June 21st ushered in the official start of summer and the longest day of the year, we’ve certainly all been thankful for the longer days with socialising firmly back on the agenda. Another gift with the elongated daylight hours is the valuable time it then gives to take on those tasks in the home that require more time, even allowing for a well-deserved sit down in the garden with a cold drink once they’re complete. It can, however, become overwhelming with what exactly to get done how best to tackle the projects. This is why today we’re outlining our 5 best maintenance tips for summer. Read on for our ideas.
1. First things first – get organised!
And so goes the ancient DIY mantra; nobody ever got anything done without a plan! Here at InsideOut Living, we’re huge fans of the humble to-do list, it’s the cornerstone of so many successful projects that it truly cannot be overlooked. So, this first tip is really that simple – make a home maintenance tips checklist for your projects! Categorise into priority needs and try to forecast how much time you think you’ll require per task. Before beginning collect info on what tools or materials you may need and allocate to each task – with any luck there’ll be a crossover with your tasks and bits required. It’s also important not to get discouraged if things don’t go 100% to plan, allow leeway in your date planning and expectations, and always seek help for those larger jobs. With some good planning usually comes great results! After all, you know what they say in the military, ‘Proper Prior Planning Prevents Poor Performance’.
2. Time for the annual ‘Deep Clean’ of the Garden Furniture
Notice the quotes around ‘deep clean’ in the title, that’s because truly most garden furniture doesn’t require tons of upkeep, and just any simple care completed will increase the life of the furniture nicely. It is also dependent on the type of material(s) of your garden furniture as to which treatments are best, but below we’ve broken down the dominant ones to follow with links that go to handy articles that go into further detail on this. Read below for these practical home maintenance tips for summer outdoor furniture cleaning and be sure to visit the links provided.
Rattan Garden Furniture Cleaning
Rattan furniture cleaning is very easy to complete but it will depend on the makeup of your rattan, natural or synthetic. With natural be more attentive with the water used when cleaning. However, the vast majority of garden furniture nowadays tends to be synthetic and therefore household non-corrosive suds and lukewarm or cold water is the key treatment to follow.
It’s all laid out perfectly in our article:
‘How to Clean and Care for Your Rattan Garden Furniture’.
Aluminum Garden Furniture Cleaning
It’s important to draw a distinction between aluminium garden furniture and cast aluminium garden furniture as this will factor into how to clean this. The former is slightly less pernickety to take care of whilst with cast aluminium, it’s all about seeing to any oxidisation that may occur.
Be sure to read our article on this to learn the correct methods and products to use:
‘How To Clean & Care For Cast Aluminium Garden Furniture’.
Other Garden Furniture Materials and Cleaning
For more cleaning home maintenance tips for summer regarding different materials there’s some great relevant information to be found in our article:
‘The Pros and Cons of the 5 Top Garden Furniture Materials’.
3.Get the BBQ ready!
On the home maintenance tips checklist for many will be dusting off the barbie! If you’re that way inclined (and, let’s face it who doesn’t love a grill off!), it won’t be summer until you’ve sizzled some alfresco meals. Keeping the grill station in working order is a must for those days when impromptu socialising can happen. So, we’re going to detail our go-to BBQ grill cleaning tips starting with using a Lemon!
Lemon Cleaning Technique
This is one of those home maintenance tips for summer that is really as simple as it sounds, yet super effective. Once finished grilling and you’ve enjoyed your meal, reheat the BBQ briefly – just enough to get it hot, turn it off and grab your lemon sliced in half and ready to go. Use a grill accessory such as a metal BBQ spatula or even tongs and with some force rub the lemon along the grill grooves. This technique, although very crude, is actually really effective. The natural cleaning enzymes from lemon juice does wonders for de-greasing the metal and working with the heated surface to get rid of pesky food residue, use a wire brush for really stubborn bits. For the sake of hygiene diligence, give it a quick spray with non-corrosive kitchen spray when fully cooled – the next day even, wipe clean. Voila!
Vinegar Cleaning Technique
Maybe your BBQ really needs some attention after a big summer last season and it’s lacking some love this time around – try vinegar cleaning! You’ll need a spray bottle such as used for watering flowers or household kitchen spray, fill this with roughly 475ml of standard household vinegar (not brown) and the same part lukewarm water, mix it together well. Once finished grilling, and letting it cool a little longer than with the above Lemon method, spray the grill liberally. Then use a wire brush or crumpled aluminium foil and apply some even pressure to work the grease and grime off. Then rinse with cool water. The vinegar is stronger still than the lemon acidity so can work harder against any grease.
4.Interior floor sprucing when there’s optimal sunlight.
Onwards with our home maintenance tips for summer – spruce and clean your interior floors by picking a bright and airy day. Sure, It’ll be hard not to head straight for the garden but if it’s shade and a cooling refuge at the height of the day that’s required this might be a great time killer. Using the brightest day serves to really illuminate those pesky areas of dust collection and grime. Cleaning laminate flooring, carpet and rugs are especially easy in bright conditions, allowing to see which areas have been properly accessed by the vacuum, mop or duster. With rugs, this is especially useful as beating out a rug (outdoors) on a well lit day really shows the dust and particulate being shed, or more to the point areas of real wear or concern. Afterwards to remove staining it’s a good idea to use any industry approved carpet cleaner – follow the instructions carefully on the bottle. We think knowing how to clean a rug or carpet properly like the above will really revitalise your home this summer. However, if your rug is showing signs of hard wear it may be time to think about looking at a replacement rug.
5. Maintaining the Conservatory Roof Guttering.
During a long dry period of weather in the summer there’s days of BBQ’s, garden frolics, beaches (if you’re lucky enough to live by the coast) and general fun in the sun. However, it’s just a reality that in the UK and Ireland there’s a fair amount of rainfall year round. Which is why it’s a great idea to get the guttering sorted for your conservatory, and home generally during long dry periods allows time to get up there and get it sorted properly. The annoying danger with clogged guttering is eventual deterioration of the roof itself. Flooded gutters and general dampness can lead to rot and degradation of the roof over time – so it’s really important to keep yours in tip top condition, one of those house maintenance tasks that should be completed annually at the very least. So, as the last home maintenance tips for summer we’re looking at the best way to unclog pesky gutters.
How to Get Sparkling Clean Gutters
Firstly, you’ll need a ladder, a taller step ladder will suffice if your roof is on the shorter side, otherwise a longer ladder such as used by cleaner-decorators and window-cleaners. Ensure this ladder meets modern regulations and has the appropriate safety guards in place. The best idea is to take a bucket up with you, or a bin bag, tying this bucket/bin bag to your ladder is a good idea, you can also hang it from the gutter with a bent coat hanger. It’s really important that you have a good pair of garden gloves for the de-clogging part to this. You can use your hands or a trowel but just literally scoop the decomposing leaves/matter out so that it’s completely clear. Even dried leaves can be deceiving hiding layers of mouldy and sludgy damp mulch, be thorough with your efforts.
Clearing gutters was always going to feature in our home maintenance tips checklist as it’s so important to have a healthy happy roof – nobody wants damp issues or leaking come the heavier weather months. The final part in gutter maintenance is the rinsing. This is really simple in many ways, if you’ve the luxury of a garden hose that will stretch with you atop the ladder take this with you and get an even flow going. Direct the flow into the gutter and maintain a flow, allow to run down the downpipe clearing out any remnants, be sure to adjust the ladder along to get all areas. If a hose isn’t an option a bucket of water will work just as well, the one benefit with using a bucket is with more stubborn stuck on bit, or particularly mulchy parts, you can now use lukewarm water to help clear. Again, ensure the water flows nicely through the downpipe.
With downpipes, if the clogs are happening here it’s a little more involved to resolve, but totally doable. Depending on the construction of your pipe it may be one in which you can screwdrive open in parts to unclog – use the same technique with gloved up hands or a trowel to remove. If yours is a closed design you’ll just need to purchase a pipe cleaner brush – most good homes stores will have one of these.
And now the drains are all clear, the floors spotless and the BBQ ready to go we’ve reached the end of our home maintenance tips for summer roundup. These are just some of many house maintenance jobs that are great for the summer months. Now go and enjoy the fine weather! You’ve earned it!