The Inspector

By NPI, Inc.



Top 10 Summer Home Maintenance Projects

 May 17, 2021 |  Home Maintenance, Safety, Clenaing Tips |  summer, hvac, electrical, home exterior

Summer is the perfect time to tackle all those big tasks on your to-do list. Here are the top 10 chores you should do to keep your home looking great and its components running smoothly.

Clean Your HVAC
Cleaning your HVAC system can help prolong its life and improve its efficiency. 

Inside your home: 

  • Replace the filters on a quarterly or semiannual basis. 
  • Clean the return vents with soap and water. 
  • Check your supply vents for any obstructions. 

Outside your home: 

  • Clear any debris from the interior of the AC unit. 
  • Check the insulation wrap around the refrigerant lines for deterioration. 
  • Remove the fan cover and clean the blades. 
  • Check the fins for any damage. (If they show more than minor wear, call a professional.) 
  • Spray a coil cleaner on the fins and let sit for 10-15 minutes. 
  • Spray both the inside and outside of the AC unit off with a garden hose. Don’t use a pressure washer as this could damage the fins.

Clean Your Grill
Grease accumulation on your grill could present a fire hazard. Consider a cleaning routine after each use, and a more detailed cleaning 1-2 times per season. 

  • Check your grease drip pan regularly. 
  • Clean stainless steel surfaces with a microfiber cloth and a specialized cleaner, soap and water, or undiluted white vinegar. 
  • Grates should be cleaned after each use with a quality brush or scraper. 
  • Before or after each session, allow the grill to heat up to a high temperature with the cover closed to burn off any debris.

Deck and Patio Maintenance
Lack of maintenance with your deck can present numerous safety issues. In addition, a run-down deck can detract from your home’s curb appeal

  • Re-fasten loose deck boards. 
  • Replace damaged or rotted boards. 
  • Reset nails that have popped out. 
  • Power wash, repaint, and reseal spots with built up algae, moss, or dirt. Likewise, any concrete patio areas and walkways may also require cleaning and pressure washing. Inspect for any cracking or settling, and fill minor cracks with a sealant.

Pest Control
Warmer weather brings about more wildlife, which can be both a concern to your home’s physical structure and your personal health. It’s a good idea to have your home professionally treated on a scheduled basis. 

  • Termites, rodents, and other major animal intrusions are best remedied by a professional. 
  • Lookout for wasp/bee nests around the exterior of your home. 
  • Look for areas of standing water around the home as this may be a breeding ground for mosquitoes.

Clean Ceiling Fans
One of the possible reasons your fan “wobbles” while running is that the fan blades have a dust or dirt buildup. 

  • Regular dusting of the blades with a damp cloth or cleaning wipe will help prolong the life of your ceiling fan. 
  • Other fan maintenance includes checking for loose screws and replacing any warped or otherwise damaged fan blades.

Clean Window Screens
Cleaning your windows is one of those routine maintenance items that’s often forgotten. Generally, all you’ll need is a bucket of water with a squeeze of mild dish soap. 

  • Rinse the exterior of the window with a garden hose. 
  • With a soft sponge or microfiber cloth, scrub the windows and rinse with the hose. 
  • Use a squeegee or a microfiber cloth to dry the window surface. 
  • Repeat this process on your window screens. 

Equally as important is to clean the window tracks as this affects opening and closing your windows. 

  • Vacuum up any debris. 
  • Apply the soap solution with a sponge or towel to clean the tracks. (You may need an old toothbrush to get to those hard to reach locations.) 
  • Use a dry towel to wipe down the tracks.

Regular maintenance of your landscaping is important to control pests, water intrusion, or potential damage by overhanging tree limbs. Tree limbs should never reach over your home, and trees that are too close to your foundation can damage it. 

  • Remove and treat for weeds 
  • Fertilize your lawn 
  • Trim back trees and shrubs. Maintain a shrub distance around 18-24” from the exterior siding. 
  • Have your irrigation systems checked to ensure that they’re in working order. 
  • Monitor around the perimeter of your home to determine if there are any low spots where water can accumulate, or if any water is approaching the foundation.

Roof & Gutters
Your roof is one of the most important systems of your home. Don’t hesitate to hire a qualified roofing professional, as they’ll also examine roof penetrations such as plumbing vents. 

  • Gutters and downspouts should be cleaned at least once a year 
  • Check to make sure that the gutters aren’t sagging or pulling away, gutter seams are sealed, downspouts are properly connected and not emptying against the foundation.

Dryer Vent
One of the leading causes of home fires is due to lint build-up. It’s generally recommended that the dryer tube and vent be cleaned on an annual basis to be more energy efficient, prolong the dryer’s life, and protect your clothing. 

  • Clean the lint trap after every use. 
  • Make sure that the dryer isn’t pushed back against the wall or near flammable materials. 
  • Detach the vent hose and use a vacuum or dryer brush to clean the tube. 
  • Reattach the hose and then go outside to clean the vent. 

In other instances, your dryer tube and vent may be inaccessible and should be cleaned by a professional.

Clean Exterior Siding
The exterior siding should be reviewed annually for any cleaning needs, particularly in areas around the home that are often shaded, as this can be conducive to mold and mildew growth. 

  • A mixture of water and mild dish soap (or white vinegar) will remove most dirt, mold, and mildew. 
  • Using a pressure washer is common, however exercise caution with vinyl siding and avoid excessive pressure no matter what siding you have. 
  • Keep the wand at eye level only, as spraying upwards can force water behind the siding and result in damage to the home. 
  • An alternative way to clean vinyl siding is with a long handle, soft-bristled brush. 
  • Be particularly careful around windows and doors, which you may want to consider doing by hand.


Let NPI Help You
Nothing is more important to assure your home’s safety than getting it checked with a professional home inspection. Call your local inspector to schedule your inspection to protect your home and yourself.

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