Summer Home Prep Must Do’s
You’ve been ready for summer all year, but how prepared is your home? This warm time of year is the perfect opportunity to make memories, spend time with family, and relax. Unfortunately, it’s also the ideal time for bug invasions, massive home messes, and unpredictable mishaps. Make sure your summer goes according to plan by following these 9 summer home prep must do’s.
Increase Your Home’s Security
If you’re one of many families planning to go on vacation this summer, you need to prepare your property before you leave. Criminals will be on the lookout for empty-looking houses, so make it seem like someone is home by asking a neighbor to collect the mail and use a timer to have a light come on during the evening. You can also ask a family member, neighbor, or friend in town to periodically drive by to check that everything is normal. Finally, if you use a lawn car service, schedule it to come by to keep the house from appearing abandoned.
Prepare for an Empty Home
Leaving your home empty for any time requires preparation. Before hitting the road, make sure you unplug all appliances, shut off your hot water heater, turn off water valves to avoid a house flood, unplug electronics and keep closet doors open to prevent musty smells. Put all food away and clean up crumbs, grease, and liquids to discourage bugs from setting up camp while you’re gone. Don’t forget the refrigerator; coming home after a long trip to discover long-expired food is probably an errand you’d rather avoid. Arrange for a friend or neighbor to check on your house, water your plants, feed your pets, and notify you about suspicious activity. Set thermostats to a less comfortable temperature to protect plants, furniture and pets. Do not post vacation dates/plans on social media.
Weatherproof Your Home
Summer is the season for heat, severe rainstorms, lightning, floods, tornadoes, and hurricanes. Keep your family safe by preparing for all types of inclement weather. If you live in a region with extreme heat, you can keep your home cool by checking windows and doors for air leaks. Depending on where you live, you’ll need to plan for specific weather events that are likely to occur. It is a good idea to secure outdoor furniture. Have an emergency supply kit ready with water, non-perishables, first aid, blankets and clothing for up to five days. If there is a weather issue while you are out of town, send someone to your home to check for any damage.
Critter Prevention and Control
The heat of summertime creates the perfect breeding ground for cockroaches, ants, bees, and other household pests. Protect your home against invasive bugs by checking your doors, windows, and house foundation for cracks where bugs can enter. Consider hiring a pest control person to inspect your home for possible entry points.
De-Clutter Your Home
If you procrastinated instead of doing spring-cleaning chores, summer is the right time to get the family together for a group effort to clean and organize the house. Kids are home from school and can lend a hand, clearing out and organizing their closets so you can donate old clothes and toys. Summer vacation gives you time for large-scale projects, such as reorganizing the garage or cleaning the gutters.
Arm Yourself With the Right Cleaning Tools
If your family is staying home in this summer, you’ll need to stay on top of the cleaning to avoid an enormous mess come fall. From sticky fruit juice on your marble countertops to paint spills at arts and crafts time, you’ll need the right cleaning tools in your inventory. The best summer cleaning products include wet wipes for quick cleans, nontoxic all-purpose cleansers for the whole house, and organizational supplies to keep clutter to a minimum.
Prepare Your Home for Guests
If you plan to have the neighbors over for backyard barbecues, or if relatives are flying in to stay for the summer, you’ll need to prepare your house for guests. Freshen up your guestrooms by cleaning the sheets, dusting the furniture, and opening a window to let in fresh air. Check your decks, patios, and pool to ensure they’re safe for guests to enjoy. If you’re going to grill out for the first time since last summer, clean the debris from your grill and inspect for safety concerns.
Keep Your Lawn Beautiful
Whether summer brings dry heat or lots of rain, you’ll need to prepare your lawn for the elements. If you haven’t used your lawnmower all winter, make sure it still runs properly. Add extra fertilizer to keep grass alive and prevent it from turning brown. Consider planting some new plants and flowers to enhance curb appeal. Take a look at your trees/shrubs and trim if needed.
Let Summer Inside
Take full advantage of summer by bringing it into your home—in moderation. Fill your home with summer scents by picking bouquets of wildflowers or summer-themed air fresheners. Enjoying summer is all about protecting your home from harm while still making the most out of the warm weather.