Summer Maintenance Checklist

July 21, 2016

Now that fireflies are floating in the summer breeze and the heat has settled into backyards everywhere it can be difficult to remember that you have to maintain your home during the summer. Here are a few ways you can keep your home looking Better Homes and Gardens ready without working during the dog days of summer:

Clean Your Siding

Cleaning your home’s siding can give it a serious facelift. During the year, algae and mold can accumulate on your siding, which will discolor the siding and make it look old and worn out. Instead of replacing the siding of your home you can power wash it every summer to keep it looking fresh and new. Just be sure to put it on a lower setting. While you will need some strength to get into the nooks and crannies you do not want to chipping the paint on your home or denting the siding.

Clean Out Extra Storage

Summer is the best time to clean out your old tool shed, garage, basement, attic, and/or other storage areas. Now that it is warm and there is plenty of time to organize, transport and donate unwanted stuff that has been compiled in your home for who-knows-how-long. Be sure that once you have donated all of your unwanted items to clean the storage area thoroughly before putting closing the door for the season. You should also clean unwanted items before donation. While you can donate as is it is courteous to launder, dust, or clean an item for the next owner. No one wants a dusty end table.

Weed, Prune, and Harvest Gardens

By now many gardens look overgrown, weedy, and a horticultural mystery. But all hope is not lost. With a few afternoon weedings you can tackle your garden and have it looking beautiful yet again. Start off with sections and then move throughout my yard. It’s usually easier to start at the front with weeding supplies as well as pruning and harvesting supplies. In doing so, you will be ready no matter what you find. Block out about an hour a day to tackle the mess so it can be done in about a week’s time. From there, you can start back at the beginning with a tamer, happier garden.

Mix Compost

If you have a compost pile you will want to “stir” it periodically in the spring, summer, and fall. About once a month, take a shovel or pitchfork to your compost pile to mix it up and keep decomposition going. This will ensure wonderful dirt for the next spring and helps reduce waste output. If you do not have a compost pile in your garden they are simple to start and take very little energy. You will need a barrel to keep in the kitchen, a walled-off section and time. Create a section for the compost in your garden by making three walls with the wood. After that add some compost from your local gardening store (about $5), some newspaper strips, and plenty of worms. This will begin the process and make it easier to maintain the compost pile throughout the seasons. From there, you can add organic material to the compost and stir once a month. Before you know it you will have beautiful, nutritious dirt for your garden.


It’s sweaty, stinky work but when you have a pool you have to keep it clean and safe. You can do this by sifting through the water every day for debris and then vacuuming the pool once a week. While you are vacuuming be sure to check ph balances so your pool is safe and free of contaminants.

Update Outdoor Furniture

For many pieces of outdoor furniture, the winter is a harsh and damaging time. If you left your patio furniture out all year it will probably need some updating or it may need to be replaced altogether. If it just needs a fresh coat of paint or a new seat cover, however, you can create an afternoon project that will make your outdoor furniture look brand new.

If you have wicker or wooden patio furniture be sure to refinish it every spring or summer to keep it looking fresh and strong. You should also perform a few stress tests so your guest will be safe when they sit down. Metal furniture requires less upkeep but can rust over time. If you find rust be sure to sand it down and reapply outdoor paint. This way you don’t have to worry about rust eating your patio furniture from the inside out. And if you do not bring covers in from the winter you will need to replace them. They are inexpensive if you go to a department store or outlet and can bring color and comfort right to your backyard.