Oh spring! That glorious time of year when the flowers start blooming, the birds start singing – and the time when grit and grime that winter left behind is most noticeable. The winter gunk isn’t just unsightly; the filth can permanently stain siding or corrode painted and wood surfaces if left unchecked. Fortunately, you can keep your home from deteriorating by conducting a thorough spring cleaning. Help your home match the splendor of spring by following these easy cleaning and maintenance tips.
Clean Gutters and Check Roofing
How to Clean Gutters and Downspouts
You probably cleared the leaves from your gutters in fall, but spring is a good time to check those gutters again. They’re likely filled with some leaves, twigs and other debris deposited by winter storms.
The good news is that plenty of types of gutter cleaning kits are available nowadays to help you complete this unsavory task. Use a blower extension to clear debris from gutters.
To clear downspouts, stick a garden hose into its upper opening and briefly turn on the water full blast to flush out leaves and debris. If the downspout is clogged, carefully push the hose further down into the downspout with the water flowing full blast to clear the clog. If that doesn’t clear a downspout clog, use a wet/dry shop vac to suck out leaves and debris.
Clearing gutters and downspouts will prepare them for the spring rains that are sure to come.
How to Check Your Roof for Wear and Damage
If you find lots of gritty particles from roof shingles while cleaning the gutters and downspouts, it’s time to have a Sears roofing expert visit your home and examine your roof. The consultation is free and the benefits of replacing a worn roof include protecting the contents, value and curb appeal of your home. You won’t have to worry about roofing problems during spring storms – which have been getting worse lately.
Even if you don’t find shingle granules in gutters and below downspouts, your roof could still have some problems that need addressing. Inspect your roof for cracked or missing shingles or buckled flashing. If you find any signs of serious damage or wear, take immediate action – schedule that free consultation with a Sears Home Services roofing expert.
Clean and Maintain Your Windows
A big part of spring cleaning your home involves taking good care of the windows. Sparkling clean windows will help show off your home’s true beauty.
How to Clean Windows
Follow these steps to give your windows and screens a good washing.
- Remove the screens and spray them down with lots of water. Set them aside and allow them to dry completely.
- Fill a spray bottle with a window cleaning solution of two parts water, one part vinegar and a few drops of dishwashing liquid. Spray the mixture on your windows (inside and out). Wipe the windows clean using a micro-fiber cloth, and then rinse windows with water to prevent soap buildup.
- Reinstall the screens on the windows.
How to Maintain Your Windows
Follow these expert DIY tips for maintaining your windows.
- Clean dirt and deposits from the window tracks. Use compressed air or canned air to blow dirt and debris out of narrow tracks. Use a sponge paint brush to reach inside the tracks and remove deposits.
- Lubricate window tracks by applying silicone spray. Spray a sponge paint brush with silicone spray and wipe the tracks with the sponge brush to evenly apply a coat of silicone to the tracks. Open and close the window several times to help spread the silicone across track surfaces. Apply more silicone if needed to the window until it operates smoothly.
- Use caulk to touch up the gaps in frames around your windows – this will prevent small drafts and keep water from seeping through window frames.
- It’s also a good time to check the seals on your windows. Moisture accumulating between the panes indicates a problem, and you should consider replacing windows with bad seals.
Clean the Front Door
Use mild soap and water to wipe down the front door and make it look like new. Cleaning your front door helps provide a good first impression for visitors. Don’t forget to clean and polish the door knobs.
Lubricate the door hinges by pulling out each pin and applying silicone spray to the pins. Slide the pins in and out of the hinges to evenly spread the silicone.
Wash Your Home’s Siding
Many manufacturers warn against using a pressure washer to clean siding – especially vinyl siding. Follow the cleaning instructions for your particular type of siding to clean it safely.
If you are able to safely pressure wash your siding, be careful not to use too much pressure or get the nozzle to close to the siding. Otherwise, you may damage the siding or wash off its paint.
For siding that shouldn’t be power washed, you can follow these cleaning steps:
- Cover sensitive plants under the siding to prevent damage.
- Prepare a cleaning solution of mild detergent (dish soap) and water.
- Clean the siding using a cloth soaked in the soap and water solution. Attach the cloth to a long handle attachment and/or use a ladder to reach high parts of the siding.
Remove mold and mildew from siding using a vinegar and water solution or follow the instructions from the siding manufacturer to clean these stains from siding.
Power Wash Your Patio, Sidewalk and Driveway
Put the finishing touch on your spring cleaning project by cleaning the concrete and wood decking around your home.
To clean concrete surfaces:
- Apply degreaser or power washer detergent to the concrete surfaces.
- Don protective gloves, rubber boots and eye protection.
- Clean the concrete surfaces using a pressure washer.
- Apply a sealer to keep the concrete looking good all year long.
Cleaning a wood deck with a pressure washer is a bit more complicated. You’ll need to select the right pressure washer tip to prevent wood damage. You’ll probably need to sand the deck then seal it after power washing it.
Clean and Maintain Your AC Unit – or Let Sears Do It
Don’t forget about your air conditioner. Spring is the perfect time to get your AC unit ready for summer. Follow the tips in this video or have a Sears Service Technician visit your home and perform Spring HVAC Maintenance.
For generations, homeowners have relied on Sears to help them keep their central air conditioner in top shape and lasting longer. Trust Sears to help you keep your air conditioner working smoothly and efficiently all summer long.