Summer Home Maintenance Tips

The sun is out, vacations are planned, and living is easy. Ahhh… Before you head out on your final adventure of the season, here is your official reminder to check off your summer home maintenance checklist! This annual checklist is simple, straightforward, and manageable. You’ll be back to your end-of-summer plans in no time. 

First Impressions: Exterior Maintenance!

1. Touch-up & Weather-proof Exterior Paint

Regular paint touch-ups not only increase curb appeal, but also protect your home from water and sun damage. If it is time to repaint the entire exterior of your home, check out the top-rated exterior paints for Portland’s unique climate. 

2. Wash Windows and Screens

Prior to cleaning glass panes, remove window screens and give them a good scrub. We suggest soaking screens in hot water and Simple Green, and gently scrubbing them with a soft bristled brush or sponge. If the dust and grime prove too hard to remove, it may be time to replace them! Additionally, examine all window seals for any cracks or leaks. Don’t force your AC to work double-time by allowing cool air to escape through faulty window seals.  

3. Foundation Investigation!

Inspect the foundation for any cracks, leaks, or structural imperfections now, before the rainy season comes back around. Foundation cracks are often the cause of…

  • Basement flooding
  • Uneven floors
  • Sticky or loose doors
  • Damage to pipes and plumbing
  • Insect or rodent infestations
  • Serious structural issues

If you notice any foundation cracks, don’t hesitate to reach out to your trusted real estate professional for specialist recommendations to assess the severity of damage and make the necessary repairs. 

4. Make Those Gutters SHINE!

The culmination of Portland’s lush terrain and (on average) 43 inches of rain a year can wreak havoc on your gutters. The summer is the perfect opportunity for a bi-annual gutter cleaning! Now that roof and gutter debris have dried in the summer sun, removing gunk becomes a much easier (and less gross) process. 

Still not interested in getting elbow-deep in gutter gunk? We don’t blame you… Try a pressure washer attachment, or leave it to the professionals. Portland’s Moss Busters is locally owned and has been continually awarded for their amazing service. Support a local business and the integrity of your gutters, all at once!   

5. Power Wash Your Driveway 

We have experienced wild weather this year… What did the winter snowstorm, spring downpour, and summer heatwave leave caked on your driveway? Clean your driveway of the weeds, dirt, mold, and grime that has built up this year! 

Before you plug in the power washer, make sure to…

  • Inspect the driveway for severe cracks. Decrease the water pressure while cleaning these areas to avoid further damage.  
  • Sweep or leaf-blow the surface of any loose material
  • Apply a degreaser to loosen stains and thick debris

It’s the Inside That Counts: Interior Maintenance

1. HVAC Check-up

Just because you can’t see air pollutants in your homes, does not mean they aren’t there! Your HVAC duct is holding on to dust, dander, hair, and dirt. A debris-filled duct will circulate dirty, particle-filled air back into your home. Especially following the past few summers, as annual forest fires have become (unfortunately) the norm, regular HVAC cleanings are vital to your health. The Environmental Protection Agency recently ranked indoor air pollutants in the top five risks to public health!

Find step-by-step instructions to HVAC duct cleaning here, or refer to a local HVAC service company!

2. Deep Clean the Garbage Disposal

Correct me if I’m wrong… but most of us put miscellaneous food scraps down the garbage disposal, never to think of them again. That is, until a mysterious smell starts to emerge from the sink. What mold and bacteria are breeding in your disposal?

Freshening your garbage disposal is a great addition to your summer maintenance checklist, but we suggest following this cleaning process every two weeks:

  1. Disconnect the power leading to the disposal 
  2. Scrub and sanitize the rubber splash guard lining the drain.
  3. Sprinkle ½ cup of baking soda in the drain and let sit for a half-hour.
  4. Follow with one cup of vinegar and watch the concoction bubble for 5-10 minutes!
  5. Rinse away the baking soda, vinegar solution by slowly pouring a pot of boiling water down the drain.
  6. Reconnect the power and grind two cups of nugget ice to act as a final “scrub”. Do not use cubed ice, at the risk of damaging your disposal blades. 


3. Dust and Reverse Ceiling Fans 

When was the last time you saw the top of your ceiling fan blades? As the blades slice through the air, static electricity causes dust to accumulate on the blade surface. Additionally, the faster the blades spin, the air between the fan and ceiling will become “inactive”, trapping particles. Grab a stepladder, your handy-dandy Swiffer duster, and remove the accumulated dust. Follow up with an anti-static dryer sheet to prevent further dust build-up. 

BONUS: If your fan is not already spinning counterclockwise, switch the direction of the blades. Most ceiling fans have a latch at the base that allows the blades to pivot. The counterclockwise rotation pushes cool air to the floor, subsequently reducing AC-related bills by as much as 40%! 

Right now, at the peak of Portland’s summer season, is the perfect time to complete your summer home maintenance checklist. Before autumn arrives, prepare your home for the approaching rain, chill, and falling leaves with our simple, maintenance checklist:

  • Touch-up and weather-proof exterior paint
  • Wash windows and screens
  • Inspect foundation for cracks, leaks, and structural issues
  • Clean gutters
  • Power wash your driveway
  • Clean HVAC duct
  • Dust and reverse ceiling fans 
  • Freshen-up garbage disposal 

Head over to the Piece of PDX blog for more tips on home maintenance, selling your home for top dollardesign inspiration, and MORE!

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