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It's Spring! Spruce Up Your Home Inside and Out

(This is an excerpt from 12 Maintenance Tips to Get Your Home Ready for Spring, Prep your home for spring — inside and out on the DIY Network website. You can find the full article here.)

Maintaining a healthy home goes beyond dusting and vacuuming. When is the last time you checked your smoke alarms? How about the last time you cleaned out your dryer vent? Follow the tips below to make sure your family and home are ready for a clean spring season.

Clean Gutters

Grab a ladder and check your gutters for debris. Remove as much as you can with your hands. (Don't forget to wear gloves!) Remove any leftover gunk with a

garden hose by removing the nozzle and pushing the hose into the downspout to power debris out of gooseneck bends. Make sure your downspouts channel water at least five feet from foundation walls.

Scrub Walls, Baseboards and Outlet/Light Switch Covers

Scrub all the walls - bathroom, kitchen, bedrooms, and living areas - with a sponge or brush and mild soapy water. This includes baseboards and outlet/switch covers. Make sure to completely dry outlet/switch covers before replacing.

Replace Filters

Replace all filters including range hood, water and air vent filters. You should replace these filters every 3-6 months depending on the type of filter you have.

Now is as great a time as any to degrease that range hood as well.

Clean Faucets and Showerheads

Unscrew the faucet aerators, sink sprayers and showerheads, and soak them in an equal parts vinegar and water solution. Let them soak for an hour, then rinse with warm water.

Clean Out the Dryer Vent

A clogged dryer vent can be a fire hazard. To clean it, disconnect the vent from the back of the machine and use a dryer vent brush to remove lint. Outside your house, remove the dryer vent cover and use the brush to remove lint from the other end of the vent line. Make sure the vent cover flap moves freely. If you find you have birds nesting in the vent, this is the ideal time to install a vent guard to keep them from reentering.

Wash Exterior Windows

There are many options for cleaning exterior windows. You could hire a window cleaning service to clean all exterior windows. Or, to save some cash, clean them yourself. For a streak-free view, prewash extremely grimy windows with very soapy water. Then, spray with a mixture of vinegar and warm water and use a lint-free cloth to dry. For more great window cleaning tips go here.

Check Foundation Vents

A house with a crawl space has vents along the foundation walls. The vents provide air circulation that helps prevent excess moisture and mold growth, and they prevent critters from taking up residence underneath your home. The screens collect leaves and other debris from fall and winter. Now is a great time to clean them out and check for damage. Clean the vents by hand or use a shop vacuum. Repair any damaged screens - critters can get through even the smallest holes.

Test Smoke Alarms

Test smoke alarms and CO detectors, and change out batteries as needed. It's inexpensive, only takes a few minutes and can save your family's lives.

Enjoy the warmer temperatures and let's hope Mother Nature has decided to end the crazy weather patterns here in Indiana!

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