Your Spring Cleaning Checklist!
Get your home ready for spring with these top tips. Tackle one space at a time so you don’t get overwhelmed.
- Declutter your kitchen drawers and cabinets. Give away or donate any unneeded items that are in good condition.
- Check the pantry and discard expired items and stale spices.
- Clean the shelves and install fresh shelf liner.
- Vacuum nooks & crannies in upholstered furniture.
- Air out throw pillows outside, weather permitting.
- Dust or vacuum window blinds. Have drapes cleaned per the instructions.
- Check outside your home for damaged or missing caulk around windows and doors and repair any problem areas.
- Have the fireplace and chimney cleaned and inspected by a professional.
- Clean the windows inside and out for sparkle and shine.
- Place a pot of bright spring flowers by the door to greet your guests and brighten the neighborhood.
Last but not least, pat yourself on the back for a job well done!
Take a Time-Out Just For You
Need to create some space in your life for yourself? Check out some of our favorite tips for sneaking in some peace.
Try getting up earlier than the rest of your family and use the quiet time for yourself, especially on the weekends.
If possible, designate another family member to prepare dinner at least once a week. They’ll learn a lot – and you’ll enjoy the results.
TAKE THE LONG WAY HOME:
Drive a different route home from work or errands. You’re bound to notice something interesting along the way.
Shut down your devices way before bedtime and avoid social media all night. You won’t miss a thing.
Indoor Air Quality
Improve your home’s air quality by limiting pollutants, allergens, and other irritants that can harm your family’s health.
HOLD THE HUMIDITY
High humidity promotes mold and dust mite growth. Keeping indoor humidity below 50% will help prevent further infestation. To reduce humidity, use ventilation fans in kitchens and bathrooms, make sure the dryer is properly vented to the outdoors and address any water leaks or condensation issues. Use a dehumidifier in any especially humid locations such as the basement.
COLLECT THE DUST
Reducing dust can also improve air quality. Dust can be composed of pollen, mold spores, lint, animal dander and even bacteria. It’s impossible to completely rid a home of dust, there are ways to control it. Regular use of a HEPA filter vacuum should help. Change or clean the furnace filter regularly. High-quality furnace filters are more expensive than ordinary types, but are more effective at filtering dust, pet hair, and other particles.
Opening doors and windows whenever possible can also help with indoor air quality. Your home will have better air circulation and “breathe” more easily, and you’ll get to enjoy the fresh air on a nice day.
Use less-toxic and environmentally friendly cleaning products. Dispose of old paint, garden chemicals and other products that could leak fumes. Check with your trash collection provider on how to properly dispose of such items.
Taking these simple steps can help give your home a breath of fresh air
Test Your Know-how: Take Our Quiz!
- True or False: It’s a good idea for home buyers to attend the home inspection.
- Which statement is correct about radon?
- Radon seeps into homes from underground.
- It’s the second leading cause of lung cancer after smoking.
- Radon is colorless and odorless.
- All of the above.
- True or False: GFCI and AFCI receptacles are different names for the same thing.
- True or False: Foundation cracks can only mean bad news.
- Which of these is NOT recommended for a home to be inspection ready?
- Updating faucets and fixtures.
- Putting fresh batteries in smoke detectors.
- Having the furnace and air conditioning serviced.
- Making sure there’s clear access to the water heater, electrical panel and main water shutoff.
- True! Attending the inspection is a great way to learn about the home and offers the opportunity to ask questions along the way.
- D. Request radon monitoring to determine if your home has an elevated level of radon.
- False. In short, GFCIs help prevent electrical shock. AFCIs help prevent electrical fires.
- False. Some types of cracks are common and aren’t always structurally significant. A professional evaluation can determine if cracking is a problem.
- A. For inspection purposes, outdated faucets and/or fixtures don’t matter as long as they work properly.
Asbestos: What You Need To Know
Maybe you’ve been told your home has asbestos. Do you need to worry? We’re here to educate and inform!
For years, asbestos was widely used in wall and ceiling insulation, vinyl flooring, insulation for heating ducts, pipe wrap for water heating systems, roof tiles, acoustic ceiling tiles and much more. Many of these materials are still present in thousands of homes. Breathing asbestos fibers over a long period of time can lead to asbestosis, lung cancer and mesothelioma.
Is it always a problem? Asbestos poses a health risk when the fibers become airborne, which can happen if materials are crumbling or damaged. If there is minor localized damage, it can be professionally repaired by encapsulating the asbestos fibers with a specialized sealant. If the asbestos-containing material is in good condition, the best course of action may be to simply leave it alone.
The biggest risk is when homeowners and other non-professionals attempt asbestos removal themselves. Disturbing asbestos usually makes it dangerous. If it must be removed, it’s a job for an expert who will also properly dispose of it. In some cases, such as a home renovation, asbestos removal is the only option.
HOME & GARDEN
Gear Up For Gardening
The start of the gardening season fills everyone with optimism and energy. Use these ideas to jump-start this year’s pride and joy:
- As soon as weather allows, rake up winter debris and old mulch from planting areas.
- Remove any plants that have died over the winter. But first make sure they aren’t just dormant!
- Have pruners, loppers, hoes and other cutting tools sharpened.
- Pulling weeds when they’re still small makes the job much easier.
- Add compost to planting beds for better soil and healthy plants.
- Check the irrigation system for leaks and broken sprinkler heads and emitters.
- Sketch out your planting plan for summer crops and blooming plants.
Now you’ll be ready to plant, grow and enjoy the beauty and bounty of your garden!