Spring is here, spring is here! Spring is here and hopefully the weather will catch up. Waiting for the nicer weather it’s still a great time to get your home ready for spring and summer.
Here’s a list of chores to consider for the month of April and May:
1. ROOF CHECK UP: There are 2 places you need to inspect your roof. From the inside and from the outside.
For outside you will need to inspect your roof for any loose, missing or damaged shingles, evidence of leaks, cracks in seals or flashing that may have shifted.
From the inside take a strong flashlight up into the attic and look around for evidence of dark moisture spots on the roof sheathing.
2. EXTERIOR HOUSE CHECK
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.
Clean and check your eaves troughs and make any needed repairs. Consider buying leaf guards for the tops of downspouts; these are easy-to-clean mesh screens that prevent debris from flowing into the downspout and clogging it.
Walk around the perimeter of your house, carefully checking the foundation and seal for cracks. Even small cracks should be repaired; they have a way of growing into big cracks, and possibly leaks.
Wash your windows inside and out; take down storm windows if you have them, and wash and install window screens and window coverings.
3. INTERIOR HOUSE CHECK:
Arrange for an annual check-up of your cooling system, before the summer rush.
Clean and, if necessary, replace your furnace air filter. If you didn’t have it cleaned in the fall, schedule a furnace cleaning.
4. GARDEN, LANDSCAPE and PATIO TO DO's:
Clean and condition the barbecue to ready it for another season.
Coat your driveway with driveway sealer.
Clean and repair outdoor furniture.
Clean, sharpen, oil, and if desired, paint the handles on your garden tools
Bring out and mount your garden hose. Turn on outdoor faucets, once all danger of a freeze has passed, and test the hose; if there are any leaks, repair or replace the hose.
Give your lawn a spring boost. Lightly rake up leaf debris and dead grass left on the surface, and then apply a light application of spring fertilizer. Seed any bare spots, and then give it a good watering; the new lawn shoots will be thirsty.
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. Plant spring bulbs such as autumn crocus, dahlias and some lilies.
Trim shrubs and trees while they are still dormant.
If you get through this list you will be more ready to enjoy your home and keep it in great condition.
NEXT MONTH’ S TOPIC? LET’S TACKLE THAT OVER CROWDED GARAGE!
In the darkest part of the year, it´s tempting to try hibernating through the next couple months. If you can get a plan in place now though, you can get a jump on spring, and a couple of things will even help you save money.
1) Let's Save Some ENERGY!
a) Turn Down the WATER HEATER - Lowering the thermostat setting on your water heater is an easy way to save money; for each 10ºF you decrease the temperature, you can save 3%–5% in energy costs. Did you know most water heater manufacturers set the temperatures of their water heaters to 140 degrees F. 120 degrees F is plenty hot. This is a great way to save money.
b) Change those dirty HVAC Air Filter - Households can save between 5-15% if the air filters on their furnaces get changed 4 times a year. When's the last time YOU changed your air filter? If you can't remember you should do so now. A good way to remember when you changed your filter last is to WRITE THE DATE directly on the air filter with a marker.
c) Upgrade to a PROGRAMABLE Thermostat - new programmable thermostats start at around $40 and can save the average homeowner $200 per season.
There are some new and very interesting programmable thermostats on the market, for example, NEST thermostats came on the market in 2012 and are receiving some great consumer and industry feedback. Some feedback suggests NEST doesn't work with all systems, but the idea of a simple thermostat that 'learns' homeowners heating and cooling behavior seems to be a step in the right direction for the HVAC market.
2) Let's Save some CHRISTMAS MONEY!!
a) Now is a great time of year to top up on Christmas CARDS / WRAPPING PAPER / and DECORATIONS - some stores there are savings of 50% or more!
b) When you do bring all that new wrapping paper home here is a great idea on how to store it:
Wrapping Paper and Supplies: Store wrapping paper rolls in that unused space at the top of a closet—its ceiling.
3) Other Great January Sale items include:
a) Electronics - Bedding / Linens - Sports and or Exercise equipment - Electronics - Winter clothing and accessories - storage solutions / bins, etc.
January doesn't have to be such a 'blah' month.
Keep busy, hopefully keep warm, and you might enjoy the winter months just a bit more.
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