Spring has arrived, and with it, the annual urge to renovate, refurbish, and refresh tends to take over the psyche of homeowners. While weekly vacuuming and dusting are likely a regular habit for most, some of the bigger home improvement projects and cleanses tend to take a back seat during the cold winter months.
Let’s look at a few of the more popular interior and exterior tasks you can tackle in the coming weeks, to make sure your home is properly spruced up for spring.
Curb Appeal, Top to Bottom
The exterior of your home is the first thing guests see when they pull up, and often serves as a staging area for entertaining once the weather begins to warm.
Gutters are notorious for collecting debris during the off-season, and clearing these out is essential to ensuring the spring rains will be able to drain properly. When cleaning, be sure to use a ladder, and begin by removing as many handfuls of leaves and twigs as you can, then use a garden hose to rinse away the remainder. Confirm that all downspouts channel water at least five feet from the foundation walls.
While you’re up on the ladder, you may want to assess the roof to determine if any shingles were lost or damaged during the winter months, and designate those that are cracked, buckled or loose, for replacement. Shingles adjacent to plumbing vents, skylights and chimneys should be repaired by a qualified roofer. Siding should similarly be inspected and sprayed down with a garden hose to remove any built-up grime that may have accumulated. It is recommended that the chimney flue be routinely inspected and cleaned by a certified chimney sweep.
Homeowners are advised to make a point of walking the perimeter of the house, using a screwdriver to probe the wood trim on windows and doors, railings and decks, taking care to make any necessary repairs before rain has a chance to further damage the exposed wood. Take a look at any concrete surfaces, making note of cracks or signs of movement; these can be filled with concrete crack filler or silicone caulk, to be power-washed and sealed when the weather permits.
To level the ground surrounding your home, any low areas in the yard should be filled with compacted soil, as this will prevent flooding damage down the line. Excess water also has a tendency to pool, creating a breeding ground for insects. Foundation vents, as well, require routine cleaning—either by hand or shop vacuum—to ensure that screens remain clear.
TLC for Your Home’s Interior
Moving inside, there are many tasks that have most likely been neglected for several months—if not longer—in desperate need of attention.
Carpets and rugs should be deep-cleaned at a minimum of once a year, with spot cleaning in between to keep up with rogue stains as they appear. Window treatments, as well, should be taken down for laundering or dry-cleaning; blinds can be wiped with a sponge. Walls, baseboards and outlets should be periodically scrubbed with a brush, using mild soap and water, but be sure to completely dry the outlet covers before replacing them.
As spring is a prime time for allergens, it’s vital to ensure that all filters and screens are thoroughly cleaned, or replaced, ideally every three to six months. Dryer vents, in particular, can pose a fire hazard when not properly maintained, and special care should be taken to remove any lint that may have collected at the back of the machine, as well as at the other end of the vent line outside the house.
Your home air conditioning system should be serviced at least once prior to the hot summer months, taking care to inspect units and remove and clean filters, as well as vacuum the vents. For central air conditioning, it is recommended that you have a professional service the system. Faucets and shower heads, as well, need to be cleansed periodically. After unscrewing the faucet aerators and sink sprayers, soak them in a solution made up of equal parts vinegar and water for about one hour, then rinse with warm water.
Spring can be an exciting season after months of hibernating in your house. As you throw open the doors and windows to let the light in, take stock of those items that require your attention, and begin to chip away at the home improvement projects you’ve been putting off.
To learn more about Burt Lumber's wide selection of interior and exterior home improvement supplies and services, or to request a free quote, contact us today.