Spring is in full effect. It’s warming up outside, the sun is out and flowers are blooming. But for many people, with spring also comes the time to do a lot of home cleaning and upkeep. If you are spending more time in and around their homes these days or just aren't sure where to start with home upkeep, this is how to get going.
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Walls and ceilings are often places you don’t think to clean but should. After washing the walls, check for any cracks in the plaster or drywall. If you are fixing a drywall crack, cover the crack with fiber tape, then a layer of joint compound and allow it to dry. Sand the surface until it is smooth and then it'll be ready for paint or wallpaper. For a plaster wall, score the crack open and spread a layer of joint compound. Then cover with tape and then add joint compound over the tape. Finally, add one more layer of joint compound, let it dry completely and sand to smooth out the area.
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One thing you should do in the first days of spring is to make sure your patio or deck is ready for the nice weather. Since your outdoor space may have not been used in a while, you should check it for warped or loose boards, or cracked stones or tiles. Fix any problem spots. Rinse any patio furniture with a hose or wash with mild detergent. If you have metal furniture, check for any rust.
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During the winter, your fireplace may get a lot of use so you're kept warm and cozy during those long, cold nightd. But it is important to get it cleaned annually because flammable materials can build up inside. Neglecting your fireplace can also increase the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. For the safety of your home, make sure your fireplace is professionally inspected and cleaned.
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In the spring, when the weather is starting to warm up, you probably want it to stay cool and comfortable inside your home. Your air conditioning unit will be getting a lot more use, and it is important to make sure it is working efficiently. Over time, filters can get clogged with dirt and can spread pollutants and allergens in your home. Spring is the time to replace those filters.
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The roof is your home’s first line of defense against the elements. Make sure the roof is inspected and there is no warping, cracking or loose tiles. Anything that is damaged on the roof should be fixed or replaced.
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Don’t just wipe down the inside of your home, wipe down the outside, too. Windows may be laden with pollen, dirt and dust. Try doing it on a cloudy day so the sun won’t dry the cleaner that you’ll be using. In addition to cleaning, make sure to check the seals around the windows. Cold weather can cause windows to loosen, harden and crack. Check for damage and make repairs as needed. This will help reduce summer cooling costs and keep water out of your home, lowering the possibility of water damage.
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Just like with your windows, it’s important that you check the seals around your doors and make sure they haven’t cracked or loosened. Get doors resealed if there is any damage.
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Thawing and freezing can damage concrete, asphalt and other materials around your home. Check around your home for damage to walkways, paths and driveways. Asphalt can be patched while concrete may need to be replaced altogether.
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Faucets and hoses can be destroyed by the cold weather of fall and winter. If the flow of water is not working in your faucets outside your home, it’s possible that your pipes are damaged or even still frozen. To avoid this damage in the future if your pipes are frozen, here’s what you should do.
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Throughout the year, a lot of things go down your kitchen sink — whether they’re supposed to or not. So it’s important that your disposal gets an annual cleaning. If you put some ice cubes through it while running cold water, that should get the job done.
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This is not something that necessarily needs to be cleaned, but you should check that the batteries in your smoke detector are still working seasonally. This can be life saving if there is a fire in your home.
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If you have a lawn or garden, make sure your lawn is free of any twigs, rocks or any other hard objects that the lawnmower can hit. Make sure to also rake up any leaves that are in your lawn — they can suffocate your grass and hinder growth.
Anything that is outside all the time needs to be cleaned. Your doormats are no exception. Refresh them by hosing them down.
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During the fall and winter seasons, debris can build up in your gutters and it needs to be cleaned out. Improper drainage can contribute to water damage to your home, which can lead to unwanted expenses.
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To make sure that your dishes are as clean as they possibly can be, make sure the machine washing the dishes is also clean. To clean your dishwasher place a cup of white vinegar in a safe container on the upper rack of the machine. Then run the dishwasher through a hot-water cycle. Finally, finish cleaning by putting one cup of baking soda across the bottom of the dishwasher and run a short, hot water cycle. This will make the dishwasher smell fresh. Make sure the bottom rack is out and there are no other dishes in the washer. If you do not have a dishwasher and you have no choice but to hand-wash your dishes, this guide could come in handy.
If you start to smell something burning when you turn on the oven, it’s time to give it a clean. First remove all the oven racks and anything else in the oven. You can use a store bought oven cleaner, spray the cleaner in every spot inside of the oven. Let the spray sit for 30 min and then wipe down the cleaner with a damp cloth. You can also clean the racks with the oven cleaner. After all, the oven is one spot in your kitchen that is among the dirtiest places in your home.
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