Though seeing a list can be a bit daunting, by starting it early you’ll find that you’re crossing your To Do’s off of it in no time at all. This is also a great way to make sure you complete everything you’d hoped to, and I strongly advocate making a simple timeline and budget to correspond with your Spring Chores List. This is the perfect little task for a grey afternoon and won’t take you long at all, but will make a surprising difference in helping you on your way to spring.
I suggest starting your list with a little tour of both the interior and exterior of your home. When outside, pay particular attention to your gutters, foundation, roof, windows and doors, and your stoop, porch and/or deck.
Cleaning your gutters is one of those nagging chores that is easy enough to do as long as you’re diligent, but if you neglect them, you could be in for a world of potential expense and property damage!
This is a two person job for safety reasons since someone will need to be up on a ladder (seriously, never work on a ladder without a spotter—even a fall from a relatively short height can cause major injury) plus the person on the ground can hold a bucket for the blockages to be deposited into.
It’s a simple enough process—you’re removing any leaves, twigs, pine needles and similar debris that have accumulated in your gutters since the fall.
By clearing them, you’re ensuring that they can do their job properly, which is draining water away from the parts of your house where it can cause damage. An oft-overlooked but very important final step to cleaning your gutters is making sure the downspout is properly connected and draining the water away from your foundation, basement, and any places where it will pool and damage either your home or your property (constantly wet patches on your grass or areas of standing water breed lawn disease, which can quickly spread through your entire yard, as well as pesky insects).
It’s important to do a walk-around the entire circumference of your home carefully examining the foundation for any cracks, signs of erosion or water damage, and similar causes for concern. When it comes to foundations, the sooner a problem is detected and remedied, the less costly it will be.
It’s important to properly fill and seal any minor cracks, but if you notice a large number of them, it’s worthwhile having a trusted professional come to take a look. Also make sure the winter hasn’t caused any depressions in the earth around the foundation that will cause standing water against the structure when the spring rains really start.
When examining your roof, depending on the type you have, you want to look for any loose, damaged or lost shingles and repair/replace them as soon as you can. You should also be checking for signs of leaks, water damage, cracks in seals or flashing that may have moved in the harsh winter elements—some problems which you’ll want a professional’s help with.
Checking your windows and doors should be done on both the outside and inside. You’re looking for any signs of leaking or water damage, any warping (depending on the window frame type), broken or cracked panes, and any weakening or cracking in the seals and/or
framing. These are all matters you’ll want to address sooner than not as they will only worsen, causing more damage and growing more costly to repair.
For your stoop, porch and/or deck, you are looking for wooden boards need to be replaced or re-sealed, any nails that need to be hammered down, any cracks that need to be filled, and signs of potential structural damage caused by time and the weight of snow.
Though in most cases you won’t need to address these issues right away, they should be on your list and you should be cognizant of them so that as the weather improves, you complete these projects before outdoor season begins.
That way, you have peace of mind when it comes to your first grill-out of the season, and you don’t have to worry about first re-staining your deck before firing up the barbecue.
I think all of us get bitten by the spring cleaning bug once the weather shows early signs of warming up, and having more hours of sunlight is nothing if not motivating. This is a great time to cast an appraising eye over every room in your home, looking for clutter that can be removed, better storage solutions that can be implemented, and determining if and which spaces need an update.
The de-cluttering process should be followed by a really good cleaning, one where you attack areas you may neglect during your regular housekeeping. This includes things like washing your window coverings (those drapes or blinds need a bath!) and taking down light fixtures to dust and wash the casings.
It’s also a great time to steam clean your carpets. Making your home really tclean and organized will make it feel fresh and spring-like, and with that newly rediscovered counter space you now have the perfect spot for a vase of fresh flowers.
It’s human nature to look for occasions to start something (I think that’s why New Year’s resolutions are so popular). Use spring as the inspiration for fixing any problem areas in your home, and for getting it ready for the days of warmth and sunshine ahead.
Originally Published by The Chronicle Herald
Alexandra Kelter is a social media specialist with Central Home Improvements. Her column covers many aspects of home improvement, both indoor and outdoor, and will combine trending styles with practical applications all within realistic budgets. Kelter is also passionate about fashion, travel, living by the ocean and her bulldog.