Summer presents plenty of opportunities to enjoy spending time at home with friends and family, particularly if you have a garden with space for outdoor entertaining. Here are five tips to help you make your home and garden pleasant places to be this summer.
1. Hose Down Your Patio
Patios can be fantastic spaces for entertaining, but a patio that is covered in grime won't put anyone in the mood to socialise. Use a pressure washer with water and detergent to remove moss, mold and stains from your patio so your friends and family can enjoy hanging out there.
2. Spruce Up Outdoor Furniture
The first day of summer is the perfect time to bring your outdoor furniture out of storage. Unfortunately, plastic furniture can often look dirty and discoloured after a long winter. Brighten up your garden furniture by wiping down the plastic parts with a solution of warm water and dishwashing detergent. Remove canvas seat backs and cushion covers and check the cleaning instructions; most canvas furniture parts are machine-washable, although some may need to be washed by hand.
3. Protect Plants From the Sun
Hot weather can dry out your garden, causing your plants to shrivel and die. Prevent your carefully tended garden from turning into a lifeless desert by adding a thick mulch layer to the top of every vegetable patch or flower bed. The mulch cools the soil and locks in moisture, keeping your garden green all summer long. Top up the mulch layer every few weeks to protect your plants.
4. Spring Clean Your Windows
You may not notice greasy finger marks developing on your windows while the weather is dull, but as soon as the sun comes out they will be obvious. Wash your windows with a homemade cleaning solution made from hot water and vinegar to let the sunshine stream into your home.
5. Tune Up Your Air Conditioning
Spending time in the sun can be a lot of fun, but there will be times when you want to retreat into an air conditioned room to cool off. Reduce your risk of being left sweltering in the sun by testing your air conditioning system before the weather heats up. Clear dust from the filters to allow the air to circulate efficiently around your home. If you can't feel any cooling effect, call an air conditioning maintenance service to find out why your unit isn't working as well as it should be.