Top 20 Tips To Get Your Home Ready For Spring
Persephone is on her way back. You knew of course, but for those who don't, Persephone is the Greek goddess of spring. According to mythology, like the rest of us, she hides away for winter but comes back to reclaim her realm when spring arrives.
As with the ancient goddess, so it's the time of year we feel a surge ofserious intention to get our homes and yards ready for brighter and warmer days ahead.
Of course, since our weather here in coastal New York can be so unpredictable, we have to remind ourselves that, at least in the early days, spring can sometimes be more a state of mind than a reality.
But when it arrives in full force, we want to be ready, right?
So, here's our list of top 20 things you might want to do to prepare for the new season:
Inside the Home
1. Once the furnace is no longer in regular use, have it checked and serviced. At the same time, if it's warm enough, have an engineer check the AC, ready for those warmer days. Clean permanent air filters or replace disposable ones. It's also a good time to replace water and range hood filters. Have your fireplace (if you have one) checked by a professional. Get the chimney swept if need be.
2. If you're in a spring-cleaning frame of mind, now is the time to tackle the big jobs but first be sure you have the right tools. If your vacuum cleaner, floor mop, paint brushes and other equipment are past their best, replace them before you start. The right tools make the task easier. Check your household cleaning supplies too.
3. Wash walls and baseboards with a damp cloth or sponge. Take care around power outlets. By all means, wipe them down but allow them to dry thoroughly before using. Clean kitchen and bathroom faucets with a vinegar/water 50/50 solution to remove film and get them shining again.
4. Other items and locations that should be on your spring cleaning list include draperies, carpets, kitchen appliances and ceiling fans. Clean fans (they tend to gather dust on the top surface -- the part you can’t see!) But be careful. You'll likely need a step ladder, which means you should have another person with you during this task. And if you run fans in winter mode (that is, spinning in reverse direction to spread heat), now is the time to switch them to normal mode.
5. For safety's sake, check your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms and clean out dryer vents. These are tasks you should do regularly but while you're getting your home in order, now is a great time to do them.
6. If you have a basement or crawl space, check for standing water. If it's there and is just the result of inundation from rain, you can use grit or sand to absorb and dry it out. If it's more serious, call in a professional.
7. Are you allergic? It's the season! If you're planning to open windows then it's probably also time to stock up with antihistamines, remove mold and dust. Replace pillows, clean blankets or comforters, and consider having you AC ductwork cleaned to remove allergens.
8. Spring is a great time to declutter. Check your closets and cabinets for items you no longer need and get rid of them. It'll make you feel great -- and give you more room for whatever new items come your way this year! Meanwhile, clean and store winter-wear from shoes and coats to blankets and throws.
9. Likewise, if you're in the mood for a new look, how about simply rearranging your furniture? It's probably something that crosses your mind from time to time. Now is the opportunity to do something about it. You could also replace some of the soft furnishings for a bright new look. And how about adding to that fresh new look with a display of houseplants -- or at least a vase of delightful spring flowers -- either from your yard or the florist?
10. This is also the time for getting your home checked for bugs. Having a professional treat your home before insect breeding starts will save you a considerable amount of nuisance later in the season.
Outside the Home
11. Wash windows and get rid of that winter grime. Also remove and clean window screens. Check for small holes that might allow insects through and replace any damaged screening.
12. Check roof shingles, chimney stacks, downspouts and gutters. As with your indoor fireplace, if you have a chimney or flue have it inspected by a professional.
13. Check siding and other surfaces, window frames and foundations for winter damage.
14. Check paths and yard areas for standing water. Make sure grading slopes away from your home. Use compacted soil to put things right.
15. Power wash pathways, decks and patios. Inspect for damage. Seal cracks and repair or replace damaged decking.
16. If you have outside faucets, remove insulation once the danger of severe frost has passed. You didn’t insulate them? Either way, now is the time to check them for leaks.
17. Check your gardening tools. Hopefully you cleaned them during winter's downtime. But if not, get them ready and checked before they're called into action. Also check your garden hose for leaks.
18. Clear your BBQ grill. Unless you're one of those brave souls who continues to use the grill during winter, chances are it's been laid up and possibly left outdoors to face the elements. A clean-up will get you in the broiling mood! If you use propane, check gas levels in cylinders too.
19. Depending on the weather and your home situation, now would also be a good time to consider some early yard chores, such as feeding the lawn and preparing flower and vegetable beds.
20. Prepare your outdoor furniture. Clean winter-hardy furniture that's been left outdoors, using distilled vinegar or baking soda -- not bleach. Check cushions and covers that your stored away during winter. Here are some more tips from HGTV on how best to clean outdoor furniture: https://tinyurl.com/HGTV-cleaning
21!!! Protect Your Investment
Whether you're a home owner or a renter, it makes sense to do your cleaning and maintenance tasks now because in the long run, it'll probably save you money. Clean equipment that operates efficiently will likely last you longer, while repairing or replacing damaged items will protect you from maintenance headaches in the future.
Are you comfortable with your level of coverage or have your circumstances changed since your last premium payment? Or did you discover something during your spring home check-up that might be protected by your policy, such as winter storm damage?
We encourage you to talk to your agent about this. If you'd like to discuss any aspect of your home insurance with us, please speak to the helpful experts at Newbridge Coverage.