Re-caulk gaps

June is a great time to caulk inside and out. Inside, look for areas where the window frame meets the trim or drywall. Cold weather can cause caulk to shrink, allowing drafts to penetrate the frame. Refill gaps between the wall and trim with caulk to make baseboards easier to dust. Outside, look for gaps or missing caulk around windows and doors. The warm weather allows it to cure properly.

Control weeds

Use a taproot weeder—or even an old fork in a pinch—to help extract root systems from the soil so plants, such as dandelions, can’t regrow. Consider using alternative week control like vinegar along driveways and stone walks to minimize damage to the environment from chemicals.

Overhaul the junk drawer

The junk drawer is everyone’s favourite place to put small items but it can quickly become a mess. Try adding an ice cube tray to keep small items, like paper clips and spare keys, sorted and accessible.

Clean gutters

Now’s an especially good time to check for blockages since any standing water in them can attract mosquitoes. You’ll probably need to clean them again in the fall when all the leaves are off the trees.

Freshen painting tools

Soak gunky brushes in hot white vinegar, then wash in warm, soapy water. To dry, leave brushes flat, but stand damp rollers upright. A quick inventory of painting equipment will ensure that you have the tools you need to do those little projects all summer.

Quiet noisy washing machines

If your washer is extra loud, the feet may need leveling. The fix usually just requires screwing or unscrewing the front set and flipping a locking mechanism—but consult your manual first. If the washer is loud through a wall, maybe one that is shared with a bedroom, consider fibrous acoustic panels from the building supply. They’re very inexpensive and no installation is required: just cut to fit and slide in behind the machines to reduce sound by 50% or more.

Service lawn mowers

This is a good time to change the oil and spark plug to ensure easy starting all summer. Use a friction modifier in the oil so it will run cooler, have more power, and better economy. Grassy buildup in your lawn mower’s undercarriage can invite rust and clog the discharge chute, leaving clumps on your lawn. Routine cleaning can help stave off future problems, so take time this month to do a checkup. Disconnect the spark plug and remove the blade before dislodging debris with a putty knife and wire brush. Use a hose to spray away any remaining clippings. Check the air pressure if your mower has pnuematic wheels.

Make garages safer

Store ladders horizontally, not vertically, to avoid tipping and discourage children from climbing. Ensure gasoline, paint thinner, and other chemicals are in original containers, out of direct sunlight. Even better, consider a metal cabinet to reduce the chance of fire from spontaneous combustion which can occur in oily or solvent-soaked rags. Add reflective tape to garage stairs to increase visibility and prevent tripping.

Plant a night-blooming garden

Get a round-the-clock show from your garden by planting flowers that open up between dusk and dawn, taking their cues from light and temperature. Try moonflower (shown), a fast-growing annual vine featuring large flowers that come alive at night. Four o’clocks, a fragrant perennial, are a good pick too, usually blooming between 4 and 8PM.

Install a rain barrel

With droughts on the rise, setting up a rain barrel is an eco-friendly way to maintain a healthy lawn. Before getting started, check local laws—some municipalities prohibit rain harvesting, whereas others offer financial incentives. Elevate the vessel slightly to get the best water pressure—or for large barrels, try a mechanical pump—then secure it to the house so it can’t tip when full.

Questions about preparing your home for sale this summer? Contact one of our sales representatives for more information.

This article was reposted, in part, from This Old House: 10 Summer Home Care Tips.