Month: June 2017

June Home Maintenance

Beach Chairs

We’ve simplified a quick list of monthly to-do’s to keep you on track with your home maintenance so that you can get things done, and then with peace of mind, enjoy everything special about the season. June is the start of summer, so tackle these early and enjoy the warm weather!

  • Test all of your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors.
  • Seal your deck. You will need 3 consecutive warm, sunny days. Give the deck a full day to get nice and dry. On the second day, scrub and clean it early. On the third day, at least 24hours after cleaning apply the sealer.
  • Hire a certified chimney sweep. Cleaning and inspecting the chimney now, instead of in the cooler fall months, allows for ample time to complete any necessary repairs. It will also be easier to schedule with them since many people wait until just before the heating season.
  • Clean your home’s exterior with a mild detergent and a water hose. Pressure washers are great tools, but when it comes to siding, they are so powerful that they can actually force water underneath, encouraging the growth of mold and mildew.
  • Clean your dryer vent system. This is a key task for fire safety. Lint is extremely flammable. Open up the back of the dryer and clean in there too. If you’re looking for a professional to do it, ask your local duct cleaners.
  • Make sure that your motion detector lighting systems and automatic timers are all set and working properly. Those automatic timers are particularly important if you plan to be away on vacation.

Printable version: June Home Maintenance Checklist

Campfires, Bonfires and Fire Pits – Oh My!

Safely Enjoying Campfires & Bonfires


As the weather warms up, backyards and camp sites come alive! Priceless memories can built around campfires and who doesn’t have some favorite variation of s‘more! Whether you’re planning to add a fire pit, or even if you already have one, it’s especially important to make sure you’re safely using it. Follow these safety tips and enjoy the great outdoors!


  • Shovel
  • Rake
  • Bucket of water
  • Kindling, tinder, and logs
  • Stones to ring the fire pit

Choosing and preparing the space:

  • Call your local fire department to make sure that fires are allowed where you plan to have one. They’ll probably have some specific guidelines of their own to add.
  • Choose level ground.
  • Choose a spot at that is at least 10-20 feet from any of structures (houses, sheds, fences, decks). Some fire departments require that it be at least 30’ from habitable structures. The further, the better!
  • Makes sure the area is clear of debris, dead or dry brush, rotten stumps, leaves, pine needles, and tall grass.
  • Depress the center of the area where the fire will be built and surround it with a ring of rocks.


  • Only use untreated, dry paper and wood-based materials.
  • Chop wood in short lengths.
  • Always keep a shovel and bucket of water handy.
  • Wear fitted clothing opposed to loose, flowy pieces.
  • Never leave the fire unattended. An adult should be present at all times.


  • Drown the fire with water
  • Stir the doused fire with your shovel to make sure everything gets nice and wet. Coals and wood should be wet on all sides. Add some more water and stir again.
  • Use the back of your hand to feel all around the area and make sure all embers are fully extinguished.
  • Smother it by shoveling some dirt onto it and mixing it up.

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