With warmer temperatures and longer days here, it’s full speed ahead into May and the more summer-y months! Before you can relax and enjoy the warmer temperatures and crystal blue sky, you need to tackle some routine home maintenance. Don’t fret because we have five surprisingly easy tasks that should be on your May home checklist, and they all can be done in one weekend!
Ready your grill for the summer
If you haven’t inspected and completed a deep cleaning of your grill, do it this month! Make sure to clear any spiderwebs and critter droppings, as they can be fire hazards, and clean all the parts of the grill – the grates, heat deflectors, burners, cook box, and cover.
Every time you use the grill, clean off the grates while they remain hot. If you use the grill at least once a week, then give it that deep cleaning at least once every two months.
Don’t forget to refresh your grill safety knowledge with our summer grilling kick-off guide.
Spruce up your outdoor living space
After April showers, it’s time to get down and dirty with your outdoor living area. If you stored your outdoor furniture for the winter months, bring it out now and wipe it down. Also, clean your outdoor light fixtures, so they’ll have a bright glow for dinners out on your patio or deck. Add some party flare to your outdoor living space with string lights and other backyard upgrades.
Give your landscaping a makeover by sprucing up your flower beds and reseeding any bare spots in your lawn. Take away any dead branches from winter storms, and check to see if your deck needs to be resealed. (May is National Deck Safety Month!)
Take care of your septic system
If you happen to live in rural areas or in a lake community, there’s a good chance you have a septic tank. (This is where your wastewater goes in your yard.) Residential septic systems generally need to be pumped every three to five years, though that can vary depending upon your tank’s size, your family’s size, and the wastewater and solids your household generates.
Your septic should be inspected more frequently, at least once every three years, and the components should be inspected annually (most likely as part of your annual plumbing inspection). Take care of any septic issues now, so you can enjoy the summer wastewater-free.
If you have city sewers, you still can have issues. Learn how to tackle the dreaded sewer backup now.
Change the direction of your ceiling fan
We promised a super easy May home maintenance checklist, and this is the easiest item on it. Check to make sure your ceiling is spinning counterclockwise. If you live in the South, you probably never changed its direction.
If you live in the North, you should change the direction of your fan every spring and fall. The counterclockwise spinning in summer sends cool air down upon you during the blistering heat. (The clockwise spinning in winter circulates the warm air in the room and prevents it from staying near the ceiling.)
You can generally change the direction of your ceiling fan by either a remote control or a switch on the motor housing unit. (Just make sure to turn off the fan before doing this.)
If you haven’t called your HVAC professional for the unit’s spring cleaning, it’s a good time to do so now. This will help to make sure your air conditioning will work when you need it.
Monitor the cracks in your home’s foundation
No one likes cracks in their home’s foundation, but not all of them are terrible for your home or your wallet. Horizontal cracks are the ones you need to worry about the most as well as cracks over an eighth of an inch. Unfortunately, cracks in your home’s foundation can cause structural damage and can send water into your home (typically the basement).
If you see a horizontal or diagonal crack more than an eighth of an inch, there are two things that you should do. One, make sure your downspouts lead water away from your home, so water won’t seep into your basement and create mold and other issues. Two, call a foundation professional to assess and repair the damage.
As always –
You should check your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors as part of your monthly home maintenance. Don’t forget to test your GFCIs as well. If you haven’t inspected your braided metal hoses on your washing machine, refrigerator, and dishwasher every year, do so as part of your May home checklist. This can help prevent costly water damage.
At least once a year, you should also test your water to find out what pollutants or other contaminants may be in it. We spoke to the Water Quality Association to help you figure out if your tap water is safe (and potable).
Finished your spring cleaning?
If you haven’t finished your spring home checklist, May is the perfect time. You should also declutter and clean your winter gear as much as possible. As you’re switching out your colder weather clothes, make a donation pile.
Tackle your cluttered attic or garage (if you didn’t earlier in the season), and be on the lookout for any evidence of termites. If you see any, call a pest control professional to investigate.
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