Unless you love cleaning and continually working on your home this is not the fun part of home ownership but necessary. We all have busy lives with work, family and friends but our home deserves TLC just as much as the rest of us. With spring alive and well, it is time to get to work on the interior of our home.
Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Detectors – If you have not changed your smoke and carbon monoxide detector batteries during the time change now is the time to do it. Depending upon the age of your home, your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors may be hard wired into the home’s electrical system with a battery backup or they many only operate on batteries. For the safety and peace of mind for your family and pets, make sure they are in working order and the batteries are new. If a detector is faulty replace it right away. Detectors can be found at local hardware and home improvement stores.
Fire extinguishers – You hope to never need to use them but they are a necessary staple in your home. Check the date on your extinguisher to see when it expires. If it is expired purchase a new one and if you do not own one already purchase one ASAP!
Cleaning – Some people love to clean and others despise it. If you love, great, get to work deep cleaning, donate items you no longer want or need and throw away items that do not work. If you do not like cleaning then hire it out. I am sure there are plenty of organizing and cleaning services that would love your business. This is what should be done:
- Clean out & organize all closets
- Clean & organize all bedroom drawers
- Clean out & organize your refrigerator and freezer & all seals
- Put out from the wall to clean under the refrigerator
- On the back of your refrigerator is a condenser coil that needs to be cleaned
- Clean the inside of your oven
- Remove food particles from the bottom of your dishwasher/food trap & run the cleaning cycle
- Clean your microwave
- Run the cleaning cycle on your wash machine
- Replace any burnt out light bulbs
- Wipe down all baseboards, trim & window sills
- Dust everything
- Clean the kitchen cabinets inside & out and organize
- Clean & organize your pantry
- Clean the range hood or over the range microwave including the filter
- Clean your disposal by grinding ice cubes & lemons & then run hot water
- Deep clean the bathroom, scrub all tile grout & reseal, clean out cabinets & drawers, wash or replace shower curtain
- Vacuum all floors & wash all hard surface flooring
- Clean the carpets & rugs by a professional or rent a carpet cleaning machine
- Remove cobwebs
- Wash walls
- Clean blinds & curtains
- Vacuum out floor & wall registers
- Polish furniture & accessories
Caulk – Check all doors, windows, base & casing, plumbing fixtures, drains and any exterior penetrations into the home such as pipes or electrical lines to see if anything needs to be caulked.
Paint – Paint any areas that were caulked and need to be painted over. Also, the interior of your home may need a freshening up so paint where needed. If the entire interior of your home needs a new paint job either hire it out or paint one room a month if you are doing it your self so you don’t get overwhelmed.
Attic & Insulation – Somewhere in your home you will have an access panel or door to your attic. It could be located in a closet or hallway. If you are able to get in the attic and walk around, do it. If not at least poke your head in the space to look around. You may want to take photos if you can’t see very well so they can be enlarged on your computer or phone. Look for any issues in the ceiling such as holes, look for mold and also look a how much insulation is in the attic. Depending upon the type of insulation and the thickness you currently have, more insulation may need to be added since it does tend to condense over time.
Appliances – Depending upon the age of your appliances and whether they are still under warranty, you may want to get them services by a professional to keep them running for a long time. By serving appliances, it may extend the life of your appliances and keep from having to purchase new.
Floor drains – Whether your basement is finished or not, you should have a drain in your floor around the furnace area. If you have a humidifier on your furnace the humidifier will drain water into the floor drain. It is wise to pour water down the basement floor drain regularly to disperse the stagnant water in the drain and prevent odors.
Basement – Check the basement for any signs of water intrusions or moisture buildup. Some signs of issues include smells of mold or mildew, water stains or mold. If you find any of these, try to find the source of the issue and fix immediately. Contact a professional contractor by checking with your local Home Builders Association list of members if it is something you cannot handle on your own.
Sump Pump – If you have a sump pump in your basement you need to make sure it is working properly. Clean out any items that may have fallen into the sump pit. Once the pit is clean of debris, pour water into the pit to make sure the pump turns on and pumps the water outside. If it is not working contact a plumber.
Plumbing – Check your plumbing fixtures to make sure everything is in working order. You do not want leaks that can cause major issues if left untreated. Call a plumber if you have any issues you cannot handle.
- Flush all toilets – does the tank and bowl fill up correctly or does it continue to run
- Turn on all faucets (sink & tubs/showers) – does the hot & cold work correctly, dues the stopper hold the water in the sink or tub, does the sink or tub drain correctly, does the faucet drip after it is turned off, are any leaks or cracks in the plumbing fixtures or pipes
- What is the age of your water heater and how is it performing. It may be time to drain the water heater & remove sediment from it.
Chimney – If you have a wood burning fireplace, the chimney should be cleaned regularly to prevent buildup and make sure the flue works properly. Have the chimney inspected by a professional and ask them for their recommendation on how often the chimney should be cleaned which will depend upon your use.
Water Softener & Reverse Osmosis System – Have this system checked by a professional to determine if both are in working order. It may be time to change filters and install more salt.
Repairs – During the winter, you may have noticed items that need repair or replacement but held off for various reasons. Now is the time to correct those items in disrepair and get them fixed properly for the long term and not a band aid and replace those items that should have been replace a while ago. Some of the items may include, new windows, new doors, new roof, electrical repairs, etc.
Remember, if you do not have the time to handle this spring home maintenance list hire people to do it for you. There are plenty of companies that offer a variety of services to tackle this list. If you do not have the money to hire people, enlist anyone that can help you for free or trade services with them. The point is to get this list done and keep your home looking beautiful and working great.