Most of us will be spending a lot of time at home for a while due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Finding things to occupy our time can be a challenge. Giving your house a good spring cleaning could keep you busy for several days if not weeks.
Even though there may still be snow on the ground in some areas, it’s not too early to start thinking about spring cleaning and home maintenance. Despite all the hype surrounding spring cleaning, most homeowners don’t want to spend the weekend doing yard work, cleaning out storage spaces and reorganizing their closets. However, spring is a good time for homeowners to evaluate in their home and identify potential maintenance issues. There’s nothing better than a home inspection to help identify minor issues before they become major repairs. The beginning of warmer weather brings with it many chores, some cosmetic like mowing the lawn or pulling weeds and some more practical like cleaning the gutters or the screens on your windows. When it comes to spring cleaning and/or getting your home ready for an inspection, focus on function over fashion. Be sure that your home systems are working well and ready for the change in season as well as any pending inspection.
In addition to inspecting a home’s major systems a typical spring home inspection should include an inspection of the roof to identify curling, shrinking, broken or missing shingles that may lead to costly leaks. This can be done from the ground with binoculars. Visually inspect hose bibs for signs of frost damage, tears and holes in window and door screens, broken or clogged gutters, damaged siding and cracking or peeling paint and caulking. Rake the lawn to remove any branches, debris and leaves that you might have missed in the fall, they can suffocate the grass beneath. Check your decks for warped, loose or splintered boards. The same is true for wood and composite fences, pergolas, trellises and other structures.
Spring is also a good time to clean interior areas of the house that are often neglected. Dust or vacuum chair rails, window casings, tops of wall-mounted cabinets and ceiling fans. Launder or dry-clean fabric draperies and use a damp cloth to clean blinds. In the kitchen, wash cabinets, backsplashes and walls with warm water and mild detergent. The same is true in the bathroom. While you’re cleaning tile, look for areas of worn or missing grout, as these may lead to more serious water damage if not repaired. Check under the kitchen and bathroom sink to make sure connections on pipes and hoses are properly sealed and look for any wetness around the dishwasher that could signal an existing or potential problem. The same is true for hot water heaters, which may show sign of corrosion and leaks. Search attics for signs of insects or other critters. Also check attics for mold which often takes the form of gray or black blotches that look like staining. Basements should also be checked for signs of mold, leaks or dampness. If you already see visible mold, testing for mold is usually irrelevant because at this point, you or a mold professional simply need to get rid of the mold following proper mold remediation standards. If only the smell of mold is present but there is none visible, testing for mold is advisable.