Essentials

Spring Cleaning To-Do List

Spring cleaning is a time-honored tradition that all homeowners should take part in. Because spring weather is notoriously unpredictable, the following list is separated into inside and outside chores so that you can choose where to focus your efforts as the weather permits. 

INSIDE TO-DO LIST

 

  • Wash the inside of the windows. Even if you wait until later to wash the outside of the windows, you could be surprised what a difference just shining up the inside of the windows makes.

 

  • Dust around the window frame and the blinds. Clean out the window tracks where mold, dust and dead bugs accumulate.

 

  • Open windows and doors for a few hours. This takes the stale smell away and lets out trapped moisture.  Also, the extra light and fresh air help kill spores – Pick a time without extreme lows or rain, of course! 

 

  • Pull all appliances away from their footprint. Move your stove, refrigerator, freezer, washer and dryer. Then, thoroughly sweep and wet mop behind and under where each appliance gathers lint, toys and food that attracts insects and vermin.

 

  • Dust the coils of the refrigerator. Then replace the back cardboard covering the dusty motor to maintain the proper ventilation for the appliance. Also, take the vent off the front of the refrigerator and wash it.

 

  • Clean your dryer. Vacuum all the extra lint in and around your clothes dryer, including the exhaust tube and the outside at the flapper vent. A stuck flapper allows critters to nest in your dryer. And with spring on its way, the last thing you want is a nest of mice with easy access to your house!

 

  • Clean or replace the furnace filter. Blow out each Cadet wall heater and vacuum. Then wipe-down each baseboard. Ask yourself if you are ready for a super-efficient ductless heat pump. Note to self:  Call local PUD to ask about rebates. 

  • Tidy garages, outbuildings.  Now is the time to begin tidying up your garages and sheds. That way when the nice weather comes, you won’t be stuck inside doing that and you will know where all your tools and supplies are to begin your outside gardening and DIY-projects.

  • Establish piles to give away, throw away. This is a great time to designate what needs to be put away, fixed, thrown away, given away or sold. 

  • Plan large home maintenance projects.  Plan roofing,
    major repairs, painting exterior, ductless heat pump
    installation, etc. – around a written scope of work. Contact contractors ASAP to get the apples-to-apples bidding done. That way you will be in your successful, licensed and bonded                  contractor’s schedule before the busy construction season starts.

 

  • Have specific, written contracts. Bigger projects go more smoothly when your written contract includes your final scope of work, states how much it will cost including tax and permits, and has start and end dates. Contract language should also contain clauses about required inspections, submission of written, unconditional lien waivers from contractor, material providers and sub-contractors, labor-material cost of change-orders and how the contractor will get the final payment after all work is completed and permits have final OK.

​​ OUTSIDE CHECKLIST

  • Wash the outside siding and trim of the house with 30 Second cleaner. Follow directions. You’ll be amazed at what a difference a good wash will make to your home’s exterior.

  • Wash the outside of all your windows. Use a gallon of hot water and a half cup of suds-free ammonia. Rinse very well with the hose. 

  • Check out your windows and screens. Fixing broken windows needs to be a priority. If the glazing putty or caulking is chipped, now’s the time to make those repairs. Ripped screens invite insects, spiders and bees.

 

  • Look for missing or damaged siding or trim. Repair and replace missing pieces and protect your exterior with paint to avoid moisture, rot and insect problems.  

  • Clean gutters of any leaves, branches, needles or gunk from winter’s storms. Make sure downspouts with splash blocks convey the water away from the foundation. 

  • Open any foundation vents you closed. During a cold spell, it’s okay to close or board up foundations vents for a few days. However, it is critical for the health of your house to open those vents come spring. Also, check the plastic ground cover under the house to be sure it is intact and secure.

  • Make sure that soil and bark don’t touch untreated wood framing or siding.  Having soil and bark at least 6 inches from your house discourages rot and bug infestation. 

  • Take a critical look at your overall property. Create “use someday soon” project piles and “throw out” piles.  Make a plan to finish the project piles, then donate or properly dispose of the throwaway pile. 

  • Now go out to the street. What do you see that could make your curb appeal better for your neighborhood? Edging the sidewalks and parking strip are one of the best and easiest fixes, even if the grass isn’t that great. Same for spin-trimming the grasses growing out of every crack and around power poles along the street, through the fence and around the skirting of the house. How about dealing with the low or broken tree limbs hanging over the sidewalk? 

 

Looking at your home as a prospective homebuyer can change your mind about what you see. Try it then fix it!    

Dave Murnen and Pat Beaty are construction specialists at NeighborWorks of Grays Harbor County, where Murnen is executive director. This is a nonprofit organization committed to creating safe and affordable housing for all residents of Grays Harbor County. For questions about home repair, renting, remodeling or buying, call 360-533-7828 or visit 710 E. Market St. in Aberdeen. Our office is fully ADA-compliant.

 

Do you have questions about home repair, renting, remodeling or becoming a homeowner or one of our contractors? We have rehab loan funds at tailored rates!  Call us at 533-7828, write us or visit us at 710 E. Market St. in Aberdeen. Our office is ADA compliant, complete with a designated disabled parking spot, ramp and ADA compliant restroom. 

710 E. Market Street 
Aberdeen, WA 98520

1-866-533-7828 toll-free
360-533-7828 phone 
360-533-7851 fax

Mon - Thu 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. 

Closed Fri-Sun

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