Taking care of your home in summer

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Done with spring cleaning? Now it’s time to prepare your house for summer. This season 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 as well as comfortable and safe 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/shoe cabinets and racks. Gather your heavy coats and sweaters and launder or dry clean them as appropriate (check the tags for recommended care). Store them for the next season. Avoid keeping them in plastic bags because moisture can be trapped and damage your coats. Do the same for your winter boots. 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 summer clothes.
  • Bathroom – Another important area to clean is your bathroom. Clean out cabinets, especially those under the sink. Take out empty bottles of shampoo, expired bath products and other products that you won’t be able to use. Decluttering your bathroom ensures that enough air will circulate around this small space and prevent humidity which causes mold. Check if your fan is working, otherwise see if you can open a window. Open shower doors and curtains to prevent mold and mildew.
  • Refrigerator – Throw away expired food or rotten produce in your fridge. Also check your freezer. You will need more space for ice cream and popsicles.
  • Kitchen – Dust off your kitchen cabinets and racks. Organize your pots and pans. Don’t forget your pantry. Remove opened and expired goods, empty bottles and jars, and other junk.
  • 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. Even before the start 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 this. If you are the do-it-yourself type, watch videos on YouTube to learn how to do this properly. Take extra care especially if you need to go up the roof. Ask a friend or neighbour to help you out.
  • Power wash – This is also good time to wash your exterior windows and 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 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. The Winnipeg Water and Waste Department collects yard waste and compost (learn about this service: yard waste collection) every two weeks from April to November.
  • Grasscycling – Learn more about Grasscycling if you want to be more earth-friendly:

Grasscycling, 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. See if there are nails poking up or if there are signs of rotting. Floorboards may need sealing if you notice that they are taking in water. Ask your local hardware for advice about sealing products for your deck.
  • Clean your outdoor cooker and grill. Use soap and water then scrape off dirt with a grill brush.
  • Make sure that there are no receptacles that keep water on your porch or deck. These are 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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