As the weather begins to turn warm, we all have the urge to shed heavy winter clothes, refresh our surroundings, and get outside. After harsh weather and time spent indoors, there are plenty of chores that need to be done every spring so that summers can be a bit more carefree.
Following a spring cleaning list of chores will help you avoid missing an important task and stay organized. Taking care of problems while they are small will ultimately save money and time.
Start Indoors, and Work Your Way Outdoors
Even before the weather is warm enough to take care of outdoor chores, you can get a head start on indoor spring cleaning. While there are always areas that need to be cleaned daily or weekly, some tasks only require seasonal cleaning or check-ups.
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Changing batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors takes only a few minutes but it is one chore that can mean the difference between life and death. Even a small kitchen or laundry room fire can cause much more damage than you can ever imagine and cost thousands of dollars to repair.
Remember that battery-operated smoke detectors and CO detectors have a limited lifespan. If yours are more than 10 years old, it's probably time to replace them.
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If you haven't been changing the filters in your heating and air conditioning system regularly, do it now. Clean filters reduce the wear and tear on your furnace and improve the quality of the air you are breathing.
The switchover from winter to spring may be a good time to change the type of air filter in your HVAC system. Some filters are rated for maximum pollen removal, for example, which can be important if there is an allergy sufferer in your family.
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We're all guilty of cleaning only the most visible dirt and skipping the hard-to-reach spots, like floors under furniture or the ceiling fan. Maybe you've even forgotten that these things can get dirty. Trust us, they are dirty and it's time to get them clean.
A good vacuum cleaner with plenty of attachments and extensions is essential for this task.
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Rubber or vinyl washing machine hoses are a ticking time bomb that will one day rupture. And because the hoses are connected to a high-pressure water outlet when they rupture, failure is likely to cause flooding that can ruin floors, walls, and cause hundreds (or thousands) of dollars in damage.
This is the time to check hoses for minor leaks that can become big ones and better still, replace rubber hoses with stainless steel braided hoses.Continue to 5 of 16 below.
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Even if you have emptied your clothes dryer lint filter after every load, there is still a great deal of lint that has entered the dryer ducts. Hopefully, most of it has passed on through and exited the outdoor vent. But if the outdoor vent is blocked by shrubbery, winter snow, or lint that is damp with humidity, it's time to give everything a good cleaning.
Cleaning is made easy with a brush kit that can be attached to a portable drill to scour out the interior of the vent. Followed by a simple vacuuming, your vents will be back in perfect working order.
If you are still using a flexible dryer hose that looks like aluminum foil, replace it today with a rigid metal vent pipe to help prevent house fires caused by dryer lint.
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Unless you have a tankless water heater, sediment can collect in the bottom of a water heater, causing mechanical problems and even leaks. Every six months, a standard water heater should have a partial draining. It's a simple process as long as you follow all the steps. Remember, electricity and water don't mix well, so make sure to shut off the power if your water heater is powered by electricity.
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As the seasons change, so does our wardrobe. Now is the perfect time to empty each clothes closet, give it a good cleaning, and sort winter clothes. We're sure you'll find things that you haven't worn in years and maybe don't even remember owning! These items should be sold, donated, or discarded. Clothes that you want to store until next year should be laundered or dry cleaned and stored away properly.
While the closet is empty, clean it well to ensure that no harmful pests that can ruin clothes are lurking.
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After long months of cold weather, everyone is ready to get outside, including the insects, rodents, and other pests that have been hibernating snug inside your walls or beneath the floors. Warm spring weather will bring them to life again, allowing you to spot problem areas. Whether you do it yourself or hire a professional, pest control is essential to keeping a clean home inside and outside.Continue to 9 of 16 below.
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Even if the weather is still iffy, you can get a head start by washing the inside of your windows and glass doors. Of course, some like to tackle window washing inside and outside at the same time to check for streaks. It really doesn't matter how you do it, as long as you do it!
While you are cleaning the inside of the windows, don't overlook window treatments. Some curtains can be tossed in the washer but most drapery requires dry cleaning. Take the time to dust and clean blinds and shades, clean window screens, and wipe down window sills.
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Now that you've gotten started indoors, it's time to move outside to tackle spring cleaning chores. As a guideline, it's best to start at the top of the house and work your way down. Clean the gutters before you wash exterior windows or your efforts will be spoiled.
Leaving gutters and downspouts packed with leaves and pine straw not only looks messy, but it can also cause leaks, moisture and mildew problems, and rotting wood. Spring is the perfect time to get gutters sparkling clean.
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Winter winds, rains, and snow can cause problems with any roof. If you are handy, do a complete roof inspection to look for loose shingles, cracks, or broken seals around pipes. If not, hire a professional.
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Conduct an Outdoor Walk Around Inspection
Grab a pencil and paper or your electronic device to make a list of spring cleaning chores necessary to bring the outside of your house back to its best. Here are a few things to check for repairs:
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- Inspect exterior painted surfaces for flaking and missing paint.
- Walk the foundation of the home to look for cracks, settling, or insect activity.
- Check fences and decks for weakened or damaged areas.
- Inspect windows and doors for any broken seals and replace damaged caulk.
- Before you install window screens, give them a good cleaning and check for any holes that can let insects inside.
- Look around the yard and garden to determine any areas that need landscaping help. Rake leaves, pull out weeds, and add mulch.
- Inspect outdoor furnishings like flags and furniture for cleaning and replacement needs.
- Schedule a maintenance check-up for your HVAC system. You'll be happy that it is running in top shape when the temperatures soar.
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Now that you've seen what needs to be done in the yard and garden, is your equipment ready to go? This is the perfect time to give the lawnmower a thorough cleaning and tune-up, and sharpen blades. Take a look at other yard equipment to make sure everything is in top shape.
If you have stored batteries for cordless tools and your battery-operated lawnmower indoors for the winter, now is the time to move them back to the garage and plug them in to make sure they function.
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You'll be spending lots of time on that patio and this is the perfect time to get it into shape for summer. Get rid of winter mud and mildew from patios and walkways. A pressure-washer is the tool of choice for concrete or mortared brick surfaces.
For sand-set pavers, use detergent and a stiff brush to perform the cleaning. After cleaning, inspect the joints between bricks and pack them with additional paver sand, if necessary.
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While the weather is mild, empty everything out of storage areas. Give the space a good cleaning and then carefully determine what needs to go back inside. Sell, donate, recycle or toss what you don't need.
While you're cleaning in the garage, take a moment to check on your garage door to make sure it is opening smoothly and is well-maintained.