Catching up on home care after the long winter months? Spring into action with 25 home maintenance tips from Neil Kelly’s Handyman Services pros:
1. Review the contents of your medicine cabinets & throw away dated prescriptions & over-the-counter medicines. Be sure all medications are out of reach of children or contained in a cabinet equipped with childproof locks.
2. Clean the garage! Hold a yard sale or organize a community yard sale with neighbors. To safely dispose of paint thinners, household cleaners & pesticides, contact your city or county’s waste management department to find out the next scheduled collection of hazardous materials.
3. Clean the refrigerator, inside & out, with a mild detergent. Remove all trays & shelves, wash & dry thoroughly before replacing them. Remove old ice from ice-making tray.
4. After heavy rains, inspect your basement walls for signs of moisture. If you detect wetness, run a portable dehumidifier. If the condition persists, consult a contractor like GKing Construction.
5. Test the pressure & temperature relief valve on your water heater by opening it & allowing some water to flow out. If little or no water flows our or it doesn’t shut off, replace it. Bad valves can cause explosions.
6. Spring is a good time to build a dog house! Make sure to provide adequate roof ventilation to allow hot air to escape. Do not use pressure-treated wood in any area where your dog might chew it up.
7. Setting your clock to Daylight Savings Time is also a good time to replace batteries in smoke & carbon monoxide detectors.
8. Inspect screens (both house & vents to attic spaces) for tears & bent frames.
9. Clean window screens. Lay them flat on a picnic table or sawhorses & scrub them with a soft bristle brush & a mild detergent solution. Rinse with a garden hose & allow to dry completely.
10. Inspect outdoor structures for deterioration – especially signs of dry rot. Use a small awl to probe posts, railings & window sills for soft spots. If you find any, plan to replace or repair them when the weather turns fair — GKing Construction can help.
11. Prepare for the outdoor cooking season by inspecting gas grills. Remove cooking grills & thoroughly clean them with soapy water & a brush with brass bristles. Remove accumulated grease from lava rocks & ceramic briquettes by turning them over & igniting the burners. Allow 10 minutes on high heat to clean the briquettes.
12. Inspect garden hoses for leaks. Make temporary repairs with electrical tape. Pry out old washers & replace them. Don’t leave hoses connected to outdoor spigots until the danger of frost is completely over.
13. Caulk open joints, particularly around windows & doors.
14. Inspect the crawl space or basement after rains for water accumulation or excessive moisture. Look for signs of water damage on the sub floor & joists beneath bathrooms, kitchen & laundry. Find & fix leaks now or pay the price later.
15. Shut off water to the washing machine, remove the water supply hose & examine them & the washers. Replace worn & damaged ones.
16. Check fire extinguishers to make sure they are not outdated, have lost pressure or are damaged.
17. Clean gutters. Inspect gutters to ensure all spikes, straps & clips are tightly fastened. Use a garden hose to flush debris from downspouts. Make sure downspouts or splashbacks direct water at least 3-feet away from the foundation.
18. Clean roofs. Remove loose debris and note any damage caused by winter storms. Don’t let moss and algae get a foothold.
19. Wash windows, inside & out, using a solution made from 3-tablespoons of non-sudsy ammonia to 1-gallon of water. Don’t work in the direct sun – the solution will dry too fast & streak. To clean windows with real (not removable) grills, use a hacksaw to cut a squeegee so it fits in the window panes exactly.
20. Have your central air-cooling unit checked according to the recommendations of the unit’s manufacturer. Replace the filter in the forced-air system. Clean debris from the condenser or heat pump located outside.
21. Remove mineral deposits from faucet aerators & shower heads by soaking parts in white vinegar & scrubbing with an old toothbrush.
22. Have swimming pools cleaned. Inspect & service pool liners & filters.
23. Dust ceiling fans.
24. Set thermostats & automatic sprinkler systems to adjust for weather changes.
25. Before placing metal patio furniture outdoors, coat with auto polish.