It’s summer time! That means warm weather, time by the pool and of course – home improvement projects. Summer is a great time to catch up on your maintenance projects and finally check off those to-do’s you’ve been putting off. There are a number of home maintenance tasks that you can easily complete in order to preserve the look, safety and efficiency of your home!

We have rounded up a list of crucial indoor and outdoor tasks you can easily do yourself, and take less than 20 minutes. Completing these tasks even once a year can help you avoid costly repairs in the future!

Indoor:

#1 No Beep Zone: Check those smoke detectors! Checking the batteries on your smoke detectors can help keep your family safe AND save yourself the headache that pesky beeping that happens when the batteries get low.

#2 Clean out your garbage disposal: When was the last time you did this? Exactly. You will be amazed what a little vinegar and elbow grease can do. Cleaning your garbage disposal can also help rid your home of smells that attract mosquitos, fruit flies and ants! Start by running warm water through your garbage disposal for 30 seconds. Next, turn off the disposal, remove the splash guard on your drain, and drizzle some soap. Scrub with a dish brush and then repeat the process with vinegar. Run warm water through for another 30 seconds and voila!

#3 The Purge: Now is a great time to trash or donate those items you haven’t used…since summer 2005. Start with any expired food in your pantry and work your way up to your closet!

Outdoor:

#1 Ready, set, grill!! Keep one of your most expensive and used outdoor appliances in good condition by doing a deep clean. You will be shocked at what a brush, dish soap and water can accomplish.

Charcoal grills: Empty the grill and wipe down any dust residue. Hot water, dish soap and a brush should help your grill look brand new in no time!

Gas grills: Close the lid and the turn the heat up high. After 30 minutes, use a grill brush to clean off any food residue – especially on the grates.

#2 Mulch it up. An inexpensive way to keep your yard looking fresh is to add a new layer of mulch. Mulch helps fight off weeds and assists your soil in retaining moisture. Checkout your local hardware store’s website for deals!

#3 Inspect the caulking around your doors and windows. Touching up caulk is relatively easy and inexpensive. Proper caulking helps ensure bugs and ants don’t enter your home and your AC doesn’t work overtime. If you’re new to caulking, YouTube has some great DIY videos.

#4 Tree Maintenance: Be sure to trim your low hanging branches and any branches close to your home. After a long hibernation, your neighbor critters are back in action and looking for ways on to your roof and in your attic. Plus, your fall self will thank you!