This is the time of year when most homeowners deep clean the house. This tradition is even more important as homeowners prepare for the spring home selling
season. When you’re performing your regular cleaning this spring, it’s also time to complete routine maintenance, either doing it yourself or by hiring help. Having your home in the best shape and condition possible will also help to attract potential buyers.
Let’s start with the relatively easy task of spring cleaning. Walk around the inside and the outside of your home, taking note of the following items. Then, it is time to get cleaning.
- Interior carpets. A professional carpet cleaning every 12 to 18 months is recommended. The sooner you schedule an appointment, the sooner the carpet cleaners can be there to clean that coffee stain out of the carpet from last November.
- Gutters. Every spring and fall, you should check your gutters and clear any debris which may have accumulated. Clogged gutters can lead to water damage.
- Siding. You can use a garden hose to remove the dirt left behind on your siding and deck from snow and rain. You can use a soft-bristled brush if you need some help. Use a mild cleanser to clean tougher spots.
- Yard. Remove any leaves and other litter from around your deck, front porch, and anywhere else in the yard where debris may have accumulated. Accumulated rubbish such as this can trap water, as well as cause mold and fungus to grow. It can even create an ideal environment for termites.
Okay, now its time to move onto the more complicated subject of maintenance. Snow, ice and wind can damage your home over time. It’s important to evaluate the structures on your property in the spring and fall. Finding problems early can prevent further damage. Recognizing trouble spots ahead of time can prevent the damage from happening in the first place.
- Crawl space. Inspect this area for water accumulation or excessive moisture. Inside, inspect the sub-floor and joists beneath the kitchen, bathroom and laundry areas for any water damage.
- Roof. It’s important to inspect your roof for damage inflicted during the winter. Depending on the roof, you may want to use a ladder and a pair of binoculars to look for damage from a distance. If you’re not comfortable on a ladder, call a trusted professional to come and take a look at the roof for you.
- Weather stripping on doors and windows. The cold of the winter season may have caused cracking or other damage. Remove any storm windows and replace with screens. It will soon be summer, after all!
- Water valves. This includes where water enters your house, outdoor faucets, valves to toilets, bathroom and kitchen sinks. Turn each off and on several times to identify any leaks.
- Outdoor walking surfaces. Spring is a good time to examine your asphalt driveway’s surface for damage. Regular resealing is the best way to protect the surface and keep it in good shape. The freezing and thawing of the ground can cause movement in concrete, stone, and brick sidewalks. Check to make sure that the surfaces are still level and that any cracks or gaps haven’t developed to create a tripping hazard.
Finally, regular maintenance on major home appliances can help to extend their life. It can also ensure they run efficiently.
- Air conditioner. Clean the vents of the air conditioner as well as the filter. If it hasn’t been serviced in a while, have a technician take a look at it. It may need to be recharged or have something minor replaced.
- Garage Doors. Clean and lubricate hinges, rollers and tracks with a light household oil, ensuring not to use a petroleum-based lubricant. Don’t attempt this on the garage door opener, however. Your garage door opener can be one of the most dangerous appliances around your house. Call a professional to take care of this.
- Water Heater. Maintained properly, water heaters will last for years and deliver gallon after gallon of hot water. Left alone, they’ll quickly lose efficiency and start costing you money. Have your water heater inspected be a professional.
- Sump pumps. To check and see if your sump pump is works properly, fill the sump pit with water. Then go outside to make sure the pump is actually discharging water. You can remove build-up in the system by pouring white vinegar through it.
It doesn’t take too long to inspect these points on your home. Odds are, you won’t find something major, but if you do, you’ll be happy you caught it before it got worse. Proper inspection and regular maintenance can help you to avoid costly repairs in the future. It can even help you save money on your utilities!