Friday, June 28, 2024

Real Estate: Summer home maintenance checklist

By Tricia Zwirner

Check out these interior and exterior home maintenance tips to consider while the weather is warm.

Summer is the perfect time to take advantage of the warm weather and get some work done around the house. Help keep your home performing efficiently during the summer by adding these tasks to your home maintenance plan.

Indoor spaces

· Switch your ceiling fan blade direction to counterclockwise to help cool the air by providing a downdraft.

· Clean your refrigerator coils since they have a tendency to accumulate dust and pet hair. This can help your fridge run more economically.

· Wash windows and check screens. A good cleaning of the inside of your windows, patio door and tracks can help remove any buildup from dust, cooking, smoke, candles and fireplaces. While cleaning the windows, look at the screens to see if repairs are needed.

· Check your windows and doors for leaks to help keep cold air in and hot air out & consider sealing leaks with weather stripping or caulking.

Outdoor home maintenance

· Service your air conditioner because regular maintenance can help ensure your air conditioner is working as efficiently as possible during the summer.

· Hose down your exterior air conditioner condenser unit with a garden hose to remove buildup and help it run more efficiently.

· Wash the outside of your windows with soapy lukewarm water to help remove any water spots or dust buildup and dry with a microfiber cloth.

· Wash siding with a garden hose to avoid potentially damaging the outside of your home or having water get under the siding. Apply a coat of fresh paint if needed and repair any damaged vinyl or aluminum siding.

· Check garden plants, trees and shrubs for insect infestations. Termites can easily go undetected until considerable damage has been done. Look for telltale signs like flaking wood or mud buildup and tunneling systems in the exterior wood of your home. Professional pest control inspections are recommended if you have any suspicions of possible infestation.

· Spruce up the exterior of your home by pressure washing your sidewalks, porches and driveways. Fences and decks can also use a lower pressure cleaning.

· Tidy up your landscaping:

o Trim shrubs and bushes as needed.

o Get weeds under control.

o Remove dead or unhealthy plants so that others may thrive & consider replacing with new ones.

o Add a fresh layer of mulch to mulched areas & introduce some pops of color to increase curb appeal.

· Trim trees to avoid potential damage to your home. Keep their branches pruned and at least 25 ft from power lines and your home to help prevent storm-related damage.

· Check gutters to ensure they are free of debris & make sure downspouts are still routed properly so water drains away from the house.

· While on the ground, step back from your home and inspect the roof for maintenance from all sides to see if shingles are cracked, curled or missing.

· Clean the outside clothes dryer vent to remove any built-up lint and allow your dryer to work more efficiently.

· Inspect the pavement for cracks and holes to help prevent accidental slips, trips and falls. It may also help you avoid larger repairs or resurfacing in the future.

Garage maintenance

· There are many items that should not be stored in a garage as the temperature will be rising throughout the season. Don't store heat-sensitive or combustible materials in the garage and keep hazardous materials such as paint, solvents and chemicals away from children and disposed of properly

Energy Efficiency

· Install window coverings or use reflective film to reduce heat gain from the sun and keep your home cooler during hot summer days.

· Check your attic insulation and add more if needed to improve energy efficiency and keep your home comfortable.

· Consider installing a programmable thermostat to regulate your home's temperature efficiently and save on energy costs.

These are just a few summer home maintenance suggestions tailored to our state so that you can ensure that your home is prepared for the unique challenges of the season. Regular maintenance and attention to detail will help prevent costly repairs and maintain the value of your property.

Remember to prioritize safety, energy efficiency, and protection against Maine's ever changing weather conditions. Don't hesitate to seek professional assistance when needed.

Tricia Zwirner is a State Farm agent celebrating her 21st year in Windham. She and her team would love to hear from you and can be reached via phone and text at 207-892-2864 or via email at

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