By Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer Published Jun 06, 2024 at 9:02 AM

The Great Milwaukee Summer is HERE! Your guide to what you'll be doing, where you'll be drinking, who you'll be hearing and how you'll be getting a sweet tan this summer is on OnMilwaukee. The Great Milwaukee Summer guide is brought to you by Geis Garage Doors and Peoples State Bank

After the long Wisconsin winter, every home likely needs a little TLC, which means after your spring cleaning routine is complete, you should take advantage of warmer months and turn your attention to your home.

“Summer is for warm weather, relaxing vacations and spending time with friends and family," says Metropolitan Builders Association (MBA) President, Dean Frederick. "But before the summer season ends, there are some routine maintenance steps you can take to ensure your home looks good and functions optimally.

"The best time to pay attention to your home needs is now. Procrastinating on home maintenance could result in future costly repairs.”

Here are some tips from the MBA, National Association of Home Builders and Geis Building Products for some simple home maintenance tasks for this summer.

Refresh your windows

Replace storms with screens, cleaning them both with soapy water. Check the weatherstripping around your windows (and doors!) and replace as needed. Open your windows and make sure they’re operating smoothly and are snug in their frames to prevent outside air entering the house (or winter heat escaping). Clean the tracks to ensure they work properly. Wash the insides and outsides of the windows.

Tell pests they’re unwelcome

Insects like ants and roaches and critters like mice, rats and squirrels are good at finding ways into your home or garage, so be proactive about sealing cracks, as well as openings around pipes, behind sinks, around windows and doors, and along baseboards. Repair those nice, clean screens, too, to keep the bugs out.

Keep your cool

Change the filter in your air conditioning system every three months and have the system inspected and cleaned, if necessary. One of my spring cleaning routines is cleaning air return registers, where dust can collect. Take off and clean the register covers and you can vacuum out the vent openings, too. While you’re thinking about keeping cool, consider ways to conserve energy by beating the heat with curtains or blinds, too.

Get off your ash

If you’ve nestled up next to the warmth of a natural fireplace all winter long, now’s the time to clean it out and have your chimney inspected and professionally cleaned so it’s ready to warm your toes when the next autumn chill arrives.

Stay on top of your roof

If you’re comfortable on a ladder – remember, as any good firefighter will tell you, keep three points of contact every time your on a ladder – check your roof for any damage that may have occurred over the winter, or hire an expert to do it for you.

Get it out of the gutters

While you’re up there, make sure your gutters are undamaged and are clear of any debris that may have clogged them or the downspouts. Stopped-up gutters can cause water to leak into your home, and you don’t want that.

Garage door lift

Don’t take your garage door for granted. Lubricate the moving parts with a silicone based lubricant, clear cobwebs from the safety sensor eyes, clean the door with soapy water to prevent rusting, look for signs of daylight around a closed door to be sure it’s properly sealing and check that it’s properly balance by disconnecting it from the operator and lifting it by hand. The door should be able to be lifted to halfway open and stay in that position.

It may also be time to consider replacing an old door.

“According to Remodeling Magazine's 2023 Cost vs. Value Report,” says Geis’ Sam Dunlap, “a garage door replacement has an average ROI of over 103 percent, making it the most cost-effective exterior home improvement project with the highest ROI. This means you can recoup more than the cost of the new garage door when you sell your home.”

You can find more home maintenance tips in this Freddie Mac article.

Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer

Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.

He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.

With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in episodes of TV's "Party of Five" and "Dawson's Creek," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.

He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.

In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area. He has also won awards from the Milwaukee Press Club.

He has be heard on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories, in that station's most popular podcast.