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Outdoor chores for spring cleaning

Although recent flurries of snow might not agree, it’s still true: Spring is on the way.

Now that March is here, we’re just weeks away from spring’s official start. And, with the unpredictability of weather this time of year, we thought we’d give you some things to consider adding to your To Do list, because you never know when you might have the perfect weather presented to you. It’s best to be ready.

Last week we gave you our list of inside chores to tackle.

Today we’re giving you some for an outside checklist.

Soon, we will pass along the Clean-up dates for a free trip to the LeMay transfer station that is offered to many communities in our county.


  • Wash the outside siding and trim of the house with 30 Second cleaner. Follow directions. We loan pump sprayers and long handle brushes for this job.

  • 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.

  • Examine your roof. Are there any missing shingles or damaged sections? Take notes to plan your summer projects.

  • 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 throw away pile. To donate building materials consider the Habitat Restore in Hoquiam. If you have something else you’d like to sell or give away, try

  • Now go out to the street. What do you see that could make you 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 along the street and sidewalk areas. How about low or broken tree limbs hanging over the sidewalk?

  • Looking at our homes like a prospective homebuyer can change your mind about what you see. Try it!


You want to become a first time homebuyer? To get the best loans, get educated. Check out for your internet homebuyer education and housing counseling needs. We here at NeighborWorks of Grays Harbor will help you get it done.

Dave Murnen and Pat Beaty are construction specialists at NeighborWorks® of Grays Harbor County, where Murnen is the executive director. This is a non-profit organization committed to creating safe and affordable housing opportunities for all residents of Grays Harbor County.

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.

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