Homeowners, Don’t Ignore These Spring Cleaning Chores!

Tue, Mar 31, 2015 @ 08:03 AM Dawn M. Smith Home Maintenance

Spring cleaning is in the back of every homeowner's mind as the days begin to warm. The chore lists can be lengthy, from pruning to painting, but there are a few items that should not be ignored. Preventive maintenance for these areas of the home will avoid costly clean up in the future.  

Check for Water Damage

Pay attention to: 

  • Gutters
  • Sump Pumps, Basements
  • Roof

Water is the enemy to a house. The damage and destruction even a small leak can render is worth a thorough inspection, starting with a trip to the roof to survey the gutters. Remove debris and use a hose to check the flow of the downspouts for blockages. If the gutters remain blocked, rain will overflow and flood areas below, potentially washing away landscaping or worse, seeping into the foundation. After examining the foundation and exterior walls for damage and leaks, consider downspout extensions to move the runoff water further from the base of the house.

While you have the ladder out, take a minute to inspect roofing elements. Shingles should be in place and in good condition. Check skylights for invading moisture and look for nesting birds in any vents or tucked away spaces on the roof. If all of this doesn’t sound like a great way to spend a weekend, think about hiring a handyman.

Homeowners with a sump pump should be aware of its correct function and keep manufacturer instructions on hand for reference. Basements are always in need of moisture control. Clean and update filters for de-humidifiers that are normally used during the humid months.

Before a DIY pressure washing treatment to the exterior of the home or decking, check for damage or potential leak sites where strong water streams may enter the home through holes or cracks. MilitaryByOwner's Facebook page recently showcased a clip from the Today show touting the best cleaning products for outside surfaces. Cleaning should only begin after repairs have been made. This may be a time when professionals may have the upper hand because they are trained to look for deficiencies where water could enter.

Fire Prevention

Take note of: 

  • Appliances
  • Lighting
  • Smoke/Carbon Detectors

Steps to prevent an accidental fire are easy to accomplish and deliver peace of mind. Begin outside and look over the grill. Are the connections secure? Knobs working correctly? Clean tough grease inside to diminish flare ups.

Outdoor lighting of all types need inspection. Exterior porch lights can easily be damaged by rain or snow. Frayed or weathered wiring is a fire hazard, particularly on patio or deck lights with screw bulbs of all sizes. Search for rodent chewing or exposed wires.

Major household appliances are responsible for more than 150,000 residential fires each year, according to The Consumer Product Safety Commission. Refrigerator coils that are dust laden won’t perform efficiently or safely. Vacuum all grime hiding on the backside. Dust accumulation also inhibits smoke detectors. They may either sound without cause or be rendered useless during a real fire emergency.

Oven cleaning is often neglected, but poses a very real fire threat to homes. Even if the oven has a self-cleaning feature, wipe the interior free of large spills before the cycle begins. A mixture of baking soda, water, and liquid dish detergent works well if you would like to avoid commercial chemical cleaners. While dusting, replace batteries in the smoke alarm as well as the carbon monoxide detector.

Although spring weekends are best enjoyed relaxing with family and friends, take time to prepare the home you love to avert devastating accidents and arduous cleanups. MilitaryByOwner has several home maintenance articles that will help guide owners to a safe summer.

 

Click here to download the  Spring Maintenance Checklist

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