Summer Home Maintenance

Each season there are maintenance tasks we should be performing on our homes to keep them looking good, performing well, and slow down the aging process. I just don’t have time to do all these in a few weekends so I like to knock them out one by one over the entire season. This makes them more manageable.

Clean Dryer Vents – I clean out my lint trap after every use but that lint gets into other bits of the machine and not only reduces the performance of your dryer, but can be a fire hazard. A lint trap brush may have come with your dryer. In case you need to get one, this is what mine looks like (in literally the most boring picture on the planet). Use the brush on the area below the lint trap but also you should have a dryer vent brush. This is longer and used for the hose that pipes from the dryer to the outdoors. I discovered that if you keep your eyes open, you can find a coupon or Groupon for air duct cleaning and they will often include cleaning out the dryer vents. I think with the Groupon, my air and dryer vents were cleaned for $99 and was well worth it! With a house full of animals and terrible allergies, getting the air ducts cleaned will be something I add to my yearly maintenance schedule from now on.

Gutters – Here in the Pacific Northwest, we seem to be always cleaning our gutters. We have a lot of trees and growy things so they fill up often! It’s much easier to get up there and do it more frequently than leave it to become a big job only a couple times of years. I pull out the leaf debris and like to use it as compost. I have clay soil that desperately needs that natural material. I find the bacteria smell from gutter debris disappears almost right away once it is spread out on the ground. If I only have a little debris, I have a hose attachment that shoots a strong spray of water into the gutter and down the downspout. It isn’t something that would work in the Fall when gutters have a lot of debris but it works great in the summer when gutters are pretty dry and empty. Looking at the gutters today, I think they could use a little scrubba while I’m up there to clean them up and brighten the whole roof line.

Decks – It’s pretty natural to want to clean these off so you can use them in the summer. Some decks need to be cleaned off and treated to give them a longer life. Here in Oregon, most sealers require multiple dry days in a row which means we really can only do this in the summer (seriously, four dry days in a row is rare most of the year!). This is one of those projects where the preparation is all the work. Cleaning the decks takes a while but the actual sealing is done quickly. I’ve even done it before work which gives it all day to dry so I can still let the dogs out when I get home from work. This lovely moss growth is a product of only a year. I think the edges of my decks are growing more moss because they are breaking down and there are a lot more nooks and crannies to support the moss. I will need to start replacing boards this year as a few are too soft for comfort.

Sealing and Painting – While we are discussing things best done in dry weather, I need to walk around the house and look for areas on the siding that need to be caulked and/or painted. Little touch ups here and there. I’ve missed doing this the last few summers so I really need to make an afternoon of it soon. I noticed some boards above my garage door that are opening to the elements. I need to get up there with some caulk soon! This beauty of a seam drifting apart is right below the kitchen window. Someone had a window box there and when they removed it they didn’t clean it up. I need to not only clean it up and seal the holes but I really need to paint over the old yellow house color. Because I’ve missed this chore a few times, it has now become a big, expensive project. *sigh*

Windows – Mine could use a good washing as well as checking the seal around the windows too. This is the TLC that pays off when it is cold and wet again. It ensures the warmth is staying in the house and the cold stays outside.

Some of the sources I read up on to confirm and provide details to my list:


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