What comes to mind when you think of summer in the Windy City? Warm weather? Trees swaying in the breeze? Going for a long walk on a peaceful evening? Enjoying a day at Wrigley Field, or listening to the tunes at Ravinia?

As the days get warmer and longer and we move further away from the harsh winter months, it’s important to remember that taking on some common summer maintenance tasks can help you truly enjoy your time at home, all season long.

With the cold winter dumping snow and ice on the area, and a wet spring bringing rain showers and humidity, your home may have taken a beating during the “off-season.” As summer rolls back around, you may want to spend some time taking a look at your home inside and out, to help make sure your property is primed and ready for the heat and sun of a Chicagoland summer.

From keeping your patio party-ready, to cleaning out your gutters, there are all sorts of little steps you can take to make a big impact. Here are a few maintenance tasks to add to your list as you get ready for the “dog days” of summer:

1.) Check on your cooling systems

During the hottest days of the year, you want your home’s cooling and ventilation systems to be up and running, so your family can stay comfortable and safe. Broken HVAC systems can quickly turn a dreamy summer day into a true nightmare! That’s why it’s imperative to inspect your air conditioners before the summer heat really rolls in. Take some time to remove and clean your AC and furnace filters, and wipe down your home’s vents. For central air systems, have a professional inspect the unit and ductwork at least once a year to ensure it’s in working order.

2.) Wash your windows and help keep the cool in

Who wants to be in the dark on a bright summer day? During the summer, take some time to tackle exterior and interior window washing, to keep the glass clean and clear and allow natural light to pour in. You may also want to clean your window screens, to get rid of built-up dust, pollen, and other allergens. To help keep your home cool, think about how you can put your windows and doors to work. Check to make sure all of your windows and entrances are sealed properly. You may also want to look into sun-blocking window covers or shades, which can be an affordable and energy-efficient method to keep your interiors cool.

3.) Turn water sources back on

During the winter, you may turn off or cover your exterior water lines, faucets, and spigots, to help avoid any inconvenient freezes. But when summer rolls in, you’ll want your hoses and outside water sources available, whether for filling up wading pools, tending to the garden, or setting up a primo water balloon fight, so take some time to get that water flowing again.

4.) Clean out your gutters

When you let them sit unattended during the colder months, your gutters can collect a lot of unpleasant blockages from leaves, mud, and other debris. This can lead to standing water, and prevent proper drainage during those summer downpours. Take some time to clean out your gutters and make sure that they’re sturdy and mounted correctly. Also, check to ensure that your downspouts are draining properly away from your home, without impacting your foundation.

5.) Polish up the patio, deck, or balcony

Throughout the winter months, your outdoor spaces — patios, decks, porches, and balconies — can all take a beating. In addition to ice and snow, which can cause damage and mold, you’ll probably have a generous collection of leaves and dirt that made their way onto your outdoor entertaining spaces. To get your outdoor areas summer-ready, vacuum and sweep your patio or balcony surfaces. A thorough power-washing can also help these wood and stone surfaces look like new. If it’s stashed away, uncover and break out your patio furniture, including outdoor rugs and pillows. You may want to give these items a quick cleaning, as well.

6.) Work on your landscaping

The summer months are known for bringing bright colors and beautiful views back to the Chicago region. Increase your curb appeal and help eliminate pests by tending to the landscaping elements around your property. WIth the sun high in the sky, this is a prime time to mow, weed, and care for your lawn, while also spending some time planting flowers or creating the garden of your dreams. Investing in some colorful flowers and planters can help freshen up your space and create your perfect summertime setting.

7.) Look for leaks

Be sure to take some time to look (and listen) for plumbing issues, including leaks, drips, and early signs of water damage. Even little holes or cracks here and there can cause significant issues down the line, including running up your water bill and contributing to the growth of mold and mildew in your house. Be sure to check on exterior hoses and faucets and take steps to repair any holes or cracks you find. Look around your home for dripping fixtures, running toilets, and leaky pipes, and take action if you notice anything that needs attention.

8.) Check on the roof and inspect your siding

The rough, icy winds of winter can do some serious damage to your roof. Be on the lookout for signs of wear and tear, including missing or loose shingles, mold, or cracks. It’s important to take action quickly, before these issues can grow into even more precarious or potentially expensive fixes. Just like the roof, the paint and exterior of the home can certainly take a beating over the winter and spring. Check for any chipping or peeling in your exterior paint, loose or damaged siding, or mildew growth.

What to Expect with Windy City Home Inspection

This summer, whether you’re buying a property, selling a property, or just want to know how to maintain your property, Windy City Home Inspection has an inspection for you.

With Windy City Home Inspection, you can expect a competent, thorough inspection covering all the bases and never cutting corners.

When searching for the right home inspector, it’s important to find someone you can trust — and that’s why we are here for you. The inspectors at Windy City Home Inspection, Inc. are licensed by the State of Illinois, certified, and insured. Each home inspection is backed by our Warranty and Protection Plan. Furthermore, we pride ourselves on our superior customer service. If you ever have questions, even years after your home inspection, we will be here to answer them — even if it means returning to your home.

At Windy City Home Inspection, Inc., we perform inspections to the highest standards – yours. Backed by a consulting team with more than 60 years of experience, Windy City Home Inspection is committed to excellence. Have a question? Let us help.