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Run through this list before throwing a summer party

Summer is peak season for pool parties, cookouts and dining outdoors. Be sure to complete these must-do home projects long before the guests arrive to ensure your event is a hit.

Empty birdbaths and plastic "kiddie" pools once a week

Keep blood-thirsty pests off the guest list by emptying birdbaths, kiddie pools and other containers at least once a week. Anything that collects and holds water for longer than seven days can be a breeding ground for mosquitoes. These pests typically do not travel far from their original breeding sites, so eliminating standing water near the house can have a noticeable impact on their populations.

Inspect playground equipment

Play sets can be a dangerous place for children if the equipment is not properly maintained. Loose components, protrusions, tripping hazards and rough surfaces can all lead to injuries. Before using the play set again, inspect it to ensure that all elements are secured and that all pieces are working properly. Regular maintenance will help reduce injuries and extend the lifespan of your child's swings, slides, monkey bars and more.

Have the pool serviced

Before having a swimming party, have the pool serviced to ensure the pump, filter and water are ready. Malfunctioning pumps or imbalances in chlorine, pH or alkalinity levels can lead to severe water problems that can cause swimmers to have burning eyes and throats. Some water conditions can even turn a swimmer's hair green.

Clean patio furniture

Mother Nature can wreak havoc on patio furniture, but with a little TLC it can look like new in no time. For wrought-iron pieces, use a steel brush to remove any rust and then reapply paint. Teak furniture should be cleaned with a solution specifically designed for teak wood and then resealed if needed. Plastic furniture is the easiest to care for and usually only requires soap, water and a little elbow grease to restore its luster.

Get the grill ready

Before firing up the grill, give it a thorough inspection and cleaning. If not cleaned regularly, a grill's components can become caked in food debris and grease. This can negatively impact the food's taste and affect how well the grill operates. Giving the grill a quick inspection and cleaning will go a long way toward ensuring that it works properly and guests keep coming back for more.

Run through this list before throwing a summer party 07/07/11 [Last modified: Thursday, July 7, 2011 11:29am]
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