Ahhhh… Spring has sprung in beautiful North Idaho. We are all looking forward to the warmer months, the gorgeous flowers as well as extra time outside. Nothing feels better than the first ray of warm sunlight on your face after a long and cold winter. Consequently, it also means spring cleaning & all the home maintenance we forgot about during the winter.
We likely have our own list of items that need to cleaned each year. But, there are some additional things that may have been forgotten, which will better our homes as well as extend it’s life. Below is a list of those items which are provided for the purpose of preparing your home for the spring and summer months.
First, check out some tips & maintenance ideas for the dreaded spring cleaning inside your home:
- Start small. It’s best to choose one area at a time that you want to tackle. It may take multiple weekends to finish, and that’s okay, as long as it’s done right.
- Ask for help and assign jobs to those who live with you.
- Gather your spring cleaning supplies
- Get easy to prepare meals for you and your helpers so you can focus on getting the work completed
- Once the area has been chosen – first, clean it out completely. Remove items from the floors, take items off of shelves, and create for yourself a clean workspace.
- Separate all of the items into 4 groups:
- garbage bags for throwing items away
- donation boxes
- storage boxes
- keep boxes
- On the storage boxes, be sure to mark what’s inside the box. Place the storage boxes in the basement, closet, attic, etc.
- Remove the “Keep” boxes from the room and out of the way until you’re ready to bring them back in
- Remove all linens and start washing them.
- Clean & dust everything, including the ceiling fan, baseboards, fireplace, windows, walls, shelves, furniture, light fixtures, etc.
- Polish any wood furnishings
- Replace the vent filters & the smoke detector batteries throughout the home.
- Purchase bins, totes, baskets, hangers, etc for storing items in your cleaned rooms or closets.
- Go through the Keep boxes. Throw away anything you don’t want and clean the items you’re keeping.
- Put everything away.
- Clean all the floors. Including vacuuming carpets, sweeping floors and giving any needed floor treatments.
- Replace linens.
- Put away any items that are still sitting out.
- Plug in or spray an air freshener in the room.
- Visit your attic for possible leaks, water stains, and mold. Call a professional if any of these things are spotted
- Check your GFCIs
|What to do||How|
|Clean & check outdoor furniture||Get the items out of storage and hose them down. Wash the outdoor cushions and hang to dry.
Look over cushions for any bug infestations. Be sure all the bolts are tight and there are no loose or missing hardware
|Prepare summer gear||Lawnmower: gas it up and check that the engine still works properly. Sharpen the blades.
Weed Wacker: inspect it and remove any debris or mud.
Gardening Tools: get those out and inspect for damage. Clean if needed
Equipment: get out the kids toys, golf clubs, baseball equipment, etc and get those cleaned and ready too.
|Check kids’ play areas||Tighten any loose bolts and make sure things are still put together correctly and safe to use. Check for sharp edges or splinters. Clean of any mold with household strength solution|
|What to do||Why|
|Buy a new propane tank or fill up your existing one||That way your grill is ready to go when you are|
|Check the started button||Ensures your grill ignites|
|Hook everything up & run the grill||Makes sure the grill works properly|
|Turn the grill up high with lid closed for 30 min. Once cool, brush it off with a grill brush. Wipe it down with damp sponge and gentle cleanser. Don’t forget to clean the drip pans||This cleans the grill and avoids rust|
|Completely empty the grill and wipe out the ashy residue||Too much ash can obstruct the vents which making it difficult to control the temperature while cooking|
|Clean it inside & out with a sponge, hot water and dishwasher soap. Allow the grill to completely dry before use
||Regular cleanings keep your grill in top condition|
|Buy new charcoal and refill your grill||Fresh and dry charcoal will give you that unmatched smokey flavor|
For additional information on how to property clean a grill, click here!
Gutters & Downspouts
|What do do||Why|
|Clear leaves & debris from gutters and downspouts||Clogged gutters and/or downspouts rot at the eaves of the wood trim as well as allow critters into your attic|
|Reattach any gutters that have been pulled off the house||Ensures proper draining through spring showers|
|Run a hose on the roof to check for property draining & repair leaks if found with caulking or epoxy||Properly working and installed gutters allow water to be diverted away from the house which avoids pooling by the foundation|
Windows & Doors
|What to do||Why|
|Remove storm windows if installed in the fall
||They did their job in the winter and are no longer needed in the spring & summer months|
|Clean the windows and screens||Clean windows allow more solar energy into your home|
|Check the sealant around the windows for leaks or damage & repair if found||Keeps the windows sealed and prevents leaks as well as water damage from occurring|
|Be sure there are no holes in your widow & door screens. If found, patch or replace.||Helps the breeze in and more importantly the bugs out|
|Repair any loose or damaged frames and repaint. Replace broken, worn, or missing hardware||Wind can cause further damage if not corrected early|
|Tighten & lubricate door hinges||This will avoid that annoying squeak from developing|
Roof & Siding
|What to do||Why|
|Inspect your roof for any winter damage. Checking for missing shingles, rotting boards, or rust||Protects your roof from water damage as well as leaking|
|If you have a chimney, check that there is no loose bricks or mortar. Repair and/or replace if needed||Helps protects against water leaking into the chimney|
|Inside your home – check the skylights, checking there are no water stains||Water stains means leaking is occurring. contact a professional for the purpose of avoiding further damage and in turn additional cost|
|Inspect your home’s siding for missing or ruined boards, replace is necessary||Winter weather can cause boards to warp from the moisture|
|Clean siding with pressure washer or soap, water, brush, and hose||Avoids mold from growing|
|If you are in need of a house paint, do that now||Spring & summer is the best time of year to paint due to the increased temperatures|
|If there is any peeling paint, be sure to scrape and sand smooth before painting||Stops the new paint from peeling|
Porch & Deck
|What do to||Why|
|Sweep then mop porches with all-purpose cleaner||Winter causes dirt to build up on the floorboards|
|Inspect your deck for signs of rotting, replacing boards if needed. Nail down any poking up nails||Keep your deck in good condition and safe for summer|
|Determine if your wood deck needs sealing by sprinkling water on the boards – if it soaks in it’s time to reseal||Desks exposed to the elements needs treated every 4-6 years to avoid rot and warping boards
Landscaping & Sprinklers
|What to do||Why|
|Trim any bushes, vegetation, flowers and plants||Limbs and leaves can cause damage to the side of your home if it’s not taken care of. Trimming your flowers and plants will keep them be productive as well as healthy|
|Plan your watering schedule||If you train your garden to get watered heavily a couple times a week versus lightly on a daily basis, it will promote the growth of deep and strong roots|
|Check your sprinkler system for any sprinkler heads not working properly, leaking or exposed lines||Save you water, your plants and not to mention your money through the summer months
|Inspect your hoses and outside faucets for leaks, and replace if there are any||Even a small leak will cost you money due to wasted water|
|Lay a layer of mulch||This will keep the weeds down, assist the ground to hold in moisture during the hot summer and also provide an environment for your plants to grow|
|Get rid of any standing water on your property||Mosquitoes love standing water. Getting rid of it will prevent those pesky mosquitoes from taking over your yard|
|Check all the concrete around your home including foundation, driveways and pathways||Freezing and thawing is rough on concrete and can cause deterioration, if not addressed|
|What to do||Why|
|Schedule an AC professional to come out to service your unit||Scheduling before summer will provide you with a lower rate. If you wait until your unit goes out in the heat, your fee will be much higher.|
|Change and/or replace your AC filter||Spring time, during your annual servicing of the unit, is the best time to do this|
|Clean all your ceiling fans with damp rag or ceiling-fan duster||Removes all the dust from the blades, which will keep your air cleaner when you use the fans|