After a long and grueling winter, let’s bring on spring! Spring’s warmer weather brings a sense of renewal and is a great time to get your home ready for the warm summer months ahead. Consider tackling these indoor and outdoor maintenance projects: Gutters & Downspouts Gutters and downspouts are an often-overlooked project that demand attention in the spring. Downspouts have a tendency to clog, so take the time to remove leaves and debris. Have a stubborn clog? Try using a plumber’s snake to dislodge the blockage. Make sure the downspouts drain away from the foundation and run freely. Inspect your gutters to ensure they are properly attached and have not pulled away from the house. Run a hose on the roof and check for proper drainage. Improper drainage can lead to water in the basement or crawl space. If leaks exist, dry the area and use caulking or epoxy to seal the leak. Clean Exterior A pressure washer can make quick work of cleaning the exterior of your house. Try adding detergent to the reservoir on the machine to help loosen stubborn dirt, remove mold growth, and swiftly get the job done. Cleaners are available for all applications, such as siding, decks and masonry surfaces. You will also want to check all wood surfaces for weathering and paint failure. If bare wood is exposed, sand the immediate area and apply a primer coat before painting. If paint is peeling, scrape the loose paint, and sand the area before painting. Window and Door Screens Screens can be cleaned by soaking them in a kid’s wading pool filled with soapy water, followed by a gentle scrubbing with a soft scrub brush on a flat surface. As a final step you can rinse the screen with a garden hose using a fine spray to keep from damaging the screen. If your screens have holes larger than a quarter, simply flatten the fibers and brush-on several coats of clear fingernail polish for a seamless repair. Large tears or holes are best fixed by removing the rubber spline from the screen frame and installing a new piece of screen using a screen spline roller tool. Roof Spring is a great time to examine your roof and evaluate the toll winter’s snow and ice may have caused. A well-maintained roof lasts longer, so proper maintenance pays for itself. A clean roof also improves energy efficiency and improves your home’s curb appeal. Inspect roof surface flashing, eaves, and soffits. Look for missing, cracked, buckled, loose shingles that need replacement or repair. Pay particular attention to flashing around chimneys, plumbing vents, and other openings that are prone to leaks (such as exposed nail heads) and seal gaps with roofing cement. Remove leaves, sticks, or other debris that may have built-up in the valleys and against chimneys, porches, or dormers. Decks & Porches Wood decks take a lot of abuse from the elements and deserve a good cleaning to look their best. Check all decks, patios, porches, stairs, and railings for loose members and deterioration. If the stain on your deck is breaking down, or water has turned some of the wood a dark grey, first apply a specially-formulated deck cleaner from a hand-held pump sprayer. Second, clean the deck with a pressure washer or long handled scrub brush, being careful not to damage the wood. Lastly, rinse the deck and allow it to dry. If refinishing is needed, apply a sealer or stain with a pump sprayer, using a brush to smooth it out. Allow the sealer to dry thoroughly before using the deck. Landscaping A spring landscaping clean up is a must in this climate. Start by removing branches, leaves, and other natural debris around your home. Limbs can damage your home’s exterior, and the decomposition process of leaves and other tree debris creates unwelcome molds and fungi. Examine trees and shrubs for cracks, splits, or breaks caused by heavy snowfall. Repeat this process in a few weeks as some damage may not appear until leaves have grown out. Garage Door Freezing temperature in the winter has an effect on the metal parts of your garage door, which may result in the door becoming stuck or squeaking as it’s being opened or closed. It is important to use a good quality lubricant on the track, rollers, hinges and other moving parts to help keep the door running smoothly. Clean Your Windows Over time, debris builds up along your window sills and tracks. Pollen, dust, dirt, and plant material like seeds and small leaves can find their way into your window. If not cleaned on a routine basis, this build up can make it difficult to open your windows and could damage the tracks where your window sash slides up and down. To clean out the sills and tracks, remove as much of the dried material as possible before adding water. You can slowly pour warm soapy water along the horizontal window sill to wash away grime, then follow up with warm water to rinse. To remove any remaining dirt particles, use a cotton swab dipped in white vinegar to clean, then wipe with a clean cloth. Scrub Down Overlooked Surfaces Grime can build up in oft-overlooked places such as baseboards, door frames, walls, and cabinets. Get in the routine of regularly wiping down these areas with a sponge and a squirt of dish washing detergent mixed in a bucket of warm water. Pay special attention to the kitchen where grease tends to build up. Dust Light Fixtures Use a microfiber or lint-free cloth to dust easily reached fixtures and bulbs. Ceiling fans and light fixtures collect a lot of dust over time. Getup on a step stool or ladder to dust ceiling fans, bulbs, and fixtures or if you have an extendable duster – even better. If necessary, remove the light fixture and wash with soap and water or vinegar to remove residue build-up. Before you start, be sure bulbs are cool to the touch and your hands are dry! This is also a good opportunity to replace old incandescent light bulbs with energy-efficient LED bulbs. Clean Sliding Door Tracks Sliding glass door tracks may not top your annual spring cleaning chore list, but you'll appreciate having done it before the outdoor entertaining season begins. Rub the tracks with an old toothbrush to loosen debris, then use your vacuum’s hose attachment to remove the grit before finishing with a wet sponge.


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