Now that it’s finally summer, it’s time to get to some of those home maintenance projects you’ve been putting off all winter. Staying on top of your preventative home maintenance can go a long way toward keeping your home in good shape, and it can help you avoid even more complex and costly repairs later on.
This summer, make a home maintenance plan to keep your house in good shape and help protect your bank account. You don’t need to spend money on a contractor to complete these easy DIY projects.
1. Clean Your Gutters
This may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of fun DIY ideas, but it’s important to clean your gutters twice a year, in the spring and fall. Get up on a ladder and remove debris from your gutters by hand. Use a hose and a plumber’s snake to flush debris from downspouts.
2. Inspect Your Roof
There’s another reason why gutter cleaning consistently makes homeowners’ lists of summer DIY ideas – it gives you the perfect opportunity to inspect your roof. Look for missing, cracked, or damaged shingles. While you’re clearing debris from your gutters, look for gritty black residue that could point to the need to re-shingle your roof.
3. Fix Your Leaky Faucet
It’s not hard to fix a leaky faucet. Usually, it’s just a matter of replacing the rubber washer inside the faucet handle. Turn off the water supply to the faucet, remove the leaky handle, and replace the washer.
4. Stop Flushing Money Down the Toilet
A leaking toilet can cause your water bill to spike. Find out if your toilet is leaking from the tank to the bowl by putting some food coloring in the tank and coming back in an hour or so to see if the color is leaching out into the bowl. If water is leaking from the tank to the bowl, you should replace the flapper inside the tank. If the toilet is leaking around the base, however, you’ll need to replace the toilet.
5. Check Your Washer Hoses and Dryer Lint Trap
Faulty washing machine supply and drain hoses are a leading cause of water damage. Replace them immediately if you see signs of leaking, damage, or rust around the metal ends of the lines. Replace them every three years otherwise. Also be sure to remove lint from your dryer’s lint trap after each use. If material is left inside, it presents a serious fire hazard.
6. Test Your Refrigerator Door Seals
The seals around your refrigerator doors are responsible for keeping the inside of your refrigerator cold. When they fail, your refrigerator becomes less efficient and can even have a shorter lifespan. To test the door seals, close your refrigerator door on a piece of paper. If you can’t pull it out of the closed door, your seals are good. If you need to replace your refrigerator door seals, you can buy new ones at any home improvement store.
7. Vacuum Your Refrigerator Condenser Coils
Once a year, you should pull your refrigerator away from the wall and vacuum the dust off the condenser coils with a vacuum hose. This helps your refrigerator continue to work efficiently and extends its life.
8. Caulk Your Windows
Every summer, you should inspect the outside of your windows and replace any missing caulk. Remove any cracked, dry or otherwise damaged caulk with a sharp knife and replace it with a fresh bead. This prevents drafts, helping to keep your energy costs low and your home comfortable. Applying an insulating film to your windows can further reduce drafts and increase efficiency.
9. Replace Your A/C Filter
If you haven’t yet replaced your HVAC filter, it’s time. Replace your HVAC filters at least every six months, or every 30 to 90 days if you have pets, or if someone in your home has allergies or asthma. Replacing your filters regularly reduces strain on your HVAC system and keeps your indoor air clean and healthy.
10. Trim Shrubs and Trees Away from Your House
Shrubs and trees growing around your house can offer shade that will help keep your home cool in the summer, and they provide homes for birds, bees, and other small creatures that are welcome in many gardens. But trees that grow above your roof can encourage squirrels and other animals to make their way into your attic, and vegetation close to your siding can encourage pests and water damage to your home’s structure. Trim shrubs and trees back from your house, and keep them away from your outdoor A/C unit.
These easy DIY projects can help you whip your home into shape for the summer and stave off those unexpected systems and appliance failures that can cramp your style. Home warranty coverage from American Home Shield® can help, too, when it comes to certain breakdowns and repairs. With coverage for components of up to 21 home systems and appliances, as well as the option to add electronics coverage, we can help protect your home and your bank account.