While summer is a great time to relax in the garden and enjoy the nice weather and good company, it’s also important to get on top of those household maintenance tasks you’ve been avoiding through the long winter months. Fear not, as many of these can be accomplished in an afternoon. Let our handy list guide you this summer and turn your outdoor space into an oasis.
Before we begin though, let’s not forget safety. Whatever task you’re doing, make sure you can accomplish it without risk to yourself or others. Nothing will ruin a summer faster than an injury.
Having the right gear is a critical part of working safely and being comfortable. You can get all your workwear, personal protective equipment and tools at Engelbert Strauss.
Clean Your Home’s Exterior
The elements constantly expose your home to grit and grime, which can mar the appearance. Windows are often neglected, and you want to clean them regularly. While you can buy cleaning products designed specifically to clean glass, dishwashing fluid will work fine. Just don’t overdo it, as you don’t want too many suds.
For the remainder of your house’s exterior, you can use a hose to wet down the surface, and then scrub with a long-handled brush. Again, warm soapy water should suffice. If you’re tempted to use a pressure washer, be very careful and make sure to start on the lowest setting. The high-power jet can easily damage the exterior
Touch up Cracked and Peeling Paint
Exposure to the elements causes paint to crack and fade, eventually requiring a full repaint. In the meantime, however, touch ups can preserve the look of your home, as well as maintain a protective barrier. Bring a sample paint chip from your home when you buy paint. That way you’ll ensure you get a perfect colour match. Before painting, inspect wood for evidence of damage or rot, as you want to deal with repairs as soon as possible to prevent more serious damage. Minor patches of rot can likely be removed and, after sanding, repaired with epoxy.
Clean Out Those Gutters
Leaves, branches and other residues build up in eaves troughs. You want to remove this material before it clogs the downspout. Blockages can result in water pooling along your foundation which, over time, can cause damage to your home. At the same time, inspect your downspouts and ensure that they are directing water far enough away from your home, and, if necessary, consider extending your downspouts by several feet.
Clean up the Patio and Driveway
Check your patio for cracks. Not only are these unsightly, but they can also be a trip hazard. You can remove weeds by hand, but make sure the ground is moist. Otherwise, you’ll likely struggle to remove the roots, and the noxious plant will grow back. Either weed right after a rainstorm or wet your patio with a hose. Once the ground is wet, you can grasp the weed with your hand, but you’ll probably also need a tool to get underneath. Don’t forget to wear gloves, and you might find knee pads are another welcome addition.
If you have a deck, check boards for signs of damage or rot and, if necessary, replace them. You can also prolong the life of your deck by regularly applying a sealer to keep the water out.
Who doesn’t love eating grilled meat and vegetables under the summer sun? To get the best performance from your outdoor cooker, however, you want to keep it clean. Nothing is more frustrating than seeing your expensive, delicious steak go up in flames due to grease left over from last week’s burgers. Clean gas grills by running them on high for about half an hour with the lid closed. Stubborn remnants can then be removed with a wire barbecue brush. Once your grill is cool, wipe the outside with warm, soapy water to get rid of dust and grime.