Spring Clean Your Interior
The time has come that we no longer are driving to and from work in the dark, we are beginning to see the sunrise earlier and set later, hear the birds chirping and we can’t help but get excited about the season that lies ahead. Throughout the winter months our homes face extreme elements and can accumulate a lot of dust and grime in those hard to reach forgotten about places so why not seize the moment and get some spring cleaning and seasonal maintenance done.
Here is a compiled list of some cleaning examples that can be done in early spring:
1.) Dusting – Dusting your crown mouldings, baseboards, ceiling fans, ceiling corners, wall hangings, and light fixtures. This will help freshen up your home for spring once that beautiful sunshine begins to shine through your windows.
2.) Doors & Cabinets – Doors and cabinets need a cleaning session once and awhile one that is more thorough than a quick wipe down. To wash with soap and water, use a clean, soft cloth and a mild detergent – Dawn or Ivory are both good options. Soak and wring out the cloth, then wipe down all surfaces, paying attention to handles, hinges, and any surface ridges that form design details.
3.) Windows – Remove all the screens and wash both the outside of the windows and the screens.
4.) Flooring – Deep clean your hardwood, laminate, tile or linoleum. Check for scratches and scuff marks. There are many inexpensive floor repair options at your local hardware store you can pick up for a small fix. For your carpet, you can hire a professional cleaning company or rent one and DIY.
5.) Upholstery – For your area rugs, drapery and furniture, there’s the option to schedule a professional to clean them for you, or you can rent an upholstery cleaner and do it yourself.
6.) Painted Walls – Washing all the walls can be a daunting task but this is a perfect time of year to grab your bucket and gloves and freshen up those walls. Be sure to use a mild soap to prevent your walls from damage. Check for scratches, repair dents, and touch up the paint where it’s needed.
7.) Replacing batteries and lightbulbs – Check your lights for old bulbs, replace batteries in your smoke detector and carbon monoxide detector.
8.) Furnace Maintenance & Furnace Filter – Check your furnace filter and change it if needed. The longer the filter is in place the more dirt and grime can get trapped decreasing the efficiency. Usually, every 90 days is the rule of thumb for pleated air filters. Manufacturers generally recommend having your furnace inspected and ducts cleaned every two years.
9.) Appliances – For the refrigerator, it is best to take everything out of the fridge, check for expired food and throw away, deep clean the interior with warm soapy water. For your other appliances like Microwaves, Ovens, Dishwashers, Washer, and Dryers it is best to check for the manufacturer’s recommendations on the best deep cleaning method.
10.) Garage – Declutter, check for old expired paint, house cleaners, and repair products and throw away anything your not going to use.
Spring Clean Your Exterior
1.) Gutters & Downspouts – Clean your eavestroughs and downspouts. The harsh winter months leaving ice and snow can cause damage and lead to improper drainage. If water runs back toward your foundation or pools on the roof, it may result in water damage to the inside of your home. Get out the ladder and check for any clogs and make sure water is making its way out of the downspouts (and away from your foundation). Do a perimeter check from the ground to make sure nothing has come loose or detached from the house.
2.) Roof – Spring is the best time to inspect your roof shingles. They’re your first line of defense against weather. From the ground or a ladder, look for signs of damage like missing, raised or warped shingles and other irregularities. If there are problems, have a qualified roofer do an inspection and make any necessary repairs.
3.) Windows – Dirt can really build up on your windows, so take the time to give them a good cleaning. A spray mix of vinegar and warm water can clean your windows naturally and without streaking.
4.) The Yard – This is the time to start mowing your lawn, pruning your bushes and trees if required, weeding and planting new flowers to spruce up the garden.
5.) Patio & Deck – Wooden decks, including railings and stairs, require staining every few years to protect against the weather. Be sure to inspect deck posts where they contact the ground for signs of rotting. If dirty, a good power wash can do the trick to make your patio or deck ready for patio season.
6.) Air Conditioning unit – Shut off the power to the outdoor unit, clean the grill/cage and the fan of debris. Rake around the unit and cut back branches to allow for proper airflow. Inside your home, don’t forget to change your furnace air filter regularly.
7.) Check out the chimney – Look for signs of damage at the top of the chimney. Typically, there’s a chimney cap with a grate and/or a rain cover. If you’re comfortable getting on the roof, inspect the rubber that waterproofs the edges where the chimney meets the roof, also known as flashing, for any gaps, bends or cracks that water could penetrate.
8.) Check and clean siding – Clean the siding. Pressure washers are ideal for cleaning the outside of your home. If you don’t own one, look for a business that provides rentals in your community. If you have wood siding, check the condition of the paint for any blisters or cracks and repaint any problem areas to help prevent rotting. Pressure wash your siding to remove any grime and build up. Make sure to start at the top of your home and work your way down, so that dirt and water runs down and doesn’t create more work for you.
9.) Examine your caulking – Take a closer look at the caulking around your doors, windows, and vents. Deteriorated caulking should be scraped out and replaced to reduce air conditioning use. Just like cracks, gaps between your windows can let water (and critters) inside. Scrape off any old caulking and replace. Also, check any wood trim or sills for signs of decay and repair or replace them as needed. As a bonus, this will also help keep drafts out and your energy bills down.
10.) Survey the landscaping – Low lying areas of your lawn should have additional soil laid down to prevent pooling of surface and rainwater.
The sight of a spring cleaning list can seem overwhelming but if you set aside some time and slowly check off each task one day at a time your home will thank you for it and you will feel so accomplished. Spring cleaning in your interior and exterior will make your home feel bright and fresh for the new season to come and you can sit out on your patio and enjoy the sunshine while you marvel at all your hard work!