Your home needs to get some loving care once early spring arrives. Both the inside and outside could use a good once-over to make it look its best and keep it well-maintained.
Take the time to schedule some must-do tasks so you can fully enjoy your home and yard once some gorgeous days come our way.
Remember that the time you spend on regular maintenance will help preserve the value of your home and will help prevent everyday “wear and tear” from turning into costly damage.
The warmer weather can make it a perfect time for some DIY projects. However, seek out an expert for those more difficult clean-up or repair needs.
Here are some springtime tasks a homeowner should put on their list:
Keeping It Cool
Get your AC up and running properly so you can keep your home cool before the hot days arrive.
• Central AC Unit. Get your central AC unit serviced by HVAC professional. A yearly tune-up will keep it running. Having a service contract with a local HVAC company, is well worth it since they will remind you when they need to service your unit at the change of season.
Keep your unit, which is located outside, clean and free of leaves and debris. Trim any shrubs away from the unit since it needs circulation space.
• AC Units. Set up your window unit or wall unit. Make sure you clean it once a month when using it – vacuum dust and dirt around it to prevent clogging, and change the filter. Remember to cover your window unit if you don’t remove it after the season.
Time to Sparkle and Shine
Let the sun shine in and clean your home from top to bottom. Tackle a few of these tasks each cleaning period so you don’t overwhelm yourself. Remember to always follow your manufacturer’s cleaning instructions for any items.
• Windows. You want to see clearly the first blooms of spring so wash windows, wipe down sills, and clean screens by vacuuming first and then rinsing with a hose outside. Some of you may want to wait until the yellow pollen season is over to do this or you may need to repeat again.
• Floors. Wash and polish those hardwood floors after the beating they got from winter boots and wet paws.
• Carpets. Hire a professional to clean your carpets thoroughly. This is a good idea if you have pets.
• Tile. Clean yucky tile grout to make your bathrooms and kitchens shine. If you have ceramic tile, the grout can start to look dirty and stained. An old toothbrush and some vinegar and baking soda are a good start. You can reseal the grout or stain it with new color too. For tiles, give then a deeper clean than usual and reseal if needed.
• Countertops. You wanted those granite counters when you bought your home. Now’s a good time clean and reseal them if necessary.
• Electronics. Wipe down all of your electronic devices from TV and computer screens, printers, keyboards , etc. Use LCD or microfiber cloths to rub away fingerprints and dust. Look for an electronic recycle center or place to bring your unused cell phones, printers, monitors etc.
• Vents. Have you ever cleaned your bathroom vents? Take off the cover, clean it with soap and water. Vacuum any dust in nooks and crannies too. Plus, have your HVAC ducts professionally cleaned now that winter is over.
• Chimney/Fireplace. Clean up ashes after your last fire of the season and close the damper to prevent rainwater, animals, and drafts to enter your home.
• Washer/Dryer. Run the cleaning cycle with bleach if you have an HD washer to cut down on mold and mildew smells. Don’t forget to regularly vacuum out lint from the dryer vent and hose to avoid a fire. And get your dryer vent hose professionally cleaned too since build-up could cause a fire.
• Kitchen. Actually use your oven’s handy self-cleaning feature to remove food drips and spills after all the holiday cooking the last few months. Clean your old-school coffee maker with vinegar so your next cup is truly fresh. Go through your cabinets and organize your cans, cartons, and items.
• Bathroom. Have you ever cleaned the shower head in your bathroom? If it is spraying unevenly because it is covered with mineral deposits, now is the time for this simple task. Fill a plastic bag with white vinegar and attached to the showerhead with a rubber band. Wait an hour and turn on the water. Voila!
• Refrigerator. Give your refrigerator a good wipe-down inside before your next big shopping trip. Don’t forget to change your refrigerator filter if you have an ice cube and water dispenser so you’ll get fresh tasting glasses of water. Vacuum behind your refrigerator and its coils too.
• Paint. It’s a perfect time to pick a bright new color to spark up a room.
• Flowers. Go find one of your vases stashed away and get some cut flowers. You’ll bring the feeling of spring inside your home in an easy, inexpensive way!
Rain, Rain Go Away!
Make sure your home and yard are ready for downpours and wet weather.
• Doorways. Make sure you’ve got inside and outside door mats for wiping wet shoes. Switch them to a fun spring pattern if you have ones from winter. Get an umbrella stand or tub for easy in-and-out access.
• Gutters. Double check your home’s gutters, French drain system or downspouts to make sure they are clog-free, and water is moving away from your home’s foundation. Fix any broken or loose gutters from winter storms -- rainwater that pools can really damage roofs, ceilings, attics, and walls!
• Drainage. Observe your lawn during a rainstorm so you’re ready to address any drainage issues. Hire a contractor/landscaper to examine any problems with standing water or lack of adequate draining. You’ll have a better idea of the cause and consequences (basement flooding) of poor drainage. Proper grading, a French drain system or curtain drain may be needed. If you entire street has problems, you can always address city hall if it’s municipal issue.
The Great Outdoors
Give your yard and exterior of your home a good examination to see how everything looks and for any winter damage.
• Cleanup. Take the time to remove debris such dead foliage and fallen branches and twigs that may be scattered in your yard. Clear out any growth or brush you don’t want. Be gentle raking and walking on your lawn at this time if new grass shoots are peeking through.
• Garden Supplies. Get your garden tools and supplies cleaned, sharpened and restocked. Remove rust and seal blades for pruning shears, hedge clippers, trowels, etc. Clean and restock garden pots, gloves, kneepads, watering cans. Don’t forget to get gas for your lawnmower. Purge and organize your garden shed to get rid of what you don’t need or use anymore and then arrange the space for easy access and a more orderly set up.
• Patio. Clean and prepare your patio or deck and any outdoor furniture or planters. Consider power washing to get rid of grime on some items that can withstand the pressure. Depends on what material you may have from pavers, concrete, slate etc. Or, give everything a good deep cleaning so the rest of the year, you can do a periodic wipe down.
• Grill. Get your grill cleaned and repaired now. Scrub the grates with liquid cleaner, and wash the burners and covers if you have them. Don’t forget to get the tank filled if you have a gas grill, or stock up on charcoal for other grills. You want it all set up for that favorite BBQ recipe!
• Pests. Little critters start to come out in the warmer weather so hire a pest service that can help you deal with ants, rats, spiders, or mice. Make sure your garbage is securely closed; and clean up any areas with debris that create an inviting home for critters.
• Driveway. Winter weather can be harsh on driveways and sidewalks. Repair cracks whether you have concrete or asphalt. Sealing or resurfacing can give a driveway a bright lift. If you have pavers, make sure you know how to clean and re-sand or hire a professional.
• Flower garden. You can begin to plant summer bulbs, annuals, and perennials for beds and planters. Come up with a plan so you purchase only what you need and what works for the soil and sunlight in your yard. Cool spring weather is good for pansies in containers. Order your mulch so your yard will look “clean and crisp” in the coming weeks.
• Trees and shrubs. Your yard is most likely showing signs of spring now. Once growth or buds sprouts, you can fertilize and prune certain plants. You can transplant trees before they leaf out. Prune trees and shrubs that have any damage from the winter. You can’t prune azaleas, camellias and rhododendrons until after they bloom. You can prune nonflowering trees and shrubs.
Let me know if you have any questions on your home’s maintenance.