Northern Virginia Summer Home Maintenance Guide

Northern Virginia Summer Home Maintenance Guide

Looking for a Northern Virginia summer home maintenance guide? Summer is upon us here in Northern Virginia and that means it is time for us to get outside–and take care of our summer home maintenance. Currently, summer home maintenance is probably not at the forefront of your mind because we, as a community and nation are enduring turbulent times. It is June 2020 and we are still amid the Coronavirus Pandemic. Certainly the pandemic has altered our lives in very significant ways and most of us are just trying to navigate our day-to-day lives and make the best of a difficult situation. In all honesty, now is a good time to take care of your home because you probably have more time on your hands than you typically would otherwise. Now is a good time to take care of backlogged projects around the house, especially if you have plans to sell your home. If you are one of the many homeowners who put off selling due to COVID-19, do not waste this time! Take care of those exterior maintenance and repairs that you have put off. If you are not planning on selling, the same still applies because taking care of your home exterior will preserve the value of your home and it an important part of home ownership. So, what makes summer maintenance different than other seasonal maintenance needs? Well, it is not that different, but right now is the time to take care of your outdoor gathering spaces like the deck, porch area, and yard. Additionally, there are specific areas and appliances that need to be inspected and serviced—before it gets too hot. Below you will find the most important summer maintenance tips you should focus on—sooner rather than later.


The deck, especially this year is high on the priority list because you will likely be spending a lot of time around the house this summer. If you have a grill, now is a good time to clean and polish it.  Additionally, this is a good time to clean up the deck. Remove all debris and wash it down with the hose and deck cleaner. The important thing is to be gentle (power-washing is probably too harsh). If you have any wood rot or bad boards, now is the time to repair them. You will also want to clean off any outdoor furniture (which hopefully you covered during the winter) and tend to any plants on the deck. You want your deck to be welcoming and inviting, especially now because even with COVID-19 restrictions lifting your personal home outdoor living space is likely to be your most important family sanctuary this summer. If you have not already, consider stringing some outdoor lights to add ambiance to your gathering space.


If you have a porch area, then you know it can get fairly grimey through the winter and spring. Use a blower to remove buildup and then hose the porch down with the garden hose. Similar to the deck, tend to any furniture and plants to make sure they are tidy and clean. Additionally, if you have a covered porch, you are likely dealing with inspect buildup. Be sure clear away spider webs and any nests and then spray down the porch with a natural homemade bug spray to help keep pests a bay. Also consider installing an outdoor ceiling fan to help with insects. Alternatively, you can make use of citronella candles and inspect repelling plants to help keep the porch area comfortable. Finally, do not forget to either clean or put down a new doormat to help keep the dirt outside!


The good news about the yard is that you should have already done the major cleanup in the spring. At this point you may choose to put down some new mulch and trim away any unruly branches that have popped up. Now is also the time to inspect any sprinkler systems and check for leaks around the faucets. Of course it does without saying that you also need to keep your grass mowed and edges trimmed.


Yes, it is time to wash the windows, both inside and out. Like it or not, the windows take a beating and love to collect dirt and grime. To clean the interior windows, use a vinegar solution to keep streaks at bay and a sponge and squeegee to help the job go quickly. For exterior windows, you may find that commercial cleaning product that attaches to your hose is the easiest. You can also use a mop and water-dish detergent solution to clean the windows and then use the garden hose to rinse away the soap and debris.


If you have not inspected your HVAC unit, now is the time to do so, and stat. We are heading right into the heart of summer and HVAC service is in high demand, meaning if you wait, you could face real problems if the unit goes out. Call your local technician and get the unit serviced—it will save you a lot of heartache and misery come July-August.

Wood Rot

With April showers come summer wood rot! It is important to stay on top of exterior wood rot because rotting wood invites critters like raccoons and squirrels who are looking for nesting spaces. Believe me, you do not want a mama raccoon to use your attic space to have her babies. If that happens, it is a very hard problem to deal with because not only do you have to repair the wood rot area, you have to get rid of the raccoon (or pest), which is quite difficult because once they have settled on a nesting place, they tend to come back to that place. In other words, humane removal becomes more difficult if the pest gives birth.

Inspect for Pests

Similar to dealing with pests on the porch (and deck) you are likely dealing with them around the house and in the yard. Whether it is carpenter bees, ants, termites, or other unwanted pests, you need to inspect around the house and deal with pests accordingly. As with anything else, prevention is the best measure because some inspects (like termites) can cause major damage and require professional removal. I do recommend doing what you can to repel them naturally and organically because it is better for the environment and actually tends to be more effective that commercially available poisons (though sometimes certain bug killers are necessary).

Smoke Alarms and Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Summer can be hot and dry and you need to make sure your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors are working properly. To check your alarms simply press the test button on your alarm and listen for the siren. You will also want to check the batteries in your alarm, if applicable and, of course, if you hear chirps from your alarm, it is time to replace the batteries immediately.

To learn more about MMK Realty visit our About Us page. For more tips and information feel free to contact me and follow me on social media on Facebook @mmkrealtyllc, Twitter @MMKRealtyLLC, and Instagram @mmkrealty. Also check out our Free Market Analysis. Sign up today and we will email you a free custom assessment of the current value of your home performed by MMK’s Principal Broker, Michelle Williams.