Home maintenance chores for the summer

If you are a homeowner, your house is likely one of your biggest financial investments, if not the biggest one. It should be maintained and cared for with that in mind – as well as your health and safety.


If that isn’t reason enough, did you know that the homeowner’s insurance policy you have most likely does not cover deferred maintenance? Most don’t!


In other words, if you discover that the caulking on one of your windows wasn’t secure and over time water has seeped in and ruined your hardwood floor, most likely you are not covered for that.



Here at NeighborWorks of Grays Harbor, people often ask us what types of things they need to do to keep their homes well maintained. So, while the weather is better, we thought we’d give you a list of chores you should consider tackling this summer to keep things running smoothly at your house.


Not all of these chores are suitable for all homeowners. Even if you are a DIYer, use wisdom as to which ones you should tackle yourself and which ones are better left to a handyman or other professional. If you are looking for such professionals, we recommend using licensed, bonded and insured contractors with good references.


Basic home maintenance is key

  • The summer is the perfect time to thoroughly clean up and air out garages, shops, barns and outbuildings. Wash any windows inside and out. Keep your eye on the junk as you tidy up. Maybe some of the items can be recycled, donated, or even sold.

  • Are you cutting – and stacking – firewood this summer? If so, remember to place it at least 25 feet from your house to discourage bug and critter infestations into your home.

  • When was the last time you thoroughly washed your sidewalks, cement steps and porches, and any other walkways? Moss doesn’t cause much of a problem in the summer, but when the rains come, it can become treacherously slick! (No one wants to get scraped up or even break a bone over a relatively simple chore that could have easily been dealt with months before!)

  • How’s your deck looking? Recently we’ve written two blogs on decks – one on making sure it’s safe and last week’s blog on how to prep and stain or paint. As a reminder, we advise you give your deck a safety check before inviting all the neighbors over! Check to see that the posts holding up the deck aren’t rotting at the piers and that the metal brackets are not rusty. Even treated wood will fail, especially where the deck boards are nailed into each joist. This is where water tends to get trapped leading to rot and failure. While you are examining the structure, make sure you see the hex-heads of bolts staggered along the on-edge deck’s rim joist which is attached to the house. If you only see nail heads, you will want to consult with your contractor or building official for a much-needed complete deck inspection.

  • This is the time of year not only to paint or stain decks, but also consider staining or painting any fences you may have. Not only does a fresh coat of paint or stain on your deck and fences freshen up the overall look of your home, but it also actually can lengthen the life of the wood! Before re-staining a deck or fence, make sure to give it a quick scrubbing with 30 Second Cleaner. It will dry fast and be ready for the next step.

  • While you are at it, check the strength and security of any fences you might have. If they are intended to keep animals safely in, check all possible escape routes. Maybe this is the year that you and your neighbor will get together to build a new fence together or fix up the old one.

  • When was the last time you painted your house? Our environment is rough on paint and stain, which serves as the biggest barrier you have to keeping the moisture out. On the Harbor, most homes need to be painted every four to eight years. The key to a good job is the tedious prepping – scraping off paint, re-caulking, etc.

  • Even if this isn’t the year for a new paint job, a good scrub on the exterior can do wonders for the look of your house, not to mention that it can serve to lengthen the life of your paint job! We recommend 30 Second Cleaner. Apply it with a scrub brush – using a long pole, if needed, and give the siding a light scrub! (Make sure to rinse it thoroughly.) Follow the package directions and use a regular hose with flood nozzle to rinse off. Pressure washers can damage the paint and siding in the wrong hands and the cleaner method is cheaper and much faster.


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