If the thought of spring cleaning makes you long for winter, it’s time to think about these annual chores in a new way. By dedicating just a few days to complete these simple tasks, you will keep your home running smoothly and protect your investment at the same time.
Inside your home
• As the weather gets warmer, it’s important to ensure your windows are in good working condition. Inspect all windows for proper operation and a tight fit. Clean the window tracks and check that the weatherstripping hasn’t cracked or torn. Preventing unwanted outside air from leaking into your home also will reduce your energy bills.
• Remember, open windows can be hazardous, especially to young children. Screens are designed to keep insects from getting into a home, not to prevent a child from falling. Parents need to take action to reduce the potential risks of accidental falls from windows.
• Have your air conditioning system inspected and cleaned. If your system has a filter, replace it every three months to keep your unit working efficiently.
• Warmer weather also means that pests — including ants, roaches, rats, and termites — will be looking to join your household. Keep them out by sealing cracks and openings along baseboards, behind sinks and around pipes and windows. And, repair holes in door and window screens.
Outside your home
• Check the condition of glazing compound, caulking and exterior paint. Replace or paint as needed.
• Exchange glass and screens in storm doors and/or windows. Ensure the screens are clean by washing gently with soapy water.
• Inspect your roof for snow damage.
• To prevent outside pests from entering your home, look for cracks and holes on the outside of your home and seal them up. Be sure to include points where utility lines enter the house. Also address damage to the basement foundation and windows.
• Check for evidence of termites such as sagging floors and ceilings or dry, brown tunnels in the ground near the home’s foundation.
• Seed and feed the lawn and plant annuals, cut back perennials that need pre-growth pruning.
• Clean your gutters of debris. Yes, you have to do this in the fall and the spring. Long winters bring a mix of storms and heavy winds that can carry a lot of debris to your gutters.
Remember, focusing on these small jobs now will save you time and money in the future. For more information about home maintenance, contact the Home Builders Association of Middle Tennessee (HBAMT) online at www.hbamt.org, or visit the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) at www.nahb.org/forconsumers.
Trey Lewis is president of the Home Builders Association of Middle Tennessee.