As we’re edging ever closer toward summer, we want to give you a down and dirty list of spring cleaning tasks that will give your house a good once over. We have organized them into inside and outside chores, so no matter the weather, you can knock out a few of these soon!
We think you should start by opening the windows and doors for a few hours -- pick your day well. This will take the stale smell away and also let out trapped moisture. In addition the extra light and fresh air help kill spores. Here are more chores to get your house clean!
Wash the inside of the windows.
Dust around the window frame and the blinds. Clean out the window tracks where mold, dust and dead bugs accumulate.
Test your smoke detectors. If you missed doing this at the switch to Daylight Savings Time, take a moment now to test your smoke detectors. Make sure they have fresh batteries.
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.
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.
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. It should also contain clauses about labor-material cost of change-orders and how the contractor will get the final payment after all work needing permits is inspected and after you have a written, unconditional lien waiver in your hand.
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 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 foundation 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.
NEIGHBORWORKS HAS 3% LOANS
FOR SIDING, PAINTING, ROOFING
If your investigation revealed missing shingles, a peeling paint job or cracked siding, you may be interested in our new 3 percent loans for these sorts of projects.
If you own and are living in your house and are income-qualified, you may be eligible to receive a loan from us for up to $25,000 for siding, painting and roofing projects. To find out more, call Julie at (360) 533-7828.