It’s hard to believe it’s May already! Summer is just around the corner, so now is the time to get your home maintenance completed in preparation for Summer gatherings and time spent outside.
1 – Patch Pathways
Concrete cracks and loose pavers can cause walking hazards. Take some time to walk around your property and check for areas that could pose a problem. Fill in areas in gravel or trail mix that are low, make sure pavers or flagstones are set into the ground well and repair cracks in your concrete.
2 – Check Outdoor Lighting
Now that tripping hazards have been taken care of, take a stroll around your property in the evening and check your outdoor lighting. Make sure all lights have working bulbs, and check to ensure pathway lighting is sufficient.
Make sure that any bulbs you use outside are rated for outdoor use – it does make a difference!
Before you plug in any lighting that has been stored through the Winter, check to make sure they don’t have any cracked fixtures, loose connections, fraying cords, or even burn marks. If you find any signs of wear and tear, it’s best to toss them.
3 – Check Fencing and Gates
Take a few moments to check your fencing for loose pickets, or other issues. Make sure they are clean for Summer, and repaint if necessary. If you have damaged pickets, repair or replace them as needed.
Make sure your gates are functioning properly, and make your yard accessible to those who need them – i.e., can your kids open and close them easily? If the latch is sticky, or hard to reach, check to see if it can be adjusted or moved.
4 – Scrub Down Your Grill
Chances are that you’ve used your grill by now (it’s been SO nice out!) but if you haven’t, now is a great time to give it a thorough cleaning in preparation for Summer use.
After making sure any debris has been removed, fire up your grill. Let it come to full temperature and wait 30 minutes for the high heat to singe any stuck-on food or grease. Use a wire brush to scrub down the grill grates. Get a bowl of warm water and grease-cutting dish soap (Dawn is great!) and dip your wire brush into the soapy water and scrub the grates clean. Turn off the gas and let the grill cool completely.
Once it’s cooled down, remove the grates and completely submerge them into a tub of warm, soapy water for at least 30 minutes. Disconnect the propane tank. Remove anything from the grill that you can take off (think burner control knobs, flavor bars, grease trays, warming racks, etc) to make it easier to clean. You can toss these into the soapy water as well.
Set a bucket under the grease tray opening to catch anything that gets flushed through. Scrap off any caked-on gunk with a putty knife, and use a vacuum to suck up anything that is left. Make sure you check your burner holes and tubes for bugs or debris. Take a wire brush across them to clean them, and use a wire bottle brush to clean out each tube. Once the grill is all cleaned out use a garden hose to wash out the grill box. The bucket should catch the dirty water.
Scrub all the parts and pieces that are sitting in the soapy water. For really stubborn bits, mix a paste of white vinegar & baking soda & let it sit for a few minutes on the gunk. Rinse all surfaces clean, and thoroughly dry them.
Wash the outside of your grill with warm, soapy water, and polish with a microfiber cloth dipped in white vinegar.
Once everything is clean and dry, reconnect your propane tank, and reassemble your grill. Turn it on & heat it up for 15 minutes, then turn it off. This helps you make sure you got everything reconnected and put back together correctly.
Now you are ready to BBQ all Summer!
5 – Wash Your Deck
Take some time before you pull out all of your outdoor furniture to wash down the deck or patio. Check for loose boards, posts, or railings and repair any that have been damaged. Do any resealing or repainting that is necessary while it’s clean and clear of furnishings.
6 – Clean Exterior Doors
Dirt, grime, and other nastiness can accumulate on your garage door, exterior doors, and entryways. Take some time to thoroughly clean them. The biggest problem we have over the cooler months is collecting spiderwebs and bird droppings. A good pressure wash does wonders for getting rid of both of these after taking a broom to knock off the worst of it.
If your front door is looking less than inviting, now is a great time to think of repainting it! Choosing a nice, bright color that coordinates to your home in a high gloss looks great. Black is also a very popular color for front doors right now – very classic.
7 – Clean Out Gutters
If you haven’t done this already, May is a great time to make sure your gutters are clean and clear of debris.
8 – Prep Your Evaporative Cooler
Again, if you haven’t already had this done, now is the time to get your evaporative cooler ready for cooling your home all Summer. Hook up the water – checking for any leaks or cracked piping. Check your cooler pads for wear and tear or calcification and replace if necessary. Mine was very calcified this year, so we did a thorough scrubbing and wash out to get rid of all of that yucky white powder. Make sure you wash any residue off the roof while you have the hose up there.
9 – Check Electrical Outlets & Power Bars
May is National Electrical Safety Month! Take a few minutes to check your electrical cords for any damage such as cracks or frays and replace as necessary. Check all power strips to ensure they have a power surge protector, and are not overloaded. Clear any dust or debris from the area around them to keep it from getting into the outlets.
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