- Inspect screens (both house and vent screens to attic or crawl space) for tears and bent frames.
- Clean window screens. Lay them flat on a picnic table or a pair of sawhorses and scrub them with a soft bristle brush and a mild detergent solution. Rinse with a garden hose and allow to dry thoroughly.
- Inspect outdoor structures for deterioration --especially signs of rot. Use a small awl to probe posts, railings and window sills for soft spots. If you find any, plan to replace or repair them when the weather turns fair.
- Prepare for the outdoor cooking season by inspecting gas grills. Remove cooking grills and thoroughly clean them with soapy water and a brush with brass bristles. Remove accumulated grease from lava rocks and ceramic briquettes by turning them over and igniting the burners. Allow 10 minutes on high heat to clean the briquettes.
- Inspect garden hoses for leaks. Make temporary repairs with electrical tape. Pry out old washers and replace them. Don't leave hoses connected to outdoor spigots until the danger of frost is completely over.
- Caulk open joints, particularly around windows and doors.
- Inspect the crawl space or basement after rains for water accumulation or excessive moisture. Look for signs of water damage on the subfloor and joists beneath bathrooms, the kitchen and laundry. Find and fix leaks now or pay the price later.
- Shut off the water to the washing machine, remove the water supply hoses and examine them and the washers. Replace worn and damaged ones.
- Check fire extinguishers to make sure they are not outdated, have lost pressure or are damaged.
- Check all weather stripping around doors and windows for wear, damage or loss of flexibility. Replace material that is no longer blocking air.
- Clean your garbage disposal. Grind two trays of ice cubes made from a mixture of one cup white vinegar to one gallon of water.