In Durham, Johnston, Orange, and Wake counties, spring cleaning and spring home maintenance are about much more than a clean home. Ten Habitat for Humanity locations is currently accepting donations from nearby households. Spring is an especially busy time of year for these donations, and that is very welcome news. Why?
Habitat for Humanity is collecting donations and selling them at Habitat for Humanity ReStores. Profits fund the construction of new, affordable homes for families in need.
Habitat for Humanity makes it easy to donate items, including large or oversized ones. “The organization will send a truck to pick up large items, at no cost, with a few restrictions,” WRAL-TV reports. Further, if donors are interested in helping in a more hands-on way, they can volunteer to build houses in the local area.
The most common items to donate are lamps, furniture, beds, and appliances. The ReStores will happily accept gently used clothing, toys, books, and personal items as well.
Of course, donating items is not the only way to spruce up your home in time for spring. Need some inspiration? Use this spring home maintenance checklist to get started.
Check Your Roof
One of the first items on your spring home maintenance checklist ought to be your roof. While it is understandable to let some cleaning and maintenance fall by the wayside, neglecting to maintain and repair your roof can be an extraordinarily costly mistake.
According to Angie’s List, the average roof replacement will run anywhere from $4,900 to $14,100. Roofs with expensive or high-end materials may cost as much as $25,000 — or more — to replace. Instead of replacing your roof altogether, it is best to carefully maintain your roof and get as many years out of it as possible. Here are the best ways to do that.
- Invest in routine roof inspections.”The National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA) recommends checking your roof during the fall and spring to help spot potential problems,” Angie’s List writes. During inspections, residential roofing services will examine your roof for any signs of damage, design flaws, flaws related to workmanship, and general wear and tear. More specifically, he or she will keep an eye out for buckling, blistering, or curling shingles, soft spots, pooling water, and any signs of insufficient or loose flashing around pipes, ducts, and chimneys.
- Know how to maintain your specific roof. To extend the life of your roof, it is important to repair it and to clean it at least semi-regularly. However, cleaning a traditional asphalt shingle roof is very different from cleaning metal roofing.
To deep clean an asphalt shingle roof, Family Handyman recommends using a garden hose, a spray attachment, and a tough-on-stains chemical, like lye or sodium hydroxide. Keep in mind that lye is very caustic, so it requires appropriate protective gear. It will also remove algae, mold, and other stubborn materials from your roof while leaving grass and plants below relatively unharmed. To clean a metal roof, use a diluted, mild soap. Dish soap or car wash detergent will work. Apply with a soft sponge or non-abrasive cloth, let sit, and then rinse thoroughly.
- Clean the gutters. Properly cleaning out the gutters will keep your roof in its best condition. Remove dirt, twigs, muck, and debris jammed up in your gutters. That will prevent excess water and rot from damaging your roof.
- Trim overhanging branches and large branches. Overhanging branches may leave debris piling up on your roof. These branches also give squirrels and other critters a means of easily getting up on top of your roof and building nests there. During extreme weather, branches may scratch or otherwise harm shingles. Large branches have the potential to break off or fall, causing considerable damage to your roof.
Whatever else you do, make sure inspecting, cleaning, and repairing your roof are on your spring home maintenance checklist.
Give Your Driveway A New Look
Is your driveway looking a little worse for wear? Your driveway is one of the first features others will notice about your home. Unfortunately, it is also one of the top features homeowners are likely to neglect. As you tackle spring home maintenance projects in the coming weeks and months, do not forget to give your driveway a little TLC. Follow these practical tips to upgrade your driveway:
- Pave your driveway or install attractive pavers. If your driveway is unpaved or is paved but with noticeable potholes, cracks, and imperfections, it is time to contact local paving contractors. A team of professionals will be able to pave your driveway, with a standard material like concrete and make it look new. For ideas on how to dress up concrete driveways, see below. If you want to opt for something slightly fancier, stone and brick pavers are attractive and versatile options.
- Light it up. It is still possible to spruce up the appearance of your driveway after paving or installing stone pavers. A simple addition that makes a world of difference is lighting. Landscape lighting looks classy and sophisticated, and it serves the practical purpose of illuminating mid-length or especially lengthy driveways.
- Add decorative edging. To complete the look, add decorative edging to your driveway. Edging can add some structure to an unpaved driveway with loose materials, like gravel or stone. It can also make a plain or somewhat drab driveway look markedly more refined and put-together.
Update Your Bathroom
Adding a bathroom remodel to your spring home maintenance to-do list not only stands to improve the aesthetics of your home but also to make you more comfortable. For a bathroom remodel that promises a hefty return on investment (ROI) and makes you feel happier and cozier, consider:
- Installing textured flooring. When choosing bathroom flooring, choose smaller tiles and ones with obvious texture. This is especially important for walk-in showers. “Choose a small, textured shower tile. The texture and the extra grouting will keep your feet from slipping once the floor gets soapy and wet,” The Spruce recommends.
- Introducing more natural and artificial light into the room. A well-lit bathroom looks more inviting. Invest in light-filtering curtains or decorative window films to allow more natural light to enter the room. Adding a dimmer or dimming functionality to existing lights creates the ideal environment for a relaxing bath. Recessed lighting around mirrors adds sophistication to your bathroom and provides the best lighting for doing makeup or hair.
- Swap out old fixtures. Over time, bathroom sink handles, cabinet knobs, and lighting fixtures may begin to look dull or grimy. Making relatively small changes — like swapping out old drawer pulls and a worn-out towel rack — can make a big difference on a modest budget.
- Touch up grout and caulk. Some spring home maintenance is just that — maintenance. You can make your bathroom look considerably more welcoming and comfortable by simply patching up any gaps in the grout or caulk. Complete your touch-ups with drain cleaning and by adding new caulk around nearby faucets, spouts, or shower handles.
Deep Clean Your Home
Of course, a spring home maintenance checklist would be remiss without discussing spring cleaning. Doing a deep clean of your home is just as essential as repairing your roof and patching up a pockmarked driveway. To kick off your spring cleaning the right way, cleaning experts recommend:
- Scrubbing drawers, cubbies, and storage containers. While we may clean the spoons, dishes, and utensils we store inside them, most days of the year, we neglect to clean the storage containers, drawers, and cabinets containing these items. Make a point to do it during your spring cleaning.
- Polishing handles until they shine. Often, we tell ourselves that small touches do not matter and that guests may not notice them. Good Housekeeping disagrees. According to the women’s magazine, polishing sink handles “takes seconds but it makes all the difference.” Get them extra shiny by using a homemade vinegar cleaning solution and a microfiber glass cleaning cloth to buff away smudges and streaks.
- Cleaning with purpose. As you tackle spring cleaning, do it the smart way. Remember to clean rooms from top to bottom. Clean off any countertops or surfaces first, for example. That way, if any dust or food particles end up on the floor, you haven’t already cleaned it.
Add A Fresh Coat Of Paint
One of the best ways to quickly and easily spruce up the appearance of your home — and to do it on a budget — is to paint. Add painting rooms to your spring home maintenance checklist.
When you repaint, you can also reevaluate your color choices. Did you know that some paint colors can dramatically affect the look and feel of any given room? If your room feels a bit cramped and small, for example, painting the walls all-white can help give it an open, airy feel. If ceilings are too high, paint the room a dark shade, like chocolate brown, to bring the room together and make it feel cozier.
Of course, repainting does require some experience and work. Covering up all the furniture and precisely painting the trim is time-consuming. If you are crunched for time or want your project to turn out right the first time, hire local painters to help.
Remove Toxic Materials
Building codes have dramatically changed over time. That means older homes likely have some toxic materials lingering inside them. Make sure that removing these materials and protecting your family is on your spring home maintenance to-do list. Some of the most common toxic materials you may find in your home — particularly if it is an older home — are lead paint and asbestos.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), “Deteriorating lead-based paint (peeling, chipping, chalking, cracking, damaged, or damp) is a hazard and needs immediate attention.” If any of the areas or rooms in your home meet these conditions, you can remove lead paint by wet sanding the surface or using a wire brush to remove the paint. If you are struggling with the process, it is always best to call in a professional.
Removing asbestos is a large undertaking. If your home has only small concentrations of the material, make sure that it is covered, and it stays that way. Repair any drywall, baseboards, and other materials as necessary. If you have high concentrations of asbestos in your home, it is wise to find a reputable asbestos abatement company to help you get the situation under control.
Check On Your Lawn
Another important step during spring home maintenance is to take a close look at your lawn. During the winter months, you may have done little, if any, lawn maintenance. While that is understandable in areas with a lot of snow or frost, that can leave your lawn looking a bit shabby as spring approaches.
To get it back up to snuff, start mowing your lawn regularly. Set up automatic sprinklers on a schedule, and do something about weed control. Treat your lawn for weeds and harmful, invasive pests. This is also a good time to take another look at your fencing and make any repairs before the balmy temperatures set in.
Think About Your Garage Door
Is your garage door continually getting stuck or malfunctioning? Is your garage poorly insulated? Whatever the case may be, a garage door repair service can help.
Do not spend frustrating hours wrestling with your garage door or fighting to get it back on track. Do not pay more than you have to on monthly utility bills because your heat and air conditioning escapes from your garage. If home AC repair does not resolve the issue, check your home for air leaks. Doors, including garage doors, are among the biggest culprits. Address these issues as part of your spring home maintenance checklist.
Spring is just around the corner. Those who live in clean, well-maintained homes are happier and more content than their counterparts who tend to let things get out of hand. Advocate for yourself and your happiness. Get started on your spring home maintenance and your spring home cleaning today.