Essential Spring Cleaning Tips
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Spring is the perfect time to clear out winter’s clutter and start fresh. But while you’re organizing closets and planting flowers, don’t forget to perform basic home maintenance. Just like a car, your home needs regular tune-ups to keep it secure, comfortable and beautiful for years to come.
With the arrival of warm weather and sunshine, however, I know that the last thing you want to do is spend every weekend on spring cleaning projects! Fortunately, our handy checklist makes it easy to tackle the big projects step-by-step. Set aside a few hours each weekend to tune up a different part of your house, and in less than a month your home will be ready for summer!
Roof and Gutters Checklist
Did you know that the majority of home water damage actually occurs in the spring? Winter’s freeze-and-thaw cycles can shorten the life of gutters and drain spouts. If drainage is blocked, water from spring rains can pool up along your home’s foundation or roofline, leading to serious structural damage.
- Clean gutters and downspouts. After removing winter debris from your gutters, check for any blockages by tapping the side of the spout or by blowing air down your drain spout with a leaf blower. Air should flow easily and the drain spout will make a hollow sound. Drainage should be diverted at least three feet from your home’s foundation.
- Check for missing or cracked shingles. While on your roof, visually check the condition of your shingles for curling, warping, cracking or cupping. If you notice any damage or missing shingles, you’ll want to hire a contractor to make repairs. Not sure if there’s a problem with your roof? Check your attic for leaks, moisture and mold.
Safety Tip: Remember, cleaning gutters and repairing roofs can be dangerous and results in hundreds of serious personal injuries every year. If you’re not comfortable on a ladder, or simply not as limber as you once were, ask a neighbor for assistance or hire a contractor.
Gear up for the summer’s heat waves with an air conditioner tune-up. Routine maintenance ensures optimal airflow, which lowers heating and cooling costs. Minor problems are easier to fix in the spring rather than waiting until scorching August temps strain your AC unit, leading to expensive repairs or a full replacement.
- Remove debris and vegetation. Ensure winter storm debris does not cause any airflow blockages, which can strain the unit and spike energy bills.
- Change air filters. At a minimum, you should change your air filter every three to six months. A dirty filter slows down airflow, causing your system to work overtime to keep your home cool, which increases energy costs.
- Schedule a tune-up. Many reputable HVAC service centers offer seasonal savings on spring tune-ups. A professional will check your unit for potential problems and replace any aging parts, which helps prevent early system failure.
Energy Savings Tip: A one-degree change in your thermostat setting reduces energy consumption by 4 percent. Your body won’t notice the temperature difference, but your wallet definitely will!
Home Exterior Checklist
An attractive exterior does a lot more than simply increase your home’s curb appeal. Paint seals wood, protecting it from the elements. Simple paint touch-ups can extend the average life of your siding by two to three years.
- Check for peeling paint or siding. Take a walk around your house and look for any siding damage. It’s much more affordable to repaint your siding or trim now rather than wait until water entry has rotted the wood! If you own a brick home, the brickwork should be resealed every five to eight years.
- Reseal your deck. Check for loose boards that may need replacement or resealing. If it’s been a few years since your deck’s last spring cleaning, consider power washing and resealing your deck.
Safety Tip: If you rent your own power washer (daily rentals start at $35 to $50), ask for a quick walk-through on its use. Always wear protective eye gear and operate with caution; with several hundred pounds of water pressure, you don’t want to accidently spray yourself, a family member or a pet!