It’s about that time of the year.
In the next few days and weeks, there are some celebrations that mark the start of the spring season. From holidays like St. Patrick’s Day to Easter Sunday and celebrations like March Madness, there are a handful of reasons that you may have some guests over your home.
Whether you plan to have some celebrations over the next few weeks or not, now is the time to start some spring home maintenance steps. Take advantage of the spring festivities to get a head start on spring cleaning.
To start, think about things guests will notice. First and foremost, as guests arrive they will notice the outside of your home. Next, house guests tend to notice areas where they are congregated. To help, here are some simple do-it-yourself steps to take stock of the high traffic areas of your home.
Simple DIY Checks Outside Your Home
As the weather gets warmer, we tend to spend some more time outside. Take this opportunity to get some fresh air and check out some of the exterior of your home.
Although the Northeast had a relatively mild winter, there were still significant bouts of snow and wind. There are a few quick checks you can perform over the next few weeks in order to know if any damage occurred or any larger fixes are needed.
1. Inspect Your Home’s Exterior
Our homes are made of various exterior materials. From brick to vinyl siding, winter weather impacts these materials differently. As you inspect the siding and trim, look for cracks, warping, separation at joints or anything that stands out.
It is important fix or replace any issues because moisture can get inside the exterior walls and cause possible mold problems.
2. Inspect Your Railings
All homes have various railings around the house. From railings on entry stairs to any balconies and decks, these are significant safety features to protect your family and any guests. As you inspect the top and bottom of the vertical posts, balusters and top rail, place a little pressure on the railings. Feel for any loose connections, joints or posts.
Over time, rain and sun mixed with winter and summer storms can cause some deterioration. It is important to keep railings in proper condition to maintain the safety of your stairs and decks. Of note, check your local building code for specifics, but typically railings should be at least 36 inches high.
3. Inspect Your Roof
Winter weather makes it tough to check your roof, but snowstorms can cause some damage. In particular heavy winds may cause tree branches to damage or rip shingles. While it is possible to fix damaged shingles yourself, many people rely on professionals because working on a roof requires special equipment, as well as, extra safety measures.
It is important repair, replace or fix broken shingles to prevent water damage from invading your roofing materials. In addition to mold concerns, any roof damage may cause water leaks and possible structural issues.
4. Inspect Your Fences and Gates
Winter weather also impact fences and gates. Take advantage of the increased visibility to inspect fences and gates before the lawn and other landscaping starts its spring growth. Similar to inspecting railings, place some pressure on the fence to feel for any loose posts.
Fixing fence posts or individual pickets are great weekend DIY projects as well. Check out this explainer video from eHow for more information.
In addition to added privacy, fences often provide safety to keep children and pets inside the yard. Keep your fences and gates in good condition to ensure the safety and security of your family.
5. Inspect Your Gutters
If nothing else, take some time to inspect and clean out your gutters and downspouts. Many homeowners clear gutters of debris before winter, but it is also wise to clean them after winter as well. Allowing rainwater to freely flow away from your home helps prevent water damage to eaves and exterior walls.
During spring, then consider washing the gutters to check how the water flows away from your house. Plus, if you notice any issues, now is the time to fix them prior to typical April showers.
Simple DIY Checks Inside Your Home
Most people will feel obligated to tidy up and provide a clean space for guests. However, it is still a little early for the complete spring cleaning treatment. There are a few DIY steps to start the cleaning process with a little extra effort that will be sure to impress your guests.
6. Inspect Your Ice Maker
If you are having guests, then you’ll undoubtedly serve some beverages, so make sure the ice maker – and water lines – are working.
Many refrigerators come with ice makers. These water lines can get clogged with mineral deposits that are naturally contained in water. Although we typically use ice daily, we tend to forget that we should clean it to ensure it keeps working. If a problem occurs, then not only may a leak occur, but any issues with the water line may impact your refrigerator as well.
To inspect, then reference your refrigerator’s user manual. If anything looks out of the ordinary, then you can always call a professional to review.
7. Inspect Your Vents
Regardless of the season, your HVAC system is working to deliver hot or cold air throughout your house. The vents that expel the air into your home also get dusty. Take a look at all of your vents along the floor, walls and ceilings and dust (or vacuum) the vent and grille.
Vents can be sensitive, so be careful and gently reach inside the duct to remove dust and debris. If there is a significant amount of dust, then consider calling a professional to clean the entire ductwork because excessive dust can really impact your home air quality.
8. Inspect Your Attic and Crawl Spaces
Along the lines of inspecting and cleaning home vents, then continue your inspection with the attic and any crawl spaces. The vents within the attic and crawl spaces will ensure that quality air flows throughout your home during the summer.
Part of why it is important to ensure all of the vents around the home are clear of debris is to improve your home air quality. To take the extra steps to improve your air quality, then keep that ladder around from cleaning your gutters and use a broom to clean the outside of attic vent as well.
9. Add Plants to Living Room
Another great way to improve your home air quality is adding a few select plants to your living areas. In addition to filtering air throughout the home, new plants freshen rooms and can help bring them to life.
If you tend to have guests over throughout the year, then adding a plant is an easy way to spruce up your living room to keep the area from getting stale.
10. Steam Your Carpets
If your home has carpet throughout the living area, then you are aware of how everyday living causes some wear and tear. In addition to the general appearance that may suffer from walking traffic of your family, then the carpet also collects dust and dirt that becomes embedded in the carpet.
Steam cleaning your carpets is a DIY activity that will help remove dirt, along with odor and bacteria from your carpet and create a healthier living environment.
Everyday we work with homeowners to help make their homes better. To keep your home in great condition, then take a little time to check some of the under the radar areas. We tend to take things for granted that consistently work, then are frustrated if they don’t. From fence posts and railings to ice and vents, there are many small things that will make a big difference if they break down.
At SolvIt, we have extensive experience working with all facets of the home, especially home air and water quality. We are here to help 24/7, day or night, so call today with any questions.