Most of us tend to hibernate in the colder winter months, but spring is peeking around the corner and with spring comes sunshine and with sunshine comes a new boost of energy.
In the exuberance of spring cleaning sometimes home maintenance can get sidelined, your spring clean should also go hand in hand with a little home refresh.
Here are some maintenance tips to get on top of over the next couple of months;
- Check your smoke alarms Simple yet absolutely vital – should your house burn down, your insurance claim may be void if you haven’t done a check in the past 12 months. And troublingly (according to Smoke Alarms Australia) nearly every second household has no working smoke alarm at all. Don’t forget to also check the expiration date of your fire extinguisher whilst you’re at it.
- Inspect your basement and loft. Check for mould and dampness in corners, on the ceiling and behind boxes and other items. A Whirly bird does wonders to get rid of built-up heat and is natural mould inhibitor. Also check the insulation, there are usually gaps between batts, so now is the time to fill them in.
- Clear your gutters and check your roof Clear your gutters and valleys of leaf litter, also ensure there are no blockages in downpipes or the discharge line through to the street. Blocked gutters that retain water can lead to internal mould issues, especially to south facing, upper wall and ceiling perimeters. Also, check your roof for damaged tiles, corroded roof sheets and fatigued flashings. Aerial eye-bolt fixings are also a classic water entry location.
- Clean and service your air conditioner.Over the winter season, your AC will have collected dust which can clog your filters and vents as clogged or dirty filters can reduce airflow by up to 50%. Worst of all, this dust and debris becomes airborne when you switch the unit on, causing allergies and the likes. Therefore, you should clean and service all your air conditioners when spring begins.
- Exterior Walls, Paths, Windows & timbers Pressure clean all exterior walls and windows to remove your outdoor areas of the moss and lichen that has built up over the winter months. Maintain your external timbers; peeling paint can turn to decay in a short time frame. Don’t forget hidden timbers that you can’t see on the roof, finials, timber fascias and cladding. Touch up chipped paint whether it’s your walls or furniture, as you start cleaning up and moving things around, you’ll notice a few chips in some paint jobs. As small and unnoticeable as they may be, this will only lead to more peeling and eventually leave you with a tougher job of covering it up.
- Fly & Security Screens Whilst you are cleaning the windows also clean your security and fly screens from winter grime and dust
- Rainwater Tank. If you have a rainwater tank, don’t forget to clean out the strainer. Proper maintenance of your rainwater harvesting area will help you collect more rainwater and improve the quality at the same time. Also consider adding individual rainwater tanks to unused downpipes, which can be inter-connected if desired.
- Protect against pests As Aussies, we’re never short of unwanted house guests – cockroaches, rodents, spiders and ants. While most are merely a nuisance, those termites and white ants can cause serious damage if untreated. You can conduct a visual inspection for termite activity under the floor space of your house. Check your ant caps are functional and remove any temptation for them by removing any old timbers and rubbish lying under the house. It may be worth considering a pest control inspection.
- The Garden. Maintain your yard/garden.Spring is a time where you can find both, dried up leaves and unwanted weeds growing in your garden. Use this time to maintain your yard by trimming hedges and bushes, mowing the lawn and fertilising your plants. As the hot dry summer approaches get rid of all the water leaching weeds and mulch the garden to deter them from returning, mulch will improve your soil structure as well as prevent moisture evaporation. To prevent mosquitoes ensure there is no areas where water can pool and stand (old pots, clogged gutters, kid’s toys etc). Fix it or tip it out.
- Clean your tumble dryer We all know to clear out the lint trap after use to prevent a house fire but how often do you clean your dryer’s hose or exterior vent? Never? It’s also a fire hazard and could dramatically reduce your dryer’s life expectancy.
- Lubricate your locks Admittedly not the most critical on the list but easily the most satisfying.
- Vacuum your fridge coils Surprisingly, your refrigerator can account for up to 15% of your home’s total power usage a year. So it pays to have it firing on all cylinders.