Friday, April 22, 2016

The Importance of Spring Cleaning

Finally, spring has arrived! The sun is shining, the birds are chirping, the bulbs are making their appearance and the homeowner is… well, the homeowner has a list of maintenance to-do’s the length of a roof gutter. That’s right, it’s time to clean up the mess that the cooler months brought us and make the necessary repairs and upkeep to the outside, and even the inside, of the home. Maintaining your home is critical to keeping it looking its best and making sure that all your renovation projects have a long life.

A great plan of attack is to create a list of to-do’s to keep your home in tiptop condition. Keep a running list of your reminders on your smartphone or keep it analog and write it down on paper. Whichever method you prefer, keep it accessible so you see it regularly. Not only will it be a great reminder of the repairs needed, but it’ll also keep your priorities focused.

Tree Pruning
Do you have a lot of large older trees on your property? It’s a good idea to take a look at the all the branches, big and small, to be sure that there aren’t any impaired limbs. A big spring rain or wind storm could bring an unsturdy limb down onto your home or car, so why not nip the problem in the bud and have an arborist come to take a look at the troublesome tree.

The gutters of the home act similarly to the veins of the body. The body takes used debris and water and pushes it away from the heart, or in this case, the house. Sometimes the gutters get clogged with bigger pieces of debris from trees or even dead animals, which means the gutters need to be given a good cleanup. Securely place a ladder up the side of your house and using a gutter brush or your hands, move the debris out of the way of flow. It is recommended to wear work gloves to do this chore, since you may not have a good visual of the gutter whilst placing your hands into them. Safety first!

While you are up there, take a look at the gutters for any necessary repairs. Check to see that they are still securely fastened to the roof with the appropriate gutter clips. You may need to replace a gutter or patch them up if there are holes in them. You’ll find out pretty quickly if there is a hole or a broken joint somewhere in the mix. Nothing says gutter problems like a basement puddle.

The Basement
Speaking of basements, you may have noticed that after a particularly wet fall and winter that your basement is slightly funky. After checking out and repairing anything on the roof and the gutter systems, you may want to consider using a basement and masonry waterproofing sealant. Simply paint it onto the walls of the offending areas to keep it dry. It’s also helpful to keep a wet/dry vacuum on hand for any large puddles that may have amassed in your lower level. Did you know that leaving standing water for more than 48 hours can lead to mold or other damage to your home?

Yard Leveling
The spring will always be the tell tale season of where the yard is not level. Perhaps you are noticing some areas are greener or more lush than others. Or there are large pools of water sitting there in the middle of your landscape. The yard is likely uneven and will need to be level graded. A good landscape contractor can assist you with leveling your yard to keep those unsightly puddles from forming after the next storm.

Screen Cleaning

Not many people enjoy the task of cleaning the windows of the house, and screens of the windows are no exception, but it’s a necessary evil. To keep the critters out and the spring and summer breezes in, a clean screen is the best way to enjoy it. A bucket of water, dish soap, some cloth rags, and elbow grease will get them looking their best. If there are holes or tears in the screens you can repair them yourself with a professional screening roller knife, screen retainer spline and if needed, new screening.

The last thing you want to do is spend all your hard earned money on home rennovations only to have them ruined by an errant tree limb or a leaky basement! Make sure to run through this checklist of spring cleaning tasks each year to ensure that your home renovations stand the test of time.

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