Summer is almost here, and across Canada everyone is getting ready to go on vacation, hit the beach, or get out on the water. But as a homeowner, you should make sure that your most valuable investment is taken care of as well. The warm weather is great, but it brings a few risks with it that you can get ahead of with a little planning.

Here are six things you can do to get ahead of home maintenance, so you can have a fun and safe summer.

1. Do an exterior check of your home

You look at your house every day, but it’s important to do specific checks on your roof, shingles, gutters, siding, paint, and windows as well. Starting with the roof, look for cracked or loose shingles that might allow water seepage. If you have a skylight, make sure the caulking is in good shape.

Winter can be tough on gutters, so ensure they’re cleared out. This can be a difficult job, so hire someone for this if necessary. Gutters are there to make sure water flows away from the exterior of your house. The last thing you want is water pooling around the foundation.

Touch up any spots where the paint is chipping, and look for areas of exposed wood on the exterior and deck that could be vulnerable to rot.

2. Make a home inventory

You keep your home in good condition to protect what’s inside. But what if you were to lose everything in a fire or flood? Would you be able to recall everything you had? It might be difficult, which is why it’s always a good idea to keep an updated list of everything you own.

If you’re doing spring cleaning anyways, you might as well start an inventory list, or update your list to keep it current.

3. Prep your summer tools

This is the time of year when you’ll start using your barbecue, lawn mower, and tools.

Give the barbecue a check, replace the propane tank and give the grill a good cleaning.

If you have a gas mower, change the gas if you forgot to empty it at the end of the last season. It’s a good idea to replace the oil as well, and it’s a good time to check the spark plugs, as well as the oil, fuel, and air filters.

Give your shovels, rakes, and other equipment a good wipe down, and oil the hinges of your pruners and shears.

4. Inspect your outdoor plumbing

Cold weather and plumbing don’t usually get along, so make sure you check that your outdoor spigots and irrigation made it through the winter.

How to do a faucet check: Turn the water on and place your thumb over the opening. If you’re able to stop the flow of water, it means that the pressure is being released elsewhere, and there’s probably a damaged pipe.

If something isn’t working properly, it’s probably a good idea to call a plumber to check it out.

5. Prep for extreme weather events

Maintenance is important, but make sure you take the extra step of having an emergency survival kit on hand as well as a disaster plan that everyone in the household is aware of. If you’re in an area that’s prone to heavy winds or flooding, learn about what to do before and after those events, and have a plan, whether you think you’re at risk or not.

Bonus tip: Prep your vehicle

Before you head out on that road trip, get some routine maintenance done. Change the oil, get your tires rotated, and get a break check. If you’ve got winter tires on, get them swapped with summer tires. Finally, get your A/C charged up, there are going to be some hot days ahead!