Shampoo the carpeting: The winter has taken a toll on your rugs (the kids still don’t know to take off their shoes when they traipse through the house!), and now’s a great time to give them a thorough cleaning. Buy or rent shampoo machine with hot-water extraction from a home improvement store to clean synthetic carpets and rugs with water-proof backings.
Clean your dryer vents: Did you know an estimated 2,900 clothes dryer fires happen each year in residential buildings, causing five deaths, 100 injuries, and $35 million in property loss? That’s according to the U.S. Fire Administration. In addition, poor dryer venting and maintenance causes $100 million each year in damages. Clean out the lint trap on your dryer every few loads, don’t just wait till once a year. When spring rolls around, though, you can give your dryer a full cleaning to get off all the dust and dirt that has accumulated and do a thorough cleaning of the lint trap with a vacuum brush attachment. Bonus: removing dust, fiber and lint increases more efficient use of your appliance so you’re not spending as much in energy bills.
Wipe down walls: Using a gentle cleaning solution and warm water, wash down the walls and baseboards to remove excess dust and scuff marks. Pay extra attention to kitchen walls, where sprays and splatters from cooking are common.
Weeding: Apply a pre-emergent weed control spray to stop weeds before they sprout, recommends HGTV. Apply a post-emergent once you see them sprouting.
Prune shrubs and bushes: If you placed burlap over your bushes this winter, remove them now. It’s time to prune the branches back now so they look well-manicured this spring. If you don’t prune, new growth won’t be encouraged to sprout throughout the season. In the garden area, trim back any perennials and remove annuals that you may have neglected in the fall, advises This Old House.
Inspect the roof: Rather than risk life and limb climbing up there, grab a pair of binoculars to check out the state of the roof. Focus on the shingles to see if any are missing, curling or buckling. Is the flashing damaged or rusted in any way? Are vents and soffits damaged? Is there any staining on the roof from bird droppings, sap, mold or mildew? Have your roof power washed and call a roofer for a professional inspection if you see signs of wear and tear.
Spring is on its way: you want to be prepared!