12 EASY Steps to Get Your Home Ready for Spring

It’s that time of year again!  Spring (and Georgia Pollen) is in the air.  Before you get pool ready – here are a few tips to keep up with your home maintenance this year and keep your house happy and healthy!

1.  Clean Gutters

Image result for clean guttersGrab a ladder, and check your gutters for debris. Remove as much as you can with your hands (Don’t forget to wear gloves!). Remove any leftover gunk with a garden hose. Take off any nozzle and have a helper turn on the water when you’re ready. Shove the hose into the downspout to power out of gooseneck bends. Make sure your downspouts channel water at least five feet from foundation walls.

2.  Scrub Walls, Baseboards & Outlets

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Scrub all the walls (do a test spot, some paints may not be washable) — in the bathroom, kitchen, bedrooms and living areas — with a sponge or brush and mild soap and water. This includes baseboards and outlets. Make sure to completely dry outlet covers before replacing.

3.  Replace Filters

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Replace all filters including HVAC, water, range hood and air vent filters. You should replace these filters every 3-6 months depending on the type of filter you have.

4.  Clean Faucets and Showerheads

Unscrew the faucet aerators, sink sprayers and showerheads, and soak them in equal parts vinegar and water solution. Let them soak for an hour, then rinse with warm water.

5.  Clean Out the Dryer Vent

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A clogged dryer vent can be a fire hazard. To clean it, disconnect the vent from the back of the machine and use a dryer vent brush to remove lint. Outside your house, remove the dryer vent cover and use the brush to remove lint from the other end of the vent line. Make sure the vent cover flap moves freely.

6.  Wash Exterior Windows

 

Window Cleaning

If you can get to all of them safely, clean all of the exterior window.  If you have multiple levels or are not able to get to it for yourself, hire a window-cleaning service to clean all exterior windows.

7.  Check and Clean Patio Furniture

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The winter weather can cause damage to different materials and make them more brittle.  Bugs can make their homes, and spring is a great time to check everything for safety and get it cleaned up and ready for the warm months.  Check out this article from the DIY Network on how to clean your out door furniture.

8.  Check the Foundation Vents

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A house with a crawl space has vents along the foundation walls. The vents provide air circulation that helps prevent excess moisture and mold growth, and they prevent critters from taking up residence underneath your home. The screens collect leaves and other debris from fall and winter. Spring is a great time to clean them out and check for damage. Clean the vents by hand or use a shop vacuum. Repair any damaged screens — critters can get through even the smallest holes.

9.  Clean the Grill

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Your grill has most likely collected dust during fall and winter. Help your grill live a long life with these maintenance tips, whether you have a charcoal or gas grill.

10.  Prep Your Garden for Spring

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Big or small, here are a few tips for getting your garden ready.

  1. Order summer-flowering bulbs and seeds. …
  2. Tidy up flower beds and borders. …
  3. Clean out and wash your greenhouse. …
  4. Sow any seeds that need a longer season. …
  5. Hunt down and remove garden pests. …
  6. Install water butts and start collecting rainwater. …
  7. Move deciduous shrubs. …
  8. Maintain fences, gates and trellis.
  9. Clean and sharpen gardening tools
  10. Create a composting area

11.  Test Smoke Alarms

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Test smoke alarms and CO detectors, and change out batteries as needed. It’s cheap, only takes a few minutes and can save your family’s lives.  While you are changing batteries, you may want to check remote controls, alarm systems, thermostats, and kids toys.

12.  Pressure Wash the House and Driveway

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It is best not to pressure wash your house every year. But spring is a great time to check and do so if needed.  The reason to wash a house is if it becomes dirty or has accumulated mildew. It’s a rare occurrence to have a significant accumulation of dirt unless there is new construction nearby. So mildew accumulation is generally the only reason to wash a house.

7 Steps to Fall Home Maintenance

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Fall is the classic time of year when home maintenance projects really take off. The weather is nicer, insects are less aggressive, and it helps button up the house for the long winter ahead.

Although you may have had your home inspected in the past for major defects, new defects can arise almost overnight. With regular maintenance, homeowners can stay ahead of problems instead of scrambling to fix damage in an emergency.

According to ICA SEO Here are 7 jobs every homeowner should think about at the tail-end of summer.

#1: Check for Cracked and Loose Paint

After a long, blistering summer of unforgiving heat, exterior paint might show cracks, bubbles and flakes. While it’s normal for paint to degrade over time, damage leaves the wood underneath vulnerable to the elements. Now is the time to check paint on siding and trim, remove loose or damaged paint and give it a fresh coat.

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Gutter guards can help reduce the amount of large debris that gets trapped inside.

#2: Clean and Secure Gutters and Down Spouts

Hardly anyone enjoys cleaning gutters, but overlooking this simple fall home maintenance job can cause bigger problems. When gutters are full of leaves, water from rains and melting winter snow can’t flow out. That makes the gutter system heavier, which stresses the fasteners. It can also allow water to run backward under the shingles or overflow down the siding. Homeowners should clean out gutters and replace any rusted, loose or missing fasteners while the weather is mild. With fall coming on, it’s also a good time to think about gutter guards to keep leaves out.

#3: Upgrade Inferior Insulation

Inferior insulation lets more heat escape through the ceiling and into the attic where it doesn’t do homeowners any good. Before furnace season arrives in earnest, homeowners should check out attic insulation. If it’s damaged or dirty and compacted, replacement is the smart choice. Even if it’s in good condition, another layer of blanket insulation on top improves the R value.

#4: Replace Old Caulk and Weatherstripping

Caulk and weatherstripping are only as good as their ability to seal air leaks. Once they harden, they can crack and lift. Caulk is inexpensive and seals air leaks around windows and door trim. Weatherstripping makes a complete seal around windows and doors when they’re closed. Both are simple weekend projects that any handy homeowner can handle.

#5: Check the Roof for Loose Shingles 

All that it takes is one good storm to throw a tree branch onto the roof or lift and break the shingles. According to Home Advisor, the average cost of a new roof is about $7,000. After their home inspection, new homeowners still need to watch for damage that weakens the integrity of the roofing system. The sooner it’s repaired or replaced the fewer chances a damaged roof can allow water into the home.

#6: Clean the Fireplace Chimney

In homes with any wood-burning appliance, a clean chimney or flue pipe is a safer one. Before the first fire of the season, homeowners should inspect the chimney or pipe for creosote buildup. A professional maintenance tech or chimney sweep can remove creosote using simple tools.

Home inspection

Considering the costly damage it helps prevent, filter replacement has an enormous return on investment.

#7: Prep the HVAC System

As summer fades into fall, air conditioning switches to heat. Separate air conditioning units should be insulated and covered, recommends Bob Vila, to protect them from the elements and to keep cold air from whistling in around window installations. A filter change is always recommended before turning on heat for the first time of the new cool season.

The weather might be glorious in early fall, but that won’t last for much of the country. Nights get colder, days get shorter and winter blasts make working outside a chore. While the sun is still warm, it’s time for home maintenance projects. That’s what keeps a dream home safe, secure and good investment for the long haul.