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Spring Home Maintenance Checklist: 8 To-Dos from Hedge

Home Maintenance, Home Maintenance Tips, Home Maintenance Services

Published: April 21, 2020

Stuck at home and looking for something to do? If you like to stay busy and productive, why not take this time to get a head start on your spring home maintenance?

We've put together a list of eight maintenance tasks that will keep your home running smoothly through the summer. Fortunately, many of them require you to get outside (we all know we could use a little sunshine and fresh air right about now).

Read on for our to-dos and tips.

1: Replace smoke and carbon monoxide batteries

Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors typically need new batteries once or twice per year. So if you can't remember the last time you replaced your detector batteries, now is a good time to do so.

Follow these steps:

  1. To avoid electrical shock, turn off your main power at your circuit breaker.
  2. Remove the cover of your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and replace the batteries.
  3. Press the test button on each detector; an alarm should sound, indicating the detector is working correctly.

2: Clean your dishwasher

A dirty dishwasher is an ineffective dishwasher. On top of that — it's a breeding ground for germs. When was the last time you cleaned your dishwasher? If you answered "never," you're not alone; dishwashers are an often-neglected kitchen appliance, although experts recommend you clean them once per month.

Cleaning out your dishwasher is simple. Just follow these steps:

  1. Clear your dishwasher's drain: Access the drain by removing the bottom dish rack and clear it to improve drainage and prevent damage.
  2. Run vinegar through the dishwasher: Pour one cup of white vinegar into an open container and place it on the upper rack of the machine. Then, run the dishwasher through a hot water cycle.
  3. Run baking soda through the dishwasher: Finish by sprinkling one cup of baking soda across the bottom of the dishwasher. Then, run the dishwasher through a shorter hot water rinse (it's ok to skip the drying cycle).

The vinegar will strip away grease and food buildup, and the baking soda will remove odors. You'll be left with a stain-free, fresh-smelling dishwasher.

3: Clean your fridge

While you should be disinfecting your refrigerator handles and tossing expired food on a weekly basis, experts recommend you deep-clean your refrigerator every three months.

Not sure where to start? Follow these steps:

  1. Remove all the food (pro tip: gently place your food in a cooler or an ice-filled sink to keep it cold as you clean).
  2. Take out removable shelves and drawers.
  3. Mix a cleaning solution of dishwasher soap and hot water.
  4. Using the cleaning solution, wipe down the refrigerator's shelves, drawers, and interior.
  5. Follow up with a clean, dry cloth.
  6. Replace the food.

When you're done, your fridge will sparkle like new and be odor-free.

4: Clean your dryer's lint buildup

Next on your list? Cleaning your dryer's lint filter. Lint buildup can happen no matter what you wash, but the greatest offenders are fuzzy sweaters, towels, and blankets. Cleaning your dryer's lint filter not only helps the machine run smoothly, but also keeps you and your family safe by preventing dryer fires.

Follow these tips for a cleaner, safer dryer:

  • Every time you dry a load of clothes, remove the lint screen and brush off the lint (pro tip: use a fabric softener sheet to pick up any lint stragglers).
  • About once a month, clean the lint trap, or the cavity that houses the lint screen. You can use a vacuum attachment or a special lint brush found at most home stores.
  • About once a year, clean your dryer's vent hose (you can do this on your own or call in a professional).

5: Clean your gutters and downspouts

Clogged gutters and downspouts can lead to increased water pressure that damages your home's foundation or roof.

Cleaning gutters and downspouts is relatively straightforward; all you'll need is a ladder, a scoop, and a hose. Then, follow these steps:

  1. Put on your work gloves, climb your ladder, and begin clearing large debris from your gutters by hand.
  2. Use your scoop to clear smaller debris, like dirt, that would otherwise slip through your fingers.
  3. Use your hose to flush out the gutter, directing the water toward the nearest downspout.
  4. Spray your hose into the downspout to check for clogs. If the spray itself doesn't clear existing clogs, you might need to use a plumber's snake.

Remember, safety first: if you're not comfortable on ladders, wait to clean your gutters until you can hire a professional.

6: Inspect your roof

While you're on your ladder working to clear your gutters, give your roof a once-over, scanning for damage. Look out for loose shingles and make sure to check out your chimney. Also, keep an eye out for debris that could eventually clog the very gutters you've just cleaned.

If you notice any issues, we recommend you contact a professional to schedule roof maintenance.

7: Seal holes and cracks

Winter's harsh conditions can take a toll on your home's exterior. Keep warm air in (and small animals and bugs out) by sealing holes and cracks. If the crack is small enough, a spray can of foam can do the trick. Anything larger, however, will typically need to be handled by a professional.

Don't forget your windows and doors. Inspect the area around each, paying close attention to the caulking, which can dry out over time. Poorly caulked windows and doors can lead to higher heating and cooling bills, as well as issues like water intrusion. Find tips on caulking your windows here.

8: Check outside faucets and sprinklers

As spring turns to summer, you'll likely need to use your outdoor faucets and sprinklers more and more. Now is the perfect time to check that they're in working order. Run your hoses and sprinklers to test the water velocity. If it's more like a drip, you might need to call in a professional.

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