The warmer months lend themselves to a handful of household improvement tasks that can be accomplished with a minimum of fuss and preparation, still leaving you with plenty of time for pursuing more enjoyable pastimes.
Ideally, gutters should be cleaned twice a year, in the spring and again in the autumn, freeing them from debris and clogs that can cause back-up and flooding in summer and ice dams in winter. Cleaning gutters requires no particular skill beyond owning a ladder and avoiding unnecessary risks (it’s always wise to alert a family member or friend to what you’re doing before you climb up a ladder, just to be safe). Tackling this job in the spring allows you to also inspect for leaks and breaks and, if need be, arrange to have them replaced while the weather is still good.
Take time to inspect all of your windows, checking to see how well they’ve come through the brutal winter months, and, if needed, now would be the time to re-caulk the casings and frames. This serves a dual purpose since it both keeps warm air out and cool air inside (and the reverse in winter, reducing your energy bills) and prevents rain and hail from seeping into walls, potentially causing mold or rot.
While we’re on the topic of windows, summer is the ideal time to wash them—a task nobody particularly enjoys–but here’s a tip for making the job a little easier and less frustrating: Prewash the glass with soapy water, rinse and then wash again with a solution of 50% distilled (white) vinegar and 50% hot water. Vinegar is non-toxic and naturally antibacterial and is great for breaking down the film that often forms on the glass. Afterward, rinse with plain water and dry right away, preferably with a damp squeegee, running it from the top of the glass to the bottom. Remember, too, not to wash your windows when the sun is shining directly on them.
Consider landscaping ideas that are both attractive and practical. Well-placed trees provide not only shade but protection for your home against chilly wind blasts in winter and sun beating down on windows in summer. Consult with your local nursery for xeriscaping suggestions, matching plants to your home’s soil conditions and those that require minimal watering.
Additionally, trim existing bushes and relocate plants that may be growing close enough to your home’s siding or foundation to cause damage.
Finally, while this doesn’t fall precisely into the “simple and quick” category, keep in mind that summer is a convenient time to tackle interior painting and flooring jobs, since warmer weather allows you to have the windows open so fumes from paint, varnish, and glue don’t overwhelm you, your family, and pets.
You can tackle all—or just a few—of these suggested tasks and then retire to your patio or garden with a cool drink in hand, knowing you are enjoying a well-earned rest!