It is that time of year again: we’ve been bitten by the cleaning bug and we’re ready to get our houses ready to sparkle for guests and ourselves! Open the windows and get some nice fresh air once you have the heater turned off. Enjoy the birds chirping and the sun as it makes its way a bit higher in the sky.
Serpentine Spring was wound its way through our trees and fields. Naked branches are starting to finally see the ornamental blossoms and the fresh green buds of leaves are peering out to make their grand entrance. When Spring has arrived, most people start to get the sense that they need to purge, clean and organize their lives. It would be nice to be that way year round, but maybe a bi-annual or seasonal session of general maintenance just makes us feel sane and, well, put together. Homeowners especially start to get this feeling when Spring time rolls around; they see the garden starting to perk up and the brain is triggered… Spring cleaning time has arrived! Getting your home spruced up and organized can be a cathartic thing, but it is also an optimal time to get the seasonal maintenance under way. Here are some of great do it yourself (or get a little bit of assistance) home maintenance tips that homeowners can take care of during the Springtime.
With the colder Winter months behind us, we can definitely understand the need to check out the exterior of our homes. Take a sweeping look at the exterior façade: check your foundation for any cracks, and nail down any siding that has started to pull away from the home. Check for possible pest entrances into your home, and have them properly sealed. Make sure you scan your roof line for any shingles which may shifted in the winter and pulled away from the roof decking. Have them secured to prevent any leakage and moisture damage. If you have a wooden deck or outdoor patio, check for any rotting wood and replace it. While we’re discussing the exterior of the home, Spring would be a great time to clean the exterior of your home, pressure wash the façade and clean your windows and screens from the outside. Cleaning out the gutters is also imperative throughout the year; remove debris and clean out downspouts to allow for proper water drainage away from your foundation. Ensuring that your gutters are securely fastened to the fascia while you are cleaning out the debris will save you some time on the latter! But, while you are up there… check to make sure that any tree limbs are at least two feet away from your roof line and home; prune them away if they are not so that your roof does not get damaged. If you’re not sure how to prune a tree, contact a professional arborist for help. Not only is it important to keep your roof line clear from trees and shrubs, but your foundation should also have at least two feet of distance between your landscaping and the foundation. Keeping the landscaping at the proper distance will aid in keeping roots from pushing their way into your foundation, possibly causing damage, as well as keeping pests and vermin at bay. Your landscaping may not be looking its best coming out of the colder weather, but with the new seasonal growth and blooms, Spring is a great time to work in the yard and add some extra curb appeal, especially if you are looking to possibly get your home ready to place on the market. With the National Open House weekend coming up, now is the perfect time to make your front entrance look sharp.
Inside the home, a deep cleaning is a great idea! Steaming the carpets and cleaning window coverings will alleviate dust and dander which has accumulated over the last several months and give you a more healthy indoor air quality. Dusting or wiping down the ceiling and walls and even cleaning out lighting fixtures is a great way to achieve this as well. Most of us know that we’re supposed to clean out our air filters monthly, even though sometimes it can slip our minds. Changing the air filter monthly not only puts less stress on the air compressor, but also attributes to that healthy indoor air, minimizing allergens floating around the home. When is the last time you replaced the batteries in your safety devices such as the smoke alarm and the carbon monoxide detector? Most fire departments will suggest that you change the batteries at the daylight savings time, but again, this is one of those general maintenance items that people tend to forget about, but is so very important. Making your home more energy efficient while you are going through your Spring maintenance list can be a wonderful money saving way to improve your home. If you noticed a draft during the cooler months, whip out the calking gun and seal your windows. If you’re uncomfortable doing this, find a trusted handyman to help you out. Sealing around your outlets can also create a tighter thermal envelope that will save your energy consumption from leaking out. Weather stripping your exterior doors is also a prime idea during this time, as you move towards warmer days, any conditioned air leaking out of your home, is money lost! By simply sealing your home, you can be on your way to a more energy efficient living space.
Seasonal maintenance is important throughout the year- not just during the Springtime. If you keep your home in tip top shape, you will have a healthier, more efficient home which will reflect the pride of ownership.
Chris Conway of Conway Construction lists his three favorite key points for Spring Maintenance:
1. Moisture, moisture, moisture…
-Look for signs of damage after this rough winter: Roof(shingles), loose chimney bricks and mortar, siding (any rotting or loose boards), soft spots or discoloration around skylights. Also, look in the attic for visible leaks, water stains, moldy roof decking or discolored insulation.
-Clean your gutters and drain spouts: Remove debris that has accumulated over the winter. We are entering into the rainy season and need proper drainage.
-Ensure you still have a 5% (or 6in. over the first 10 ft) slope away from your home.
2. Schedule A/C maintenance…summer is right around the corner.
3. Check all your GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter). Sometimes the outside outlets get shorted out from the driving wind and rain and can be dangerous if left unnoticed.