July starts out with a bang with the 4th of July, unfortunately, the heat never seems to let up. Across the US of A, this is generally the hottest month of the year, and when most everyone is headed to a beach or the mountains to look for a little respite. On the plus side, those of you with gardens are starting to reap the fruits of your labor. For those that don’t have a garden, all hope is not lost. All you need to do is simply head into your local farmer´s market to enjoy some fresh picked produce.
When we first started working out a monthly maintenance schedule, we purposely loaded the spring and fall months with the majority of the work. This was done primarily for one to enjoy the holidays and vacations. We also did this to help free up some time for the ongoing chores your yard and garden require during the hot summer months. While we kept this month’s list as small as possible, there are some items that need some attention & this is a great month to knock them out.
- Interior walk about – Grab a screwdriver, a vacuum cleaner with attachments, a rag and a notepad.
- Make a note of any area’s that might need to be watched, missing or cracked electrical plates, missing or cracked caulking around the tubs, etc…
- Tighten up those loose screws on your cabinet drawer pulls, doors and doorknobs. Make sure all the locks and hinges are working smoothly – if not add graphite or an appropriate oil
- Vacuum or wipe off your vent covers, under the refrigerator, the refrigerator coils, light bulbs, the ceiling fan housing and blades.
- Check you’re fire extinguisher charge, and if it is in the caution or dead area, mark it down for replacement
- Grab that list from your notepad, write down which size AC Filters you have, and how many Co2 and smoke detectors you have – head to your local home store, grab this year supply of HVAC filters, batteries & everything else needed to knock this list out
- Change out your HVAC filter.
- Change out your smoke alarm & Co2 batteries Smoke Detector Maintenance
- It is time to flush out, drain and refill your water heater
- It is time to clean out your garage
- Get rid of excess junk
- Organize your supplies, sports equipment, tools, etc… Some helpful hints can be found in our Holiday organization articles
- Many cities around this time of year hold a free disposal day and it is a good time to bring old paints, solvents and other toxic chemicals in to be disposed of properly or recycled. I know the City of Phoenix used to gather up all the old paint brought in, mix it together, and use it for their graffiti remediation projects.
- Check your fences & repair as needed
- If it has been a few years & you have a septic system, you should get it cleaned out
- Check your driveway – patch and repair as needed
Gardening & Grounds Checklist
- Do we really need to mention the ongoing watering, weeding, and grass cutting that needs to be done? Some helpful tips & best practices can be found in last month’s maintenance section.
- Remove any dead flowers, or spent annuals – maybe replace with perennials
- Divide & cut back spring bulbs
- Bird bath’s – if you set them up, do not forget to clean & change out the water frequently
- Fertilize your rose bushes
- Indoor plants should also be fertilized, but use only ½ the recommended dosage as recommended
- Time to start planting your Pumpkin seeds and other cool season vegetable crops (Pumpkins take anywhere from 100 to 140 days to mature – as of July 1st Halloween is only 122 days away)
Other items to consider
- Many individuals are already hitting the road & seeing the sites – please remember that while you maybe on vacation – the crooks aren’t – so keep valuables out of site, lock the doors and pay attention to your surroundings
- Fireworks safety – every year, we hear about fires being started, injuries to oneself or others close by, etc… all being blamed on the fireworks – for some safety tips & rules by State, you might wish to visit http://www.fireworksafety.com/
As always, please stay safe; if you feel uncomfortable, do not understand how to complete a task, etc… please call in a professional.