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Whether your tulips are blooming already or you're still expecting a few snow showers, the time for spring cleaning is here for everyone. Dust off that layer of winter grime, shake out your rugs and add in a few cleaning projects that will also increase your home's value and curb appeal.
When it comes to cleaning out the remains of a winter's worth of fires, you should leave the job to a professional chimney sweep. These trained folks can safely get up on your roof and inspect the condition of your chimney — inside and out. Plus, they'll use special tools to remove soot and creosote (that's a buildup from burning hardwood). Why worry about the buildup? Well, creosote can present a safety hazard if left to build up too much in a chimney or flue. It can catch fire itself, or can block your chimney and allow dangerous carbon monoxide to leak back into your home. It only takes 1/8th of an inch of buildup for chimney cleaning to be necessary. Professional, certified chimney sweeps can remove all of this safely and carefully, leaving you with a fireplace or wood stove that's ready for next winter's cozy evenings. Find a chimney sweep in your area through the Chimney Safety Institute of America.
Come spring, you hopefully can get outside and take a look at what winter snow storms, wind damage and ice buildup has done to your drainage systems or roof. Walk around the outside of your home and look for damage like bent or broken downspouts, gutters or missing or damaged shingles. If you want to play it safe, hire a professional roofer to take a look at your home's shingles, chimney flashing and to inspect for damage from weather or even animals like woodpeckers or squirrels. You want to make sure you're protecting your home from leaks before those spring showers (or summer hail storms) arrive.
Get that bright spring sunshine streaming in your home! Wash your windows from top to bottom, and take a look to see if any have cracked or lost their weather stripping or glazing over the winter. You can also look for signs that bugs like termites, spiders or ants are making their way inside your home to do some damage behind the walls. Seal up any holes you find, or apply weather stripping to keep your home central air and heat working as efficiently as possible. If you encounter signs of termites or other potentially large bug infestations, contact a pest control specialist earlier rather than later!
From cleaning curtains to vacuuming behind the couch, you want all that winter dust and hair out of your home in the spring. You also should look at springtime as the perfect opportunity to get your home's air ducts cleaned. Professional cleaners can remove built up dust, dirt and more from your interior air ducts and dryer vents. This provides you with less allergens in the house, and provides a clean path for that cool air from your A/C unit come summertime. If you're looking to sell your home this summer, a home inspector might peek in those ducts and be able to tell how well you've been caring for the inside of your home's HVAC systems.
If your summer is going to be spent on big lawn projects or repainting the exterior of your home, springtime is a great time to get started. Don't wait to book a painter until the middle of summer when they don't have any time left to take on another job. If you're doing it yourself, planning and painting while the weather is still cool (not summer hot and sticky) can be much more comfortable. And when it comes to landscaping, planning in the spring gives you the chance to get first pick of plants at local garden centers, or put in orders with local companies to buy the right size trees, shrubs or plants for your space. Plus, the earlier you plant, the longer you get to enjoy your new landscaping this summer.