10 Summer Fixes
Easy ways to improve your home during the summer
1. Re-Caulk Baseboards
Refill gaps between the wall and trim with caulk to make baseboards easier to dust.
2. Control weeds:
Use a taproot weeder—or even an old fork in a pinch—to help extract root systems from the soil so plants, such as dandelions, can’t regrow.
3. Overhaul the junk drawer:
Try adding an ice cube tray to keep small items, like paper clips and spare keys, sorted and accessible.
4. Clean gutters:
Now’s an especially good time, since any standing water in them can attract mosquitoes.
5. Freshen painting tools:
Soak gunky brushes in hot white vinegar, then wash in warm, soapy water. To dry, leave brushes flat, but stand damp rollers upright.
6. Quiet noisy washing machines:
If your washer is extra loud, the feet may need leveling. The fix usually just requires screwing or unscrewing the front set and flipping a locking mechanism—but consult your manual first.
7. Service Lawn Mowers
Grassy buildup in your lawn mower’s undercarriage can invite rust and clog the discharge chute, leaving clumps on your lawn. Routine cleaning can help stave off future problems, so take time this month to do a checkup. Disconnect the spark plug and remove the blade before dislodging debris with a putty knife and wire brush. Use a hose to spray away any remaining clippings.
8. Make Garages Safer
In honor of National Safety Month, make these easy accident-reducing fixes:
1) Store ladders horizontally, not vertically, to avoid tipping and discourage children from climbing.
2) Ensure gasoline, paint thinner, and other chemicals are in original containers, out of direct sunlight.
3) Add reflective tape to garage stairs to increase visibility and prevent tripping.
9. Plant a Night-Blooming Garden
Get a round-the-clock show from your garden by planting flowers that open up between dusk and dawn, taking their cues from light and temperature. Try moonflower (shown), a fast-growing annual vine featuring large flowers that come alive at night. Four o’clocks, a fragrant perennial, are a good pick too, usually blooming between 4 and 8PM.
10. Install a Rain Barrel
With droughts on the rise, setting up a rain barrel is an eco-friendly way to maintain a healthy lawn. Before getting started, check local laws—some municipalities prohibit rain harvesting, whereas others offer financial incentives. Elevate the vessel slightly to get the best water pressure—or for large barrels, try a mechanical pump—then secure it to the house so it can’t tip when full.