Don’t know about you, but I kind of welcome the slow pace of February. It’s a good buffer month between all that holiday bustle, post-holiday clean-up and spring activities to come. It’s also a great time to take care of little chores around the house. So here’s my February home maintenance tips. Do them now and when spring officially arrives, you’ll be ahead of the game and ready to enjoy the warm weather.
Some rights reserved by Alan Cleaver
- With landscaping dormant and deciduous trees bare, it’s a good time to do a thorough check of your great outdoors. Are there any cracks in the exterior walls, foundation or chimney? How’s the window caulking holding up? Get out the binoculars and check out the roof. You’re looking for loose and missing shingles. Take a good look under the eaves to see if ventilation screens are in good repair or if there’s any evidence of critters.
- Check your decks, patio and paved areas for damage. Replace or repair warped, loose or splintered planks, pavers and tiles. The same goes for pergolas, fences, gates, trellises and other outdoor structures. If the weather permits, clean, stain and reseal wooden structures.
- Your heating system filters have been working hard over the winter. Now is a good time to replace or clean them.
- Check your water heater tank for sediment build up. Flushing that out can increase the heater’s life span.
- Give your range hood and its filter a good cleaning. If you haven’t done so in a while, clean your oven, too.
- Pull your refrigerator out and vacuum the coils.
- Remove and clean the intake screens on your washing machine water supply hoses. Replace any worn washers.
- Vacuum the grills on your smoke alarms. Dust and cobweb build-up can impair their sensitivity. Change the batteries while you’re at it.
- Get your air conditioning system ready for warm weather. Change or clean the filter, check hose connections for leaks and make sure the drain pans are draining freely.
- Have mold or mildew taken up residence in your bathroom? Put deep tile cleaning on your spring maintenance check list. Replace any damaged or missing grout, too. Re-caulk your sinks, toilets and tubs, too.
- It’s time to vacuum drapes and wash window blinds to remove the accumulation of winter dust and grime. Might as well wash the windows, too.
- Get ready for barbecue season. Get your grill clean and spiffy. Check the burner jets on your gas grill for obstructions. Spiders love to nest in them. Give your patio furniture a little TLC. Wash it with mild detergent and check metal pieces for signs of rust.
- Feeling really ambitious? Clean out and reorganize your kitchen cabinets and linen closets.
Do you have any spring cleaning rituals or tips? Please share them.