After being hunkered down for the winter months, many homeowners look forward to spring cleaning. Okay, perhaps “looking forward” is a little too rosy! Ready or not, when it's time to spring forward, it's also a good time to fall back in line and begin to declutter your home.
Here are some telltale signs that it might be time for some spring cleaning:
• A big bowl of Halloween candy is still sitting next to the front door.
• A giant cut-out of a Thanksgiving turkey is still pinned to the front door.
• Holiday lights are still hanging over the front door!
Spring is a good time to get a clean slate and cleaner home.
Did you know that homes constructed of brick have less maintenance costs? There is no damaged wood or siding to replace, and no exterior painting required. Check with the construction experts at Acme Brick for low-maintenance brick in your next home.
Monthly Maintenance Tips
Savvy homeowners know that spring is not the only time to clean up the detritus of daily life. The experts at Better Homes & Gardens, note that “Inspecting your home and completing monthly home improvement projects will keep your maintenance schedule on track and easier to manage.”
The magazine suggests that homeowners follow a comprehensive home maintenance checklist each month to help save time and money:
- Clean the furnace filter to remove dust build-ups, make it easier to regulate your home's temperature, and ultimately decrease energy bills.
- Check the water softener and replenish salt if necessary.
- Clean faucet aerator and showerheads to remove mineral deposits.
- Inspect tub and sink drains for debris; unclog if necessary.
- Test smoke alarms, carbon monoxide detectors, fire extinguishers, and all ground-fault circuit interrupters (GFCI’s).
- Inspect electrical cords for wear.
- Vacuum heat registers and heat vents.
- Check that indoor and outdoor air vents are not blocked.
- Flush out hot water from the water heater to remove accumulated sediment.
A monthly inspection will also suggest when upgrades should be considered for high-use areas of a home. In the annual “What’s Hot” article, the experts at Acme Brick predicted that “sustainability” should be at the top of the list for home improvements.“ In the coming year, this emphasis on sustainability will accelerate and translate to use of eco-friendly, natural construction materials such as brick and stone for exterior walls. On the exterior of homes, we can expect to see a rise in drought-resistant landscaping including turf, and inside, natural elements such as repurposed natural finished wood and low maintenance flooring are going to be in high demand.”
Once spring has sprung, and visions of outdoor entertaining and grilling with friends are coming into focus, homeowners can put away that winter coat, take a deep breath, and dive into spring cleaning. The BH&G editors and Acme home improvement experts suggest these spring-focused maintenance tips
- Inspect roofing for missing, loose, or damaged shingles and leaks.
- Change the air conditioning filters.
- Clean window and door screens.
- Refinish the deck or replace the wood with porcelain tiles.
- Power-wash windows and siding. (If you have a brick home, you can skip this step)
- Clean or upgrade outdoor grills.
- Remove leaves and debris from gutters and downspouts.
- Replace the batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
- Inspect sink, shower, and bath caulking for deterioration. This could be a good time to install antibacterial tile in bathrooms.
- Vacuum lint from the dryer vent.
- Inspect chimney for damage.
- Repair or replace caulking and weather stripping around windows, doors, and mechanicals.
- Remove insulation from outdoor faucets and check sprinkler heads.
- Have the air-conditioning system serviced.
- Drain or flush the water heater.
- Fertilize the lawn or replace the grass with synthetic turf.
- Finally, don’t forget to reset your clocks FORWARD.
No doubt, we’ve all heard the old medical adage that “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” This is also true for home maintenance. With regular monthly and annual inspections of high-use areas of a home, potential problems such as water leaks that can destroy floors or lead to mold, worn-out insulation that can cause energy loss or dozens of other slow-progressing maintenance failures can be corrected before expensive damage occurs.
Good luck on that spring cleaning and try to remember that, in no time at all, it will be summertime, when the livin’ is easy!
Top-of-the-line home improvement products are an important part of the Acme Brick, Tile & Stone inventory. Check with our experts and get the very best for your home.