Homeowner Helpers: Easy home maintenance tasks for hot weather

Homeowner HelpersEasy home maintenance tasks for the dog days of summer: exactly what you need so you can keep your house in tip-top shape while leaving time to chill out.

Here are five fast DIY jobs. Some take just five minutes, others a bit longer. All of them are within the skill range of most homeowners.

So, let’s get to it.


Leak patrol

Take 15 minutes to inspect the hoses around your home for leaks, cracking and brittleness. That includes the washer, dehumidifier, dishwasher and other appliances.

As part of your home maintenance tasks for hot weather, don’t forget to check the flexible hoses that feed water into your toilet tanks.

If there’s a sign of an existing or potential leak in any of these spots, replace the hoses immediately (sorry, that replacement will actually chew up more than just a few minutes).


Tip: For your washing machine, choose stainless-steel braided hoses. They cost more than regular rubber hoses, but are your best protection against leaks and potentially serious water damage. Find them at building supply stores.

Alarm check

A recent report by the National Fire Protection Association in the U.S. found that the death rate was twice as high in house fires where there was no operating alarm as in homes where there were alarms that worked. In other words, dead batteries could be fatal. Take the time now to check every alarm, including carbon monoxide detectors, and replace batteries where needed.

Chilling out is one of your home maintenance tasks for hot weather

Your air conditioner has been working hard this summer. And thathome maintenance tasks for a long weekend means it’s time to change the air filter in your furnace, which helps keep your entire cooling and heating system operating at peak efficiency year-round.


Changing the filter — once a month if you use the less-expensive variety — is fast and easy, although you need to know what type of filter to use and how to change it.

Save the second part of your air conditioning maintenance for another day. That’s when you’ll vacuum the cold air outlets inside your home, replace any filters that are there and check your central air conditioning unit outside for debris or vegetation impeding air flow.

Don’t leaf it too long

Summer is all about sun and heat but also the occasional intense rainstorm. Your gutters will sluice that water away from your foundation but only if they are free of the leaves and other debris that build up even in the summer. A quick, mid-summer check and cleaning will do the trick.


MORE: Should you install gutter guards?

Gleaming baseboards

Baseboards accumulate a lot of dust and grime, especially in areas like kitchens, where cooking splatters and the like add up. To restore them to a shiny new state, start with a quick vacuuming using a brush attachment. Then wipe down the baseboards with a squirt of dishwashing liquid in a bucket of warm water.

If your baseboards are stained rather than painted, use a cleaning product like Murphy Oil Soap, available at Canadian Tire, Home Hardware and other retailers.

Full disclosure: It will take more than a few minutes to clean the baseboards throughout your home, so limit yourself to one small area like the powder room now and choose another room next week.


Now you can really chill out!

Originally published Aug. 1, 2019

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