Summer is slowly coming to an end and the days are getting shorter. Lots of you are packing up all your warm items and storing them in a cool and dry place until next year.

The heat of this season can take a toll on your home, both on the inside and outside. Heat causes surfaces to expand and contract, and many areas have a chance of cracking as a result. Humidity is one of the biggest culprits to increase mould and bacteria and can be quite an eyesore along with muggy smells as the hot weather comes to an end.

Below is a quick checklist of items you can easily do before the end of summer to gear your home for the severe winter weather.

Duct Cleaning

When summer approaches, many of you opt to let in fresh air by opening windows and cross ventilating your homes. For some, air-conditioning is used only on severe heat wave days. There is a downside to this process, though: the opening of windows can let in a lot of dust and bacteria into your homes.

As you prepare to shut out your air-conditioning unit for the end of summer, it is certainly a good idea to invest in duct and vent cleaning services. This service will help clean them out of all microbes and prepare for fresh and clean hot air for the winter.

Deck Protection

During hot and sunny days, your front and back yards are your second homes. The end of summer is the best time to get build decks repaired, in preparation for the cold winters. Sweep out all the dust and leaves from fall season, and check for mould, holes and chipping paint, and repair as necessary. This will not only protect it from the snow, but also gear it up for next summer season.

Driveway repairs

Cars are rarely parked in garages during bright days. People leave their cars out on their driveway and enjoy giving them a wash or two. Unfortunately, the heat and the different soaps can cause cracks and mould on your driveway. Sweep your driveway and give it a quick wash with fresh water to remove the smelly

Sweep your driveway and give it a quick wash with fresh water to remove the smelly mould. Remove any weeds or planters that grow in through the cracks and fill them with cement, asphalt, epoxy or concrete crack sealants to prevent the wet snow from eroding the surface during winter.

Gutter Cleaning

Summer ends and fall starts. Gutters tend to get clogged with debris and leaves from the two seasons. As winter comes around, cleaning the gutters out from all the clogging foliage is a good idea. When extreme cold hits, the pipes and gutters tend to freeze out and cleaning them out will be a lot tougher, especially while shivering outside in the cold temperature! Cleaning the gutters out well in advance will help the easy flow of the melting winter snow as spring blooms. Aside from this being an end of summer cleaning activity, it is a huge plus for ease of maintenance as other seasons approach.

Kitchen and Bathroom Drains

Believe it or not, cooking and showering are at their highest peaks during the barbeque season. For this reason, you might have experienced more blockage of drains during the summer. Aside from the blockage, mildew, mould and soap scum build up more quickly during the hot weather due to the high humidity in the air. Cleaning and scrubbing these out before the cold weather starts is better as the mould can easily be washed out with the excess humidity in the air. Adding disinfectants to the kitchen and bathroom drains is encouraged to get rid of any clogs and bacteria in them.

Home renovations

If you have any home renovations to do, this is the right time to finish them up while the weather is still slightly warm. All the debris and dust settlement is easier to clean and pack up just before summer ends. Painting your home, flooring, window changing, etc. are all good renovations to think about completing before the end of summer; and while you do so, a good tip is to keep your windows open for ventilation and quick paint drying.

Fireplace Cleaning

There is nothing cozier than sitting in front of a warm fireplace during cold weather, enjoying a cup of hot chocolate and marshmallows. Imagine having black soot fall out of your fireplace while you enjoy this time — not pleasant. Cleaning out chimneys if you have the old style one or getting your electric fireplace checked is worthwhile. This will allow you to have an uninterrupted cozy time in front of the fireplace during the coldest days of winter.

While there are many end of summer maintenance checklists one can do, the above are the more pressing ones. If done at the right time, it will help have a clean and worry-free winter. It is best to complete all the maintenance, especially the outdoor ones, well before winter starts as it will be very challenging to do anything once snow covers the ground.

Maintenance is indeed a huge task and many people tend to forget that equipment and homes wear out with time. Consistent and ongoing checklists are ideal and ensuring they are done at the appropriate time before any harsh weather takes over is not only important but also very effective. What maintenance are you planning before this summer ends?

Posted by Lakshmi Subramaniyam