With winter well and truly behind us, it’s time to get the house and garden ready to face not just the warm weather, but the damaging effects of summer sun, rain and wind. Choose a fine spring day and walk around the outside of your house, taking inventory of what tasks need attending to, before they become a major – and possibly costly – repair. Don’t think of spring home maintenance as “chores”; consider it a great excuse to spend time outside in the sunshine!
Here’s a list of 13 around-the-house spring cleaning jobs to consider:
1. Inspect your roof for any loose, missing or damaged tiles, evidence of leaks, cracks in seals or flashing that may have shifted.
2. Scrape, prime and repaint any peeling or bubbling paint on trim or woodwork. Touch-ups now can prevent a big painting job later on.
3. Check your steps and deck for cracks, rotting boards or places where nails have popped up. With concrete steps, consider painting them with concrete
paint to protect the surface and spruce them up; repair any cracks.
4. Clean and check your eaves and gutters and make any needed repairs. Consider buying leafguards for the tops of downpipes; these are easy-to-clean mesh screens that prevent debris from flowing into the downpipe and clogging it.
5. Arrange for an annual check-up of your cooling system, before the summer rush.
6. Wash your windows inside and out.
7. Clean and condition your outdoor barbecue to ready it for another season.
8. Clean and repair outdoor furniture.
9. Give your lawn a spring boost. Lightly rake up leaf debris and dead grass left on the surface, then apply a light application of spring fertiliser. Seed any bare spots, then give it a good watering; the new shoots will be thirsty.
10. Spring clean your garden. Lightly rake the beds, removing leaf debris and cutting down dead stalks from last year. Dig out any baby weeds, while they’re small and easy to get at. Apply a couple of inches of compost, but do not mulch your beds until later in the spring, so the earth has a chance to warm up.
11. Trim shrubs and trees while they are still dormant.
12. Organise a family garage cleanout. Systematically take everything out of the garage and organise into four piles: Keep and Put Back; Keep and Put Somewhere Else; Recycling/Giveaway; Throw Out. You can buy lots of garage organizing systems and items, ranging from hooks and pegboards for tools to cupboards and drawer systems. At the very least, simply keep the general rule in mind that often-used items (lawn mower, gardening
tools) should be kept organised and accessible, while less-needed things, can be placed out of the way in storage solutions until needed again.
13. Plan a garage sale. Consider enlisting your neighbours for a street-wide sale.