Tuesday, June 29, 2010

101 Summer Home Preps

Summer is an excellent time to take care of the myriad things that come with being responsible for your home. Here's a list to get you started:
  1. Know where your gas shut off is, how to access it, how to shut off the gas if needed, and have a wrench near by to do so.
  2. Know where your water main shut off is, how to access it, how to shut it off, and have the tools near by to do so.
  3. Know where your electrical panel is, how to access it, and how to shut off the main power to your house.
  4. Have your chimney cleaned.
  5. Have your furnace serviced.
  6. Have the roof cleaned (and in our area, de-mossed).
  7. Clean your home's siding and paint if needed.
  8. Power wash your deck and make any necessary repairs.
  9. Power wash your concrete/driveway/walkways.
  10. Change the batteries in your smoke detectors.
  11. Wash your windows inside and out.
  12. Check your window screens/screen doors and make any repairs that are needed.
  13. Check your water filters and change them if necessary.
  14. If you have well water, have the water tested for purity.
  15. Check your storm windows/storm shutters and make sure they are in good repair.
  16. Rotate your stored gasoline.
  17. Clean the gutters.
  18. Landscape your yard.
  19. Make a drawing of your garden so you can rotate your crops next year.
  20. Make a water collection barrel/clean out your current barrel.
  21. If sediment is prone to build up in your hot water tank, clean it out.
  22. Test your home for radon.
  23. Do any renovations you can afford (new appliances, carpet/flooring, etc.).
  24. Clean the lint out of your dryer vent.
  25. Flush/clean the drains in your home.
  26. Check/repair weather stripping around your doors/windows.
  27. Make sure the numbers on your house are visible.
  28. Fix any leaks in your faucets/toilets.
  29. Install a carbon monoxide detector.
  30. Clean out your freezer and rotate the food.
  31. Check the screens in your attic/crawl space and make sure there are no holes that would let creatures invade your home.
  32. Re-key all of your locks.
  33. Change your furnace filter.
  34. Change the filter in your range hood.
  35. Clean the condenser coils in your refrigerator.
  36. Check to make sure your fire extinguishers are fully charged.
  37. Test your GFI (ground fault interrupter) switches to make sure they work properly.
  38. Sanitize your recycle bins/garbage cans.
  39. Sanitize your sink garbage disposal.
  40. Maintain (lube, etc) your garage door opener system.
  41. Inspect caulking around the tub/shower/tiles and make any needed repairs.
  42. Inspect your home's foundation for cracks/signs of movement.
  43. Earthquake-proof your home (tie down the hot water tank, bolt large furniture to the wall, etc).
  44. Check the base of your toilets for any movement/leaks. Replace the wax rings if necessary.
  45. Check all stairs and railings; make repairs if necessary.
  46. Check your sump pump to make sure it is working properly.
  47. Test your security system.
  48. Test your fire escape plan.
  49. Dust all fan systems (ceiling fans, bathroom fan vents, etc).
  50. Clean out your sheds/outbuildings.
  51. Have your air conditioning system serviced.
  52. Have your HVAC ducts cleaned.
  53. Update your home inventory.
  54. Clean/organize the garage.
  55. Trim/cut down trees near your home that may fall during a storm.
  56. Get rid of any nests (wasp nests, rodent nests, etc).
  57. Insulate your hot water tank set the temperature to 120 degrees.
  58. Check any masonry on your home (chimney, facade) for mortar that needs repair.
  59. If you have a septic tank, have it serviced.
  60. Have your main line drain inspected.
  61. Check your attic and basement insulation; make any repairs if needed.
  62. Check for signs of rodent or insect infestation and treat appropriately.
  63. Clear the area around your home/yard to help prevent wild fire.
  64. Do annual maintenance on your pool/hot tub.
  65. Flush your downspouts and make sure your exterior drainage system is clear and functioning.
  66. Check for any signs of dry rot and fix if necessary.
  67. Check for water links around faucets, the dishwasher, washing machine connections, and water line to refrigerator ice maker; fix if necessary.
  68. Replace faucets (sink and shower) with low flow heads.
  69. Lubricate any squeaky hinges.
  70. Clean the oil/car fluids from your garage floor and driveway.
  71. If your wood pile is next to the house or outbuildings, move it to prevent insect damage.
  72. Clean your oven and under the burners.
  73. Insulate if necessary (ie: add more insulation in the attic, basement, insulate around outlets, etc).
  74. Replace any faulty electrical outlets.
  75. Check/maintain portable humidifiers/air conditioners.
  76. Clean/sanitize your dishwasher and clothes washer.
  77. Kid proof your home (ie: make sure you don't have window blind cords that could strangle a child, lock up poisons and medications, etc).
  78. Elder-proof your home (ie: remove tripping hazards, put frequently used items where they are easy to get to, etc).
  79. Check all electrical cords for wear/damage and replace if necessary.
  80. Clear debris from drainage ditches, culverts, and/or the covers of city sewer drains.
  81. Deep clean carpet and rugs.
  82. Check for trees/plants whose roots could cause damage to walkways/pipes and remove.
  83. Rotate all of your stored food and water.
  84. Check the driveway and walkways for signs of shifting or deterioration; fix if necessary.
  85. Check retaining walls/bulkheads and repair if necessary.
  86. Have your wood stove cleaned and inspected.
  87. "Bug bomb" your home if necessary.
  88. Clean the tracks of your sliding glass doors and sliding windows.
  89. Make sure your home tool area is organized and you have all the tools/equipment/supplies to make basic repairs on your home.
  90. Make sure that all exterior lighting is in working order.
  91. Check all hoses (exterior water hoses, washing machine, dishwasher, refrigerator) for wear; replace if necessary.
  92. Insulate basement pipes and exterior pipes.
  93. Check the attic for adequate ventilation.
  94. Make sure the surge protectors on sensitive electronics are in working order.
  95. Ensure your pet kennels are secure (no holes dug under the fence, etc).
  96. Ensure any outdoor hazards (pool, hot tub, trampoline, etc) are in an area that can be secured; make sure the locks are in working order.
  97. Test/maintain your generator.
  98. Check the timers on your interior lights to make sure they are set properly.
  99. See if your local electric company will conduct a free energy audit on your home.
  100. If the location of your home safe/gun safe are known to many, move them.
  101. Make sure your home insurance coverage is adequate.


  1. Thanks for the list. I handed it to my wife and told her to get to work!

  2. It would take me all of summer, fall, winter and spring to do all this stuff!

  3. Aw man, the joys of home "ownership" (in reality, few people actually own their homes - the banks do!) But bankers sure do appreciate your efforts!

  4. Sharon: ...which is why I assign tasks. Of course this was easier to do when we had a houseful of kids. Since it is just the spouse and I my "assignments" don't go over very well...
    FireSteel: point well taken!

  5. Great list! I'm going to use it as a source of ideas for making "how to" videos on my website. Thank you.

  6. We always recommend that you start at the top of your home and work your way down when preforming home maintenance. It's the safest and most efficient way to make sure your summer preps get completed.