Guest Post by Andrea Davis
To prepare your home for the warm months ahead, you’ll need to remove all of the dust, debris and other leftovers from the winter. As you clear the landscape and start washing the interior and exterior of your home, it’s important to get a checklist together. Here are some tips for spring cleaning your home inside and out so you don’t miss a speck of dust:
#1 Deep clean carpets.
Carpets and furniture accumulate a lot of dust and debris, so it’s time to deep clean them. Look at having your carpets cleaned by local services — either steam cleaned or shampooed. Some brands of vacuums are steam cleaners, so you can deep clean your carpets yourself. If you do invest in a steam cleaner, you’ll need to put down towels where family members can walk until the carpet dries.
Clean your upholstery according to its material. You’ll need to separate carpet cleaning from upholstery cleaning, unless professionals offer both as a package. Make sure you keep children and pets off the upholstery and carpets until they dry to avoid getting stains on clothing and chemicals on paws and hands.
If you choose not to have your carpets deep cleaned, then you need to get the vacuum out. Be sure to get every inch of your carpet with the vacuum cleaner. You may need to use the extension to reach the nooks and corners where the vacuum brush cannot go. You will also need to move furniture to clean where dust, debris, food particles and grime may have built up.
Be sure to dust before you vacuum, so any remaining particles will be removed by the vacuum and its extension. Even lightweight dust can end up on the floor following the use of a cloth or a duster, so it’s better to get the last of it with your vacuum post-dust.
#3 Dust fans, ducts and vents.
It’s also time to look at your ceiling fans and air ducts. Over time, your ducts, vents and fans will get dusty. So tackle these projects now before you turn on the A/C or the ceiling fans. You have two approaches:
- Get on a ladder to reach your ceiling fans and ducts or vents with a duster.
- Hire a professional to clean your ducts and ceiling fans.
If you go the DIY route, be aware of the safety precautions associated with cleaning ducts, vents and ceiling fans on ladders. You don’t want to break bones during this process. If you hire a professional, note the cost to clean ducts and vents is usually between $250 to $450.
#4 Examine your coils.
The refrigerator condenser coil builds up dust over time. If there’s too much debris, the coil can overheat and cause the fridge to stop working. You don’t want spoiled food, so address this problem now. You can use a brush or vacuum extension to get rid of the easy-to-reach dust and grime. For anything that’s hard to reach, you can slowly pull the fridge away from the wall and vacuum or sweep the rest of the dust. You might also find food and trinkets that have fallen behind the fridge since the last time you cleaned the coils.
#5 Organize everything.
Organization is the key to springing into the season and cleaning rooms. The best place to start is the closet. Look at everything you have and decide what really matters. Throw away or donate items like:
- Rarely worn clothing
- Too-small or worn away shoes
- Broken jewelry
- Old ties
- Worn down hats
Once everything you don’t need is in garbage bags, look at what’s left. How do you want to organize it? By color? By season? Find the most efficient way for you and then apply this to other rooms like the bathroom, kitchen, basement and garage.
#5 Wash your siding.
Your siding took a beating this winter from snow, hail and wind. In the worst cases, it might have formed cracks and ended up with missing pieces that need repair. In other cases, it might just look worn down. To renew and revitalize your siding for the spring, consider having it cleaned by a power washing professional. They use a machine with a nozzle that sprays hot, steamy water onto your siding, getting rid of all that nasty grime. This process prevents potential mold growth and keeps your siding from cracking or chipping from dirt buildup.
You can also rent a pressure washer and do this as as DIY project but be aware that it’s a dangerous job. You can hurt yourself, not to mention your doors and windows, if you aim the pressure washer incorrectly. You can also strip the paint right off the siding if you’re not careful and aim too close. In short, it’s best to leave this to the pros.
#6 Gutter Maintenance
Over the winter, snow and wind blew leaves and branches off your trees onto your roof and into your gutters. Without mesh, your gutters and downspouts may have a lot of built-up debris. To prevent moisture from improperly draining, you need to clean out the gutters now. You can get on a ladder and use hand rakes. You can also have your gutters professionally cleaned for $100 to $200. Gutter cleaners can also point out damage to your gutters and downspouts that you can address and repair.
Andrea Davis is the editor at HomeAdvisor, which connects homeowners with home improvement professionals in their area for free. Connect with Andrea on Google+
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