Taking care of your home in summer

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Done with Spring cleaning? Now it’s time to prepare your house for the summer. Summer presents many challenges because of the heat and humidity which could wreak havoc in many areas of your home. To keep your house looking good, comfortable and healthy for you and your family, consider the following tips.

Get ready to de-clutter

  • Cabinets and racks – A good place to start would be your coat and shoe cabinets and racks. Gather your heavy coats and sweaters. First, launder or dry clean them as appropriate (this will depend on the fabric. You can check the tags for the recommended care for your coat or sweater) and then store them for the next season. Avoid keeping them in plastic bags because these can trap moisture and damage your coats. Do the same for your winter boots. Make sure you clean them first before storing so that they will last longer. With more space freed up in your cabinets, it will be easier for you to organize your clothes for the summer.
  • Bathroom – Another important area to clean is your bathroom. Clean out cabinets, especially those under the sink. Take out those empty bottles of shampoo, expired bath products and other things that you won’t be able to use. Decluttering your bathroom ensures that enough air will circulate around this small space. This will prevent humidity which causes the formation of mould. Check if your fan is working, otherwise see if you can open a window. Open shower doors and curtains to prevent mould and mildew.
  • Refrigerator – You will need more space in your fridge this summer. Make sure you have space in your freezer for ice, ice cream or your kids’ popsicles. Throw away expired food or rotten produce.
  • Kitchen – Dust off your kitchen cabinets and racks. Then organize your pots and pans. Don’t forget your pantry. Check for expired goods and dispose of them.
  • Basement – You may need a dehumidifier in summer especially in closed off areas in your house like the basement. Vacuum regularly, including the vents, to prevent airborne allergens from spreading inside your house.

Home repair season

  • Check your AC – Summer is a good time for home repairs. Before the onset of summer, check (or hire someone to check) your air conditioning unit. An AC tune up is important to ensure that your cooling system is running smoothly. This will keep your electricity bills low. It is also recommended that you change the air filters once a month in a period when your AC is used daily.
  • Roof and gutter check – Check for roof leaks and clean out gutters. You may need professional help with these (especially when checking your roof), or you can ask a good friend or neighbour to help you out. If you are the do-it-yourself (DIY) type, there are a lot of DIY videos on YouTube you can check.
  • Power wash – This is also good time to wash your exterior windows and clean your home exterior walls.

Lawn and garden

Canadians care a lot about their yards and lawns. You will see your neighbours regularly mowing their lawns or planting and maintaining their gardens in summer. You can keep your lawn tidy too by:

  • Cutting your grass – Keep your home’s front lawn and backyard clean and well-maintained by cutting the grass and taking away weeds. Gather your trimmings and keep them in recyclable containers (without a lid), cardboard boxes or paper yard waste bags. Every two weeks, from April to November, the Winnipeg Water and Waste Department collects yard waste and compost (learn about this service: yard waste collection).
  • Grasscycling – If you want to be more earth-friendly, you might want to learn more about Grasscycling (from the City of Winnipeg Water and Waste Department):

Decks and porches

With the great weather outdoors and the longer hours of daylight, you will be spending many quality hours on your deck or porch. You should:

  • Polish your porch. You can use a mop and an all-purpose cleaner.
  • Check your deck if there are nails poking up or if there are signs of rotting. If you can see that the floorboards are taking in water, they may need sealing. Ask your local hardware for advice on sealing products for your deck.
  • Clean your outdoor cooker and grill for your barbecues. Use soap and water then scrape off dirt with a grill brush.
  • Make sure that there are no receptacles that keep water in your porch or deck. These will be ideal breeding places for mosquitoes.
  • Clean your patio furniture and remove rust. Wash and dry seat cushion covers to take care of dust and stains.

Sources: Winnipeg Water and Waste Department, Summer cleaning your house, Home and Garden.

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Community Resources

Also read Quick tips to remember when staying outdoors in summer, and Summer food safety.

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For each sentence, select the correct word/phrase.

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