What’s the first thing on your “to-do” list when summertime comes to Chicagoland?
For some homeowners across the area, the first hot days of the season are a sign that it’s time to throw open their windows or crank up their air conditioners. For others, summer means the moment has come to uncover the pool and set up their deck chairs. And for some, the summer months mean that it’s high time to pack a bag and start going out, looking for adventure in destinations near and far.
To really enjoy all that the summer season has to offer, it’s important to take a few steps to prepare your home, including your indoor and outdoor spaces. After all, the cold and rainy winter and spring seasons can take a toll on your property. It may take some work to help your home spring back to life, and get it ready for the steamy “dog days” to come.
Writing yourself a list of routine home maintenance tasks can be a great way to make the early days of summer easier. Getting the jump on home projects, big and small, can help ensure that your property is ready for all that the summer may bring — and help you catch and repair minor problems, before the hot and humid weather turn them into more expensive issues.
Here are a few areas to focus your attention on as you start creating your summertime home to-do list:
Hot weather, muggy days, and sudden downpours can all take a toll on the exterior of your property during the summer months. At the same time, you’re also going to want to make sure these spaces are open, welcoming, and ready for you to enjoy. In the early days of summer, you may want to:
- Inspect your home’s foundation and crawlspace for damage, such as cracks, which may have formed over the winter or spring
- Inspect the roof, looking for missing shingles, mold, and other signs of wear and tear
- Clean out gutters, and make sure they’re properly mounted and draining correctly
- Check out your exterior paint and siding, and consider making improvements
- Prepare your outdoor spaces, such as your balcony, deck, or patio, by sweeping, power washing, and setting up exterior furniture
- Clean debris and leaves off driveway and walkways
- Approach your landscaping with a fresh eye; mow your lawn regularly and make a plan if you want to add greenery and flowers
When the summer weather really heats up, you’re going to want to make sure your home’s cooling and ventilation systems are working as effectively as possible. This summer, take some time to inspect and care for your home’s heating, ventilation, and cooling (HVAC) — before it’s too late:
- Unpack and install window unit air conditioners, if using
- Have your cooling and ventilation systems inspected and serviced by a professional technician
- Make sure your home’s air vents are clean and dust-free
- Replace furnace and AC filters
- If you have an exterior AC unit, clear away debris, brush, and overgrowth
- Unpack box fans and standing fans, if using; clean ceiling fans to get rid of dust and debris
3.) Windows and Doors
Your home’s windows and doors are sure to get a workout during the summer months. After all, this is the time of year when we fling open windows to let in the cool night air, while our doors get a heavy workout during parties and barbecues. To keep these important parts of your home looking and functioning their very best, you may want to add the following items to your summer maintenance checklist:
- Wash windows, and clean window screens
- Check the seals on your windows and doors, to make sure they’re insulated properly — this can help promote better energy efficiency, and help keep cool air in on warm days
- Consider adding window treatments, including reflective films window covers, or hanging new blinds/curtains. Managing the amount of sunlight you allow indoors can help you to keep cool, and potentially lower your utility bills
- If damaged or loose, update the hardware on your windows and doors, including handles, latches, locks, and so on
4.) Plumbing Systems
As with HVAC systems, many of us don’t pay too much attention to our home’s plumbing systems — until something goes wrong. In order to avoid the potential for problems down the line, take some time to look over and care for your home’s pipes, fixtures, and appliances:
- Look for leaking pipes and any early warning signs of water damage, inside your home and out
- Replace or repair inefficient or broken fixtures, such as dripping faucets
- Consider making some green, efficient upgrades to your appliances and fixtures, such as adding ultra-efficient showerheads
- Check exterior plumbing elements, like hoses, spigots, and exterior faucets
- Have a professional inspect and service your sump pump and ejector pump systems
- Clean out your garbage disposal, dishwasher, washing machine, and other important appliances
While it’s easy to associate the summertime with the outdoors, it’s also important to remember that you’ll spend plenty of time inside, whether you’re trying to avoid the heat or stay out of an afternoon rainstorm. Take some time to freshen up your interior spaces by focusing on a few simple tasks:
- Clean your floors, including deep cleaning carpets and rugs
- Clean out and wipe down the inside and outside of your refrigerator
- Test your home’s smoke detectors and alarms; change out the batteries or upgrade, as needed
- Have your chimney cleaned and serviced
- Consider redecorating or bringing in some fresh design elements to embrace the summer season
Making the Most of the Summer
Is this the summer where you pack your boxes and move into the space that truly works for you? We’re to help.
At Baird & Warner, we’ve been helping people fulfill their real estate dreams since 1855. That’s a lot of hot summers under our belt!
Our agents are hyperlocal experts who know their neighborhoods inside and out — and they love to share their expertise. Looking to buy or sell a Chicagoland home? Need a professional opinion on your property? We’ve got you covered.