>> Mar 4, 2013
Once you emerge from winter hibernation, the time is nigh for a thorough spring sweep of your homestead. The spring season cleaning ritual beckons you back to action in preparation for the months ahead. We've assembled this handy spring cleaning checklist to assist in your momentous spring cleaning task. Follow these tips so that you can restore your property back to its former glory.
When snow and ice melts and evaporates back into the sky, your lawn will need your help in restoring the grass to its brilliant green hue of yesteryear. Head into the shed to fetch your lawn mower, trimmer and pruning shears. Service your lawn mower by sharpening the blades, changing the spark plug and replacing the oil as well as the filter—or bring it in for a professional tuneup. After mowing, use your trimmer to edge the lawn's perimeter to give it a well-manicured makeover. Browse your shrubs and trees and judiciously prune to maintain the plant's natural shape—it's better to underdo, than overdo when it comes to pruning.
After a long, frigid winter and huddling around the hearth, your chimney is sure to be in need of an extensive sweeping. Call up a chimney sweep certified by the Chimney Safety Institute of America for trusted service. Over the season, creosote, a highly combustible residue, builds up on the chimney walls and must be removed. The flue, dampers and firebox also needs to be inspected for any damage. You can accomplish chimney sweeping yourself, but it's not advised without the proper tools or knowledge.
Roof & Gutters
Peek into your gutter in the spring to witness the accumulated sediment of the seasons: petals, rotting leaves and twigs. As with sweeping the chimney, you can hire a pro or take some initiative and go at it yourself. A multitude of tools exist to tackle clogged gutters: a gutter-flushing system, vacuum, blower or rake tools will get the job done. Downspouts should be extended three to four feet from your home's foundation, suggests Kiplinger.com.
The ruinous cold and heavy snows of winter are likely to cause injury to your roof. Inspect for shingles that curl up, sink in or are missing entirely. Don't wait until it's too late when the ceiling springs leaks. Check the metal flashing for any breaks around the chimney, vent stacks and any place where splits may occur.
Canvass your house's exterior for detrimental spalling of brick and mortar—especially prevalent on older homes, according to HGTV.com. Spalling occurs when water penetrates brick causing surface peel or pop-out. If this has occurred, apply a brick sealer/water repellent. Kiplinger.com suggests pressure washing your home come spring. Compounded dirt and debris, stains and mold accrue like a grimy patina over your driveway, siding, deck, sidewalks and garage floor. A thorough pressure wash will remove this coat of filth.