Spring is officially in the air. And that means it’s a great time to do some Spring cleaning around the house. That includes both the exterior and interior of your home.
When it comes to the outside of your house, there are several areas to inspect to make sure they’re ready for warmer, and potentially wetter, weather. First, check your roof, gutters, and downspouts. Make sure they are all cleared of any debris for proper water flow when it rains. For your roof specifically, check for any damage to shingles and check for wear. Whether just a few shingles need to be replaced or the entire thing needs replacing, its best to hire a professional for this task. That way you’re way less likely to have to worry about leaks from improper installation down the road. For gutters and downspouts, clean out all debris to make sure water can flow easily. Make sure any damaged or missing parts are repaired or replaced and consider leaf guards on your gutters to make future clean out even easier. One other important thing to check for is erosion around the bottom of downspouts. This can affect the foundation of your home, so if there is evidence of erosion, consider downspout extensions or buried drainage to make sure water is directed away from your home.
Also, when it comes to the exterior of your home, be sure you check for any cracks or issues with the foundation. It’s important to catch these early and before the wet season starts so a minor issue doesn’t turn into a major one. If you have a crawlspace or basement, check for signs of moisture, like dampness, standing water, or efflorescence (a white substance left over from moisture seepage and evaporation). Other tell-tale signs of moisture issues are musty smells, rotten joists or bands, or visible mold. If any of these problems are found, it’s recommended to call a foundation specialist or moisture/mold remediation company. Not only can these issues affect the integrity of your home but also the health of you and your family. Other structures around the home should be checked and repaired or replaced as necessary, as well, including decks, porches, patios, awnings, and outbuildings.
Proper ventilation of your home can help it stay clean, help your family stay healthy, and help with your home’s energy efficiency. The obvious vents to check and clean are the dryer vent, and vents on the roof to make sure they are clear of debris. It’s also critical to check foundation and attic vents to make sure they are clear and venting properly, and to ensure they’re sealed well to keep critters out. If you have a range hood that vents out, now is a good time to clean it out as well, along with any fireplace vents and chimney flues.
Inside your home, Spring cleaning is a little more straightforward. Take the time to deep clean surfaces in your home with appropriate cleaning solutions. These surfaces include countertops, cabinets, floors, baseboards, doors/trim, and windows. This will not only help clear the surfaces, but also the air in your home. Spring is a good time to replace all your filters as well, including HVAC, range hood, and water filters (whether you have a whole home water filtration system or one inside your refrigerator, or both). Ideally, these should be changed every 3-6 months to make sure everything is running smoothly, and your air and water stay clean. If you are still concerned about air quality, talk to an HVAC specialist about adding a UV or other air purification system to your heating and cooling unit. Spring is also the perfect time to clean your appliances. Most ovens now have a self-cleaning setting, and newer dishwashers and washing machines are equipped with a sanitize cycle. If yours doesn’t have this feature, no worries, a simple vinegar solution will do. Your refrigerator would also benefit from a deep clean, including throwing out all out-of-date food and sanitizing all surfaces.
Spring cleaning is all about keeping your family healthy and your home running smoothly, but don’t feel like you must get all these tasks done at once. Tackle one or two areas over several weekends so the chore seems less daunting, and if you can, pass off the harder tasks to the pros. A clean home in the Spring offers peace of mind and lets you get out and enjoy warmer weather!
Photo: courtesy of Tracy Tesmer Design/Remodeling