summer home maintenance
Home Maintenance

Ready, Set, Summer: The Essential Home Maintenance Checklist



  1. Summer Maintenance & Repair Checklist: a Summary
  2. Inspect & Clean Your Home’s Exterior
  3. Clean Your Gutters
  4. Check the Grading Around Your Home
  5. Inspect the Condition of Your Roof
  6. Give Your Landscaping Some Love
  7. Wash Windows & Clean, Replace, or Repair Window Screens
  8. Check Your Deck & Fencing For Possible Repairs Needed
  9. Get Your Furnace & Air Conditioning Unit Serviced
  10. Give Your Ceiling Fans a Refresh
  11. Clean Your Baseboards and Doorframes

When summer kicks off, it’s natural to have lots of big, grand plans for the season ahead — cottage weekends, catching up with friends, sports games, and, of course, knocking projects off the summer maintenance and repair checklist at home.

Ok, so maybe the summer maintenance checklist isn’t top of mind with all that other fun stuff tempting you away from your home, though it really is one of the best times of year to tackle home maintenance and repairs.

But, once you start really diving into that repair and maintenance checklist, it can feel a little overwhelming.

Without a plan, you might give your driveway a quick sweep or start digging in the garden, then notice that the hedges need trimming, and suddenly find yourself up a ladder cleaning out the gutters.

This is precisely why we put together this checklist! With everything else going on in the summer season (they’re always too short, aren’t they?!), it can be far too easy to let maintenance and upkeep fall by the wayside.

But, if you know what to tackle and the best time to tackle it, you can plan your weekends accordingly and get back to the more fun stuff before you know it. Like lounging on that freshly stained deck you just checked off the list!

Ok, so, without further adieu — it’s time to start checking those pesky maintenance and repairs off IKO’s easy-to-follow summer checklist.

Summer Maintenance & Repair Checklist: A Summary

  • Inspect & Clean Your Home’s Exterior
  • Clean Your Gutters
  • Check The Grading Around Your Home
  • Inspect The Condition of Your Roof
  • Give Your Landscaping Some Love
  • Wash Windows & Clean, Replace, or Repair Window Screens
  • Check Your Deck & Fencing For Needed Repairs
  • Get Your Furnace and Air Conditioning Unit Serviced
  • Give Your Ceiling Fans a Refresh
  • Clean Your Baseboards and Doorframes

Now, when you think about summer maintenance and repairs, your mind likely naturally drifts to the concept of your outdoor spaces — so that’s where we’re going to start! Stay tuned until the very end for some indoor maintenance and upkeep tips we recommend tackling in the summer around the house as well.

Inspect & Clean Your Home’s Exterior

Many homeowners struggle with how to maintain some parts of their house exterior — especially if they are new homeowners. As a new homeowner, you likely haven’t learned the lay of the land quite yet in terms of projects you might need to complete (aka, you’re bound to run into some surprises!). But the best place to start is with a thorough inspection and cleaning.

Inspecting and cleaning the exterior of your home as summer kicks off will give you a perfect opportunity to identify any necessary repairs and complete them in order of urgency.

From here, you can determine whether there is anything that requires immediate attention (i.e., potential safety hazards) or if they’re more of a “would be nice” maintenance task, like, say, a new paint job.

It is one of the best forms of preventative maintenance you can implement as a homeowner, which is why we put it at the top of the checklist!

As you clean the exterior of your house, depending on the type of siding you have, you might realize that you need to repair or replace broken siding, or that some of your exterior window trim needs to be replaced.

It will also get you a little more up close and personal with different areas of your home and landscape, making it a great starting point when figuring out what your home’s maintenance and repair needs are as you head into the season.

Clean Your Gutters

We suggest cleaning your gutters twice a year — at the start of summer and the end of the fall after the majority of the leaves have fallen (but before the snow flies!). We’ll save fall home maintenance and repairs for another day, though!

Cleaning your gutters is essential because without regular upkeep they can cause a whole host of problems.

Clogged gutters will divert water flow to unwanted places, which can result in water damage to your home. Alternatively, if they break, the sheer weight of neglected gutters full of debris has the potential to cause structural damage.

Check the Grading Around Your Home

Inspecting and correcting the grading around your home is an essential aspect of summer property maintenance to knock off the checklist. Improper grading can lead to water travelling toward your home, resulting in a faulty foundation and a wet basement (no, thank you!).

Inspecting your grading is easier than it sounds. Simply ensure that water is running away from your house rather than toward it. If you find any low points where water is pooling near your foundation (after or during a good rain is an easy time to check this), you can often correct the issue by adding some topsoil to the problem area.

Inspect the Condition of Your Roof

When it comes to the order you want to start to check items off your summer maintenance and repair checklist, we recommend inspecting your roof annually early in the season.

Roofing materials will expand and contract slightly with varying weather conditions and temperatures, and if there are any significant repairs needed, it’s helpful to know as early in the summer season as possible.

Look for broken shingles, spacing between shingles, and inspect the flashing around your vents and chimneys. The seal around these areas will often fail before your roof shingles, so inspecting them (at a minimum on an annual basis) is an excellent form of preventative maintenance.

Give Your Landscaping Some Love

Some of us love spending time in the garden and overall landscape, while others might prefer to hand that task off to an expert. Whichever category you fall under, regular summer landscape maintenance will help keep your home looking its very best all season long.

Mulch is a cheap, cheerful, and easy way to create a clean, refreshed appearance in the garden. In addition to the visual appeal, mulch helps keep weeds to a minimum, keeps plant roots cool, and prevents evaporation when you water your gardens. Pretty much a win-win-win in the realm of landscaping.

Summer Landscaping

This is also a great time to trim back any trees that may infringe on the structure of your home, prune shrubs, and give your lawn some much-needed attention.

If you don’t fancy yourself a gardener (i.e., have no interest in any backbreaking maintenance), plant native, perennial flowers. They are naturally drought-resistant, require little maintenance, and their deep, absorbent tap roots help to prevent flooding and soil erosion.

Wash Windows & Clean, Replace, or Repair Window Screens

Summer window washing

It only makes sense to clean your window screens at the same time as the windows themselves. You can do so by scrubbing them gently with warm soap and water, and once you’re working with them, you can determine whether they need to be replaced entirely or not.

This is also a perfect opportunity to inspect and clean your window frames and doors. Ensure that the caulking and seal around your windows are still in good condition. This will help prevent heat loss in the winter and keep your home cool in the summer.

Not only will it keep you and your family more comfortable through all four seasons, but it will also make your home more efficient and, in turn, environmentally friendly.

This summer maintenance checklist will payoff tenfold on those crisp winter days when the bright rays of sunshine come beaming through your crystal-clear windows!

Check Your Deck & Fencing For Possible Repairs Needed

Cold winters and spring rain can do a number on both deck boards and fencing, and summer is the perfect time to tend to any repairs or maintenance they might need!

The summer repair and maintenance inspection process for decks and wood fencing is quite similar.

Check both thoroughly for any broken or rotting boards or protruding nails and consider whether they might need a fresh coat of paint or stain or not. Re-staining your fence and deck every few years will help keep it in good condition, prolong its lifespan, and give the overall look of your home much more curb appeal.

Additionally, inspect the supporting posts of your deck and fence. If they look a little worse for wear, determine whether you need to repair or replace them based on the level of damage.

A general rule of thumb for wood fencing is that if half (or more) of your fence is in disrepair, it might be time just to replace the whole thing.

If you have chain link fencing, keep an eye out for peeling or chipped vinyl coating and broken or damaged posts. If the vinyl coating starts to go on a chain link fence, the metal chain itself will start to rust shortly after. And, if you have a broken or damaged post, the entire fence will likely weaken.

Depending on the extent of damage to your chain link fence, it is worth doing some research to determine if it is more cost-effective to repair or replace it altogether.

While you certainly don’t want to spend too much time indoors during the beautiful summer months, these are the essential maintenance and upkeep tasks we suggest you check off the to-do list before the autumn months set in.

Get Your Furnace & Air Conditioning Unit Serviced

For homeowners that enjoy the perks of central air conditioning, the start of summer is the best time to have your air conditioner serviced so that any necessary maintenance or repairs take place BEFORE it breaks on the hottest day of the year.

You can swap your filters on your own, but it is a good general maintenance practice to get used to having a service tech come through to ensure that all the major components of your furnace and air conditioner are in good working condition.

Not only will this ensure that you stay cool in the dog days of summer, but it will help create better air quality in your home. A poorly functioning air conditioning unit or furnace can collect all sorts of airborne debris and allergens if not given the proper maintenance.

Give Your Ceiling Fans a Refresh

Did you know that you could set your ceiling fan in a different direction to force air down and create a perfect, cool breeze throughout the summer season? Just make sure it is running counterclockwise!

And, when you figure out how to change the direction of your ceiling fans, you might want to take a duster to the top of the blades as well before turning it on. They tend to collect a ton of dust and debris, and since we don’t look at them regularly, they are often forgotten on cleaning days.

Clean Your Baseboards and Doorframes

When it comes to summer maintenance and repair checklists, cleaning the baseboards is another task that often falls under the “out of sight, out of mind” category.

Not many of us spend a lot of time lying on the floor inspecting our baseboards, but the reality is that they can collect an icky amount of grime if neglected for too long.

You can complete this task while doing a full deep clean of your home or all on its own. Either way, a little bit of sweat equity with warm, soapy water and a scrubbing brush will brighten up your space in no time.

Cleaning Baseboards

While it might seem like a lot, all the home maintenance and repair items on this checklist can be broken down and completed in a single weekend, or even a day. So, take it easy on yourself, start with one and enjoy the satisfaction of a beautiful, well-maintained home throughout the seasons.