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8 Tips for Getting Your Home Ready for Summer

It's been a long winter, but spring is finally here! Now is the time to start working on all those projects that you've been putting off until warm weather. Listed here are some tips to get your home ready for summer.

1. Spruce Up the Flower Beds

Begin by pulling out all the grass and weeds that have accumulated throughout the winter. When doing so, take note of any perennials coming back up from last year. Do you have any plants that need to be moved or spread out to allow for the new growing season? After re-arranging the existing foliage, consider placing annuals in any empty spaces to add a look of fullness and for splashes of color. Loosen soil and add mulch where needed.

2. Give Your A/C Some TLC

Before the really hot weather moves in, you will want to give your air conditioner a thorough cleaning. First, turn off the unit and then use your garden hose to thoroughly spray any dirt and debris out of the condenser coils. Because ants are drawn to electrical circuits, it is a good idea to spray a good insect repellent/killer around the base once it has been reassembled. Doing so will keep the annoying insects from building nests inside the unit, which can damage it. Lastly, put in a new A/C filter and be sure to replace it each month.

3. Freshen Lawn Furniture

Wash all removable cushions and allow them to air dry. For any fabric that can't be unattached or placed in the washing machine, use a damp rag or brush, dish detergent, and water to scrub clean. Mildew can be removed from plastic furniture with a mixture of a gallon of water to a half a cup of bleach. Leave furniture out to dry in the sun.

4. De-Gunk Birdbaths

Clear out all leaves, sticks and other debris from all birdbaths. Dump out the old water and clean with equal parts water and white vinegar. Rinse thoroughly and refill with fresh water. Now all that's left is watching the birds enjoy a nice bath and a refreshing drink.

5. Inspect Your Roof

Since it is less likely to rain in the summer than any other season, now is the perfect time to examine your roof for spring or winter weather damage. To begin, either climb on top of the house or use a pair of binoculars to take a good look at your roof. Look for any cracked, curling or missing shingles. Also, check for any missing or damaged metal flashings around skylights, pipes or the chimney and replace as needed.

6. Clear Out All Gutters

Winter weather and spring storms can leave your gutters pretty yucky. Grab a ladder and a handheld shovel or gutter scoop to remove all leaves and debris. Use the garden hose to spray out the gutters and downspouts, checking for any cracks or leaks as you go. Caulk any joints that need to be repaired with sealant.Be sure to caulk from the inside. If the hole is very large, you may need to use a (gutter) patching kit, which can be found at any local hardware store.

7. Scour Your Grill

Turn on your grill and let it heat up for around 10 minutes. Doing so will make scraping off the burnt on gunk left from last year much easier. If you own a gas grill, be sure to disconnect the fuel line first. Once cooled, remove burners, grates, and the drip tray and wash with warm, soapy water. Don't forget to clean the grill's exterior as well.

8. Clean the Exterior of Home

If available, use a power washer to spray down the siding and shingles on your home. Wash the inside and outside of all windows. Repair or replace any broken or missing pieces of siding.Repaint shingles if necessary. Don't forget to clean off the garage door and to remove any dead tree limbs away from the house.

By tackling these jobs now, when the hottest months of the year get here your home will be ready. Then while all the neighbors are still trying to catch up, you can be kicked back, drinking lemonade, and relaxing in the shade. Enjoy your summer!

"A perfect summer day is when the sun is shining, the breeze is blowing, the birds are singing, and the lawn mower is broken"

~James Dent


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