Let’s Do Some Spring Cleaning

Exterior Spring Home Maintenance

  1. During Winter Your Roof Received A Lot of ABUSE – Clean the moss, pine needles, loose limbs, dirt from above. Have any of the shingles shifted? Is anything loose? Address issues now to protect your roof and keep it at its peak performance.
  2. Clean the Gutters – Winter creates debris – pine needles, dirt, leaves build up in the gutters. Clean debris out of the downspouts and gutters. If gutters are sagging, reattach or replace if unable to repair. Prevent leaks by caulking any holes. Make sure downspouts face away from the home to improve drainage.
  3. Inspect Concrete and Foundation – Time to walk around the home and check for cracks. Fill cracks using silicone caulk or concrete fillers. Is it time to replace? Be sure to examine the foundation from top to bottom for masonry cracks. You may need to hire a professional to bond the cracks correctly.
  4. Test Outside Faucets and Run the Sprinklers – Test outside faucets, let them run for a while and check the pressure. Any concerns, you may need to have a professional look at your pipes. Test the sprinklers, look for leaks and malfunctioning. Make sure the sprinklers are pointed in the right direction and watering your grass and not somewhere else.
  5. Clean Your AC  – In the Pacific Northwest, many of us do not have AC, but if you do, remove debris from around the unit, replace filters, check hoses and drain pans, and clean ducts and vents. It may be time for a professional to do a tune-up.
  6. Check Out the Deck – Many homes in the Pacific Northwest have decks, some with multiple decks. Inspect the deck for water stains, warping or discoloration. Search for loose or rusty nails. Secure stairs and railings. Replace rotting boards.
  7. Wood and Water DO NOT Mix – Repair and Reseal Woodwork
    These structures are prone to decay and rot. Repair panels on the wooden fence. Power wash and revitalize tired wood. Protect it with wood oils and wood preserves, use decking oil for fence treatment, it keeps the wood supple and water-resistant.
  8. Inspect Windows and Doors – Clean the winter yuck off  the screens, then fix or replace tired screens. Clean the tracts and seals. Clean the holes on storm windows, test by pouring some water into the sill. Be sure to check for leakage, check the caulking and weather stripping.
  9. Make the Lawn and Landscape Shine – Trim any overgrowth and clear your landscaping. Tidy the flowerbeds and give them a facelift. Fertilize and feed them. To prevent foundation damage and flooding maybe add some compacted soil in low areas. Rake the lawn to get rid of thatch and dead grass. Prepare vegetable and flower beds.
  10. Chimney – Do you have a masonry chimney? Make sure to check the joints between bricks or stones. Is anything missing? Is there any vegetation growing? This can signal water infiltration. And make sure to look for a white calcium-like deposit (efflorescence) this indicates the masonry joints are no longer repelling water, instead they may be absorbing it. Have a professional inspect and clean the chimney inside and out.
  11. Outdoor Furniture and Grills – Time to set up the outdoor furniture and give it a good scrubbing and airing out. If you have metal furniture, check for signs of rust or paint erosion. Touch it up with a good spray enamel to prevent further damage.
  12. Grills – Time to BBQ. Check burner jets for clogs and obstructions, be sure gas hoses and connections are sound and secure. Check the propane. Clean the grill before using.

Interior Spring Home Maintenance

  1. Open the Windows – Let the FRESH air in and BREATHE. This gets rid of stagnate air, lets the home breathe, and cleans the inside air.
  2. Check the Basement and Attic – Look for signs of moisture and leaks, water stains and mold. Check for musty smells. Find the culprits and seal off the source of moisture, this will prevent serious water damage or mold issues. Make sure there is good ventilation. Any signs of insects or critters? Dampness and Critters LOVE Basements and Attics. If there is dampness, check for inadequate ventilation and you may need a dehumidifier. Check for cracks.
  3. Do A Routine Home Safety Check – If you haven’t already, change the batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Check the fire extinguishers, replace if old. Make sure exhaust fans are clean and working properly.
  4. Clean the Furnace – Before you forget, even though winter is over, this is a good time to clean the furnace so come winter it will be in good working order.
  5. Do a Little Upgrading – Use this time to replace and repair lights, appliances and other systems around your home. Upgrade to more energy-efficient options. Look for Spring specials and grants with local utility companies for upgrading to energy efficient appliances.
  6. General Cleaning – Spring is a great time to open the windows, turn on the music and clean areas of the house that often go neglected. Dust or vacuum those unusual places, like ceiling fans and the tops of cabinets. Clean fabric draperies. With a damp cloth clean blinds. Vacuum upholstered furniture and mattresses. Clean to remove all of the winter dust that collected, remove mites and allergens, making for a cleaner and healthier home.
  7. Inspect for Leaks inside the Home – Check for leaky faucets, clogged drains, and sweaty pipes. Inspect under the kitchen and bathroom sink to make sure connections on pipes and hoses are properly sealed. Search for damp spots around the dishwasher and washing machine and hot water heaters.

Sounds like a lot of work, but you will be grateful for the time well spent, possibly saving lots of money (and time) in the future.