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Spring Is In The Air – Prepare Your Home! (Part 2)

prepare your homeSprucing up for Spring – from Hardscapes to Roof

Spring is almost here, and it’s time to prepare your home! In this, the second in our series on home and yard maintenance for spring, we focus on everything from hardscapes to the roof. Here’s the checklist of do’s for this season:

Repair and refurbish hardscapes – After the rains, it is a great idea to clean all hardscapes – walkways, patios, steps and retaining walls which have brick, pavers, stone or tile. Pressure wash to remove any dirt or moss which might make the area slippery. Replace broken tiles or flagstones and fill in new sand in the joints.

Roof check – Check for and replace any broken tiles or shingles in the roof. If there are signs of moss or lichen, call a professional roofer for a clean-up.

Trim large trees – Trim away any overgrowth from trees and shrubs. If you have large trees like oak or redwood, get an arborist, if needed, to trim back branches. This will allow more sunlight into the yard and encourage new growth. It’s also important to keep tree branches at least six to seven feet away from the house.

Foundation vents – Walk around the perimeter of the house and check all foundation vents to ensure that they are clear of leaves, debris or anything that would prevent air circulation in the crawl space. Good air circulation is important for the moisture in the crawl space to dry. Repair any holes or rips in vent screens to prevent rodents and critters from getting in.

Drains, ditches, rafters and gutters – Sweep clean all leaves and debris which may have gathered in drains, ditches and gutters. If possible, connect gutter pipes to the sewage. This will take overflow water away from the foundation of the house. Check rafters for wood rot. Replace any broken ones. It’s also a good idea to give the rafters a coat of paint to prevent wood rot.

Check irrigation systems – With the onset of spring, it is time to check irrigation systems for leaks and repair any broken sprinkler heads. Check rain sensors and booster pump for proper operation. Secure drip irrigation lines properly to respective plants.

Fences and trellises – Check fences and trellises and replace any broken or rotten panels.

Bird baths and fountains – Check fountain pumps and fix leaks if any. Scrub clean bird baths and fill with fresh water.

Spring Cleaning Checklist for Your Home

Spring is now well and truly upon us here in the Bay Area. After the flurry of storms and a particularly wet winter, it is delightful to see hills covered with wildflowers, bare trees full of foliage and verdant green everywhere.

It is also time to get our homes in shipshape condition for the summer. Here’s a handy spring cleaning checklist for around the home and in the yard.

Spring cleaning checklist - guttersRoof, rafters and gutters Clean out leaves and twigs left by the recent storms from your gutters. Check that the downspouts are properly connected and clear. Look for any broken or missing shingles. Check the frames of any skylights. Get a roofer to fix any damages.

Air-conditioning and heating vents – This includes a change or cleaning of filters as well as the air vents. Check the outside unit to ensure it has clear drainage, and trim away any plants or bushes around it.

Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors – Check that these are working, and be sure to replace the batteries.

Carpets – The warm weather is a good time to get the carpets steam cleaned and shampooed. Make sure you choose a time with a few sunny days for the carpets to dry out.

Attics – This is a good time to venture into attics. Check for signs of seepage or mold as well as rodents and insects. If there are windows, let in the air and sunlight. Be sure to do this on a dry and sunny day.

Crawl space air vents – Take a walk around the house and check the crawl-space air vents and netting for any signs of tear or damage. If any, it is important to fix these to keep rodents and little critters out of the crawl space.

Fences and decks – After the wet and stormy winter this year, all the woodwork in the yard – from fences to decks needs special attention. Nail down loose boards, and replace broken or rotten ones. Also, promptly treat decks for any mold and mildew as these could quickly spread to the house.

Spring cleaning checklist - power washingDriveway and walkways – Power washing is a great, low-cost way to restore the driveway and walkways to a brighter, cleaner look. Fix any loose pavers or bricks and fill in the cracks. If you notice extra unevenness caused by the ground lifting in any area, it might be a good idea to call in an arborist and check if the roots of any nearby trees are the problem.

Flower beds, hedges and lawns – De-weeding in spring is very important for all areas of the garden. Treat the soil with fertilizers and spread new mulch. Spread grass seed on the lawns to spur growth in any bald patches and fertilize. Prune all trees and bushes to encourage new growth.

Sprinklers and drip irrigation systems – Test all sprinklers and drip irrigation pipes for signs of damage or leakage. Replace any broken sprinkler heads or cracked pipes promptly.

Read more about spring cleaning do’s on the following websites:

http://www.hgtv.com/design/decorating/clean-and-organize/get-your-house-ready-for-summer

http://money.usnews.com/money/personal-finance/articles/2014/05/16/12-must-do-home-maintenance-tasks-for-spring