Spring is finally here, and I hope you’ve got a lot of energy, because this season’s to-do list will really get you moving! From cleaning gutters and windows to organizing your garage, our spring maintenance list will get your home in top shape so you can relax and enjoy the long, lazy summer ahead.
Read on for tips on how to clean, repair, and maintain your home this spring both inside and out!
Indoor Spring House Cleaning & Organizing
Garbage Disposal: Here’s an easy way to clean garbage disposals using household ingredients in your pantry. Pour 1/2 cup of baking soda into the disposal followed by a cup of white vinegar. Once the bubbles subside, pour in a pot of boiling water, and allow it sit for five minutes. Finally, run cold water through the disposal, and turn it on to flush out any remaining debris. To keep funky smells at bay, turn the disposal on and run a lemon peel or juice and crushed ice through it.
Windows and Doors: Remove winter grunge and spring pollen by cleaning the glass on windows and doors. It’s best to tackle this chore on a cloudy day, so the sun won’t cause streaks. Make your own organic glass cleaner by adding 1½ cups white vinegar to one gallon of water. Spray the solution on the glass and wipe dry with a clean microfiber cloth or balled-up newspapers. If the windows are extra grimy, use one cloth to remove the dirt and a second cloth to rinse and shine the glass.
Garage: Take the time to clean out and organize your garage. First, get rid of anything you haven’t used lately. Throw away any unusable items, recycling what you can, and donate or sell usable items you no longer need. To improve the look and function of your garage, seal and paint the garage floor and build storage shelves to keep it neat. You can also add bike hooks on the ceiling and hanging racks for garden tools.
Indoor Spring Home Maintenance
Change Air Filter: Replace the air filter on your central heating and cooling system every one to three months so it will run more efficiently and keep the air in your home cleaner. It’s easy to change the air filter by removing the cover on the air return, sliding out the old filter, and replacing it with a new one with the arrows on the filter pointing in the direction of air flow. If you suffer from allergies, this is a great time to upgrade to a high-performance allergen air filter for your home. If you’re not sure where the air filter in your house is located, check out our article on Locating HVAC Air Filters.
Air Conditioner: In addition to changing the air filter, spring is the perfect time to have your air conditioner serviced. Have a licensed heating and cooling technician inspect and clean the blower and motor, check the coolant, and test the switches. It’s also a good idea to inspect your ductwork and seal any leaks with special metallic tape and duct mastic.
Ceiling Fans: Summer is coming so it’s time to change the direction your paddle ceiling fans rotate. During spring and summer, ceiling fans should rotate counterclockwise when looking up at the fan. This creates a downdraft that makes you feel cooler when it blows on your skin. To change the direction of your ceiling fan, turn the fan off, allow the blades to stop, then flip the switch on the fan housing. On many fans the “down” position on the switch indicates downward air flow. If your fan has a remote control with a direction setting, this job doesn’t even require a ladder.
Fireplace Damper: After the last fire of the season, don’t forget to close your fireplace damper to keep drafts, rain, animals, and insects out of your home. The damper is a metal flap inside your fireplace that covers the opening to the chimney. It will have a loop, lever, or chains for opening and closing. Close loop dampers by hand or by inserting a poker into the loop. To close lever dampers, lift up slightly on the lever, then push or pull to close. Chain dampers are closed by pulling on the longer chain to disengage the mechanism, then pulling the shorter chain to close the flap.
Tile Grout: Protect tile floors from dirt by sealing grout lines. Start by thoroughly cleaning the grout with baking soda and white vinegar. For tough stains, use a mixture of bleach and water. Let the floor dry completely, then apply a commercial grout sealer using an applicator bottle or artist’s brush. If your grout won’t come clean, apply a grout stain to color and seal it.
Plumbing: Over time even small plumbing leaks can add up to thousands of gallons of water wasted. After the last winter freeze, it’s a good idea to check your water meter for plumbing leaks. If the triangular shaped flow indicator on the water meter is turning when water isn’t running in the house, you’ve got a leak. Finding a plumbing leak can be difficult, but the main culprits to check are toilets, outdoor spigots, irrigation systems, and pipes on exterior walls that may have been damaged in a freeze.
Outdoor Spring House Cleaning
Gutters: Clogged and overflowing gutters can damage your home’s eaves and foundation when rainwater overflows. In preparation for spring rains, clean gutters and unclog downspouts. To make cleaning gutters easier, cut the bottom and sides off a plastic jug that’s the same width as your gutters, and use it to scoop out the debris. Then use a garden hose to rinse out the gutter and downspouts. When you’re finished, empty the gutter debris on your compost pile.
Roof: Before it becomes too hot, now is the time to clean your roof. Begin by sweeping or blowing off away leaves and branches on the roof, paying particular attention around chimneys and in valleys.
Siding & Trim: You can use a garden hose and long handled scrub brush to clean the outside of your house, but a pressure washer can make the job go faster. Just be careful to not over do it and damage wood siding and trim. A mixture of bleach, detergent, and water can be used to remove mildew and clean vinyl siding, or you can use a product like Wet & Forget Outdoor Cleaner to keep mold and mildew away for up to a year.
Deck: If your wood deck is looking a little worse for wear, spring is a good time to clean and refinish it. Start by spraying down the deck with a commercial deck cleaner, then follow up with a pressure washer or scrub brush to remove dirt and mildew. Repair any rotten boards, and drive in protruding nails or replace them with deck screws. Sand rough boards to prevent splinters, then apply deck sealer or deck stain with a pump sprayer followed by a paintbrush to even out the stain and force it into the grain.
Outdoor Furniture: Scrub away any mildew and grime, allow to dry, and apply a coat of car wax to hard surfaces. Clean cushions by washing removable covers or scrubbing upholstery. Read our article on How To Clean Outdoor Furniture to find out more.