Quick Outdoor Fixes for Summer

Time: 5-10 minutes each

Summer is finally here, and that means you'll be spending more time outdoors with family and friends. Make sure your property is ready by completing these quick fixes that will keep your home beautiful and safe. Each one only takes five to 10 minutes to accomplish on a nice day, so you can get them done in the morning and get on with enjoying your day.

What's in it for you?

  • Improved safety
  • More efficient home systems
  • Inviting outdoor spaces

Tackle These 5-Minute Fixes Around Your Property:

  1. Inspect decks and porches. Check the posts of your deck and/or porch for rot by probing them with an awl or screwdriver where they rest on your concrete foundation. If your tool enters easily, your boards may be structurally unsafe. Inspect the rest of the deck for rot and splinters. Splinters are easy to fix: just break off the loose bit and sand smooth.

  2. Check outdoor electrical outlets. Make sure your outdoor outlets are ready for the season by inspecting them to avoid a fire hazard. Make sure all switch plates and weatherproof covers are firmly attached and intact. Use your hand to feel the wall around the outlet -- a hot spot could indicate an electrical problem. All outdoor outlets should be GFCIs, which you can test by pressing the "test" button to make sure they are properly grounded -- just be sure to hit the "reset" button after you're done.

  3. Inspect playsets. Make sure swing sets and slides are in good shape before letting the kids use them for the season. Check wood sets for splinters and rot as you did on your deck, and make sure all fasteners and chains are intact. For metal parts, look for rust and corrosion by probing with your awl to see if it's just on the surface or if rust has eaten away too much of the metal to be safe.

  4. Make sure fences are intact. Keep pets safe by checking fences for any loose boards and reattaching chain link or pickets as needed. As you walk the perimeter, pay close attention to where the fence meets the ground and fill in any holes to prevent an animal from burrowing under.

  5. Get bikes ready. Pump up the tires and test the brakes before handing that bike over to a child. You'll also want to grease the chain and wipe the bike clean. Test locks and check helmets for any cracks or deterioration before heading out on the road.

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