12 Maintenance Tips to Get Your Home Ready for Spring
Prep your home for spring — inside and out.
Maintaining a healthy home goes beyond dusting and vacuuming. When is the last time you checked your smoke alarms? How about the last time you cleaned out your dryer vent? Follow the tips below to make sure your family and home are ready for a happy, clean spring season.
Grab a ladder, and check your gutters for debris. Remove as much as you can with your hands (Don't forget to wear gloves!). Remove any leftover gunk with a garden hose. Take off any nozzle and have a helper 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.
Scrub Walls, Baseboards and Outlets
Remove & Clean Switch Plates Before Painting
Kitchen walls and switch plates may be greasy, so clean them with grease-cutting cleaner and a sponge or washcloth to ensure that the paint will properly adhere. Allow walls and switch plates to fully dry before painting.
Scrub all the walls — in the bathroom, kitchen, bedrooms and living areas — with a sponge or brush and mild soap and water. This includes baseboards and outlets. Make sure to completely dry outlet covers before replacing.
Custom Kitchen From The Vanilla Ice Project
As seen on season 5 of The Vanilla Ice Project, the outdated kitchen has been newly renovated with a cast iron stove, custom copper hood vent and a pot filler faucet set against a natural stone. The custom built cabinets feature upper and under lighting and crystal bling hardware.
Tom DiPace/AP Images
Replace all filters including water, range hood and air vent filters. You should replace these filters every 3-6 months depending on the type of filter you have.
Clean Faucets and Showerheads
Unscrew the faucet aerators, sink sprayers and showerheads, and soak them in equal parts vinegar and water solution. Let them soak for an hour, then rinse with warm water.
Clean Out the Dryer Vent
Fun and Functional
Fixer Upper Hosts Chip and Joanna Gaines created a new laundry and mud room for the Purks, complete with plenty of storage cabinets and shelving as well as a desk that double as a folding surface. A chalkboard backsplash will come in handy for taking notes. Brick floors were installed for a durable yet attractive look, as seen on HGTV's Fixer Upper. (afters)
Sarah Wilson / Getty Images
A clogged dryer vent can be a fire hazard. To clean it, disconnect the vent from the back of the machine and use a dryer vent brush to remove lint. Outside your house, remove the dryer vent cover and use the brush to remove lint from the other end of the vent line. Make sure the vent cover flap moves freely.
Wash Exterior Windows
Hire a window-cleaning service to clean all exterior windows.
Keep Allergens Away
Photos: Christopher Shane/Styling: Elizabeth Demos
Keep dust, mold and pollen at bay by decluttering your home, checking pipes for leaks and keeping the air clean.
Check Foundation Vents
A house with a crawl space has vents along the foundation walls. The vents provide air circulation that helps prevent excess moisture and mold growth, and they prevent critters from taking up residence underneath your home. The screens collect leaves and other debris from fall and winter. Spring is a great time to clean them out and check for damage. Clean the vents by hand or use a shop vacuum. Repair any damaged screens — critters can get through even the smallest holes.
Clean the Grill
DIY Network's Blog Cabin 2013 is a circa-1892 coastal cottage located along the Crystal Coast in North Carolina. The home has been remodeled, based on online voters' selections, and will be given away to one lucky winner in a home sweepstakes in Fall 2013. Pictured is the outdoor kitchen.
Your grill has most likely collected dust during fall and winter. Help your grill live a long life with these maintenance tips, whether you have a charcoal or gas grill.
Prep Your Garden
You can't have a successful garden without good soil. Follow these tips on how to prepare your soil to help you grow a lush garden.
Test Smoke Alarms
Test smoke alarms and CO detectors, and change out batteries as needed. It's cheap, only takes a few minutes and can save your family's lives.
Clean Outdoor Furniture
Outdoor entertaining season is just around the corner. Learn the best ways to clean all outdoor furniture (recipes included), from plastic to canvas.
Bedrooms that seem so cozy in fall can feel musty and claustrophobic by spring. Want two ways to instantly lift the mood? Open the windows and air the room. And switch heavy bedding like quilts to lighter options – not just in weight, but in color, too. (P.S. A vase of flowers never hurts.)
Retire the Fireplace
After a long winter, doesn’t it feel good to empty the ashes and sweep out the hearth before closing up the fireplace till next year? Designer Emily Henderson gave this lake-house fireplace an added dose of spring style by stacking logs cut end out, giving the otherwise dark space textural interest.
Add Some Lilac
When Pantone named lilac-gray Serenity one of its top two hues for 2016, they made it one of the year’s biggest color stories. Pair this soothing tone with yellow, navy, peach or green. These lilac hemp throw pillows from textile designer Fabricadabra are the perfect way to brighten a room – and be totally on point.
Let It Rain
Did your kids outgrow their rain boots this winter? Upcycle them into cute, colorful planters. You can also buy used boots for $2-$25 per pair, making this a super-affordable pick-me-up for your yard or garden. (See the entire project at Concord Cottage).
Pump Up the Stairs
You walk up the stairs a million times a day, but do they give your mood a lift, too? If not, treat them to a facelift, either by painting the risers or wallpapering them. If you choose to wallpaper, keep the pattern simple (like these stripes) so the look doesn’t overwhelm your space.
Set the Table
If you’ve been eating dinner on the couch (and frankly, nothing beats mac-n-cheese and a cozy blanket in January), it’s time to think about dusting off your table. Make a meal a celebration with pretty runners, a few candles and sparkling cocktail glasses. Then have a toast to spring fever and kiss winter goodbye.
Paint Some Planters
One of the best things about spring is getting back into the yard. Kick off the gardening season with a dose of sunshine by painting planters, like these from Place of My Taste. The yellow-red combo is a one-two punch that’s guaranteed to knock out winter, once and for all. Well, until next year.