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Let in fresh air, plan projects for summer

The calendar says summer is around the corner. And some days the weather even agrees!

While we talked a lot this spring about the various spring cleanup days – the free days to dump your unwanted junk at the LeMay Landfill – we haven’t said too much about what other chores you ought to do to get your home ready for the summer! So, here we go!


The seasonal cold, rain and wind of winter, along with the associated mold and mildew can take their toll on your home. So, take one of these bright spring days to assess the damage of winter.

Homes in this climate need to be repainted about every four to seven years depending on the type of paint used, the quality of the prep work, the type and condition of your siding and trim, and how close you live to the salt water, among other things.

We recommend annually treating the whole house with 30 Second Cleaner from a garden-type pump sprayer, a light scrubbing with soft brush on a pole and a good hose rinse. Be sure to follow directions. This annual project is very fast and can greatly increase the time between paint jobs. It will make any painted or vinyl-sided house look bright and improves your neighborhood in a hurry.

And by the way, NeighborWorks has paint prep tools, long handle cleaning brushes and pump sprayers to loan from a generous grant gifted by our local COSMO Mill in Cosmopolis.

Maybe it’s not time to paint the whole house, but it is time for some touchups. After a good whole house cleaning, scrape the area that’s peeling so you have a nice, smooth surface, then wait for a warm day to apply primer to the bare spots and a little paint for the touchup.

Remember that paint isn’t just an aesthetic touch to your house, it is its “raincoat” against the elements and proper upkeep will prolong the life of your home. (As we all know too well – raincoats are key around here!)

While you’re examining the paint job, it’s a good time to take a look at the windows. If they’re cracked or broken, put them at the top of your “To Do” list.

Did the winter storms loosen or chip away at the caulking or window glazing? If so, now’s the time to make those repairs to weatherproof your home.

If the winds and rains played havoc on your roof, it’s time to determine just how bad the damage is. You will either need to spend a bit of your weekend up there hammer in hand or make a timely call to a roofing professional. Think safety first. We have ladder standoffs to loan from our COSMO tool box, too.

And hey, while you’re up there, you might as well clean the leaves, needles and gunk out those gutters (hopefully, for the last time for the season).



That reminds us: We at NeighborWorks of Grays Harbor now can offer 3 percent loans to income-qualified homeowners for siding, painting and roofing needs. If you are income-qualified and live in the house (owner-occupied), these loans might just be the ticket for you to get a jump on giving your home a facelift this summer.

The 3 percent loans are for up to 15 years and can help you replace your siding, including a new paint job and/or replace your roof. The maximum loan amount is $25,000. Call our housing counselor, Julie, at 360 533-7828 for an appointment to get started.


When it comes to inside spring chores, as you do a deeper clean – move furniture, knock down spider webs, sweep behind appliances, also make sure to honor the spring tradition of literally airing out your house.

Of course, pick your day with wisdom then open up the windows and doors!

There really is something to this time-honored tradition. For one thing, by letting some fresh air in, you’ll also allow some of the trapped moisture to escape, leaving your house smelling as fresh as, well, spring.

That reminds us: During the coldest days of winter, we did give you the okay to temporarily shut the foundation vents to keep your house at a comfortable temperature. If you haven’t done so yet, open them back up! That will enable the vents to do the work they were designed to do!

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