that are poking up. See if it’s time to reseal your deck by sprinkling water on it. If the water beads, you’re fine. If it soaks into the wood, you should reseal.
4. Clean your clothes dryer vent
You likely remove any lint from your clothes dryer’s lint trap between loads of laundry. But it’s equally important to clean the vent that’s attached to your dryer. According to the U.S. Fire Administration, about 2,900 fires are attributed to the appliance annually. Keep your home safe and your dryer functioning optimally by ensuring the outside vent opens when the dryer is on. You’ll also want to make sure no small animals have built nests near or inside the vent. Clean the inside of the vent by removing the cover and using a special lint brush with an extendable handle to clean inside.
5. Check the exterior of your home
Check your sidewalks for cracks. If you notice any, have them repaired as the cold winter weather can cause them to grow. While you’re outside, take a look at your screens for any holes and replace those that have any.
6. Check your chimney
If you have a fireplace, it’s recommended you have your chimney inspected at least once a year. You may choose to have your chimney cleaned annually as well. It’s recommended you clean your chimney if you regularly use your fireplace—even if you don’t notice specific issues with your chimney, like slow-starting fires or smoke filling your home the fireplace is in use.
7. Have your attic and/or basement inspected
Like your chimney, you should inspect your attic and/or basement at least once per year. You’ll want to look for any indication that bugs or pests have invaded the space, as well as any mold, mildew or water leakage. You’ll also want to turn off the lights and check for any signs of daylight from cracks or holes.