Spring is fast approaching, and with it, the time comes for spring cleaning and regular house maintenance.
House maintenance doesn’t have to be a chore, as long as you have a few hacks, tips, and tricks up your sleeve. Read on to find out some easy, fast, and effective ways to get your place in the best shape possible this spring.
Things to do outdoors
Check concrete slabs for signs of cracks or movement. All exterior slabs except pool decks should drain away from the home’s foundation. Fill gaps with a concrete crack filler or silicone caulk. When weather permits, power-wash and then seal the concrete.
Grab a ladder, and check your gutters for debris. Remove as much as you can with your (gloved) hands. Remove any leftover gunk with a garden hose. Take off any nozzle and have someone turn on the water when you’re ready. Shove the hose into the downspout to power out of gooseneck bends.
Make sure your downspouts channel water at least five feet from foundation walls.
Check your AC unit
Have a qualified heating and cooling contractor clean and service the air conditioning system’s outer unit. Clean coils operate more efficiently, and an annual service call will keep the system working at peak performance levels. Change interior filters regularly.
Fix or replace broken roof slates
Check your roof to see if one or more slates are broken or otherwise faulty, and fix or replace them as soon as possible. When there’s damage to your slates, moisture and wind can get into your home easier. This can cause additional problems with the walls, foundation, heating, mold, etc. If you leave a couple of your slates broken and on their own, the damage will spread on other slates, too.
Examine your attic
Check your attic for proper ventilation and birds’ nests. Look for obstructions over vents, damaged soffit panels, roof flashing leaks, and wet spots on insulation. Keeping a good airflow will save you when it comes to cooling costs. Don’t forget to wear long sleeves and gloves to protect yourself from insulation.
Tips and tricks for cleaning indoors
You shouldn’t be washing your windows on a hot, sunny day. Wash your windows on a cloudy day to avoid streaking. For a quick made-at-home window-washing solution, mix equal parts white vinegar and warm water or add one teaspoon of mild dishwashing liquid to several gallons of water.
Clean your showerhead
If your shower head isn’t detachable and can’t be run through the dishwasher, you can clean it by letting it soak in vinegar overnight. First, fill a sandwich baggie with vinegar and then carefully secure the bag over the showerhead so it’s fully submerged – use an elastic hair tie or rubber band. Leave the whole thing to soak overnight.
Steam clean the microwave
You can clean your microwave easily by adding lemon juice or white vinegar to a bowl of water and heating it on full power for about five minutes. All you have to do then is just to wipe it down. You’ll be left with a shiny clean microwave, no scrubbing required.
Use an old sock to dust off blinds
First, mix a soap and water solution in a bucket. Then, slip the sock over your hand and dip it in the solution. Make a fist to eliminate excess water, and then run your socked hand over the dusty blinds.
Freshen up your carpets
You can simply sprinkle baking soda on the mat and vacuum after at least 30 minutes. Add a few drops of essential oil for an extra fresh touch. For particularly stubborn stains, blot the area with club soda on a cloth, then spray it with a 1:1 mix of water and white vinegar. Rinse with just water, and use your hands to readjust the carpet hairs in their natural direction. Dry with a paper towel. There. You got a nice, clean carpet!
Remove pet hair from carpets
If you have pets in your house, there is a trick that can help you remove the hair from your carpet. Simply grab a shower squeegee and run it over your carpets – it will bunch all the hairs up into a ball, so you can easily remove them.
Clean your oven overnight
Sprinkle baking soda over the bottom of the oven, then spray or pour vinegar over it. Simply wipe clean in the morning of the next day, and there you have it – a beautifully clean oven ready to use.
Get rid of watermarks from stainless steel
To deal with the annoying water stains on your tap and sink, cut a lemon in half and use it to scrub the steel. Bonus: it will also make your kitchen smell lovely.