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Spring Checklists

Home maintenance fits in nicely with spring projects. Most likely, you already do a little spring landscaping, such as planting flowers. However, it’s a good time to give your home a little maintenance, too. The many spring showers can actually cause some damage to your house. Follow this checklist for your spring home maintenance to keep your home in tip-top shape and avoid any possible water damage.

Clean the gutters: We can clean your gutters and make sure that they are in good repair. You want them to work correctly and not be clogged, which can lead to water damage.

Check the undersides of the eaves, soffits and fascia boards for any rotting. It can lead to water damage in your attic and roof rafters.

Look over the roof for any damaged, missing, or loose shingles. You can improve your home’s maintenance if you repair any roof damage before there is a lot of rain.

Examine inside the attic for any water damage from leaky shingles. You’ll want that repaired that before it gets any worse and costs more.

Be sure downspouts carry rainwater at least 5 feet away from the foundation. This is an important for home maintenance. If they drain too close to the foundation, it can result in water damage to your foundation and/or basement.

Check your sprinklers as part of your home maintenance. None of the lawn sprinklers should hit the house with water, which can lead to moisture problems.

Examine the weather stripping on your doors and windows. The cold weather of winter may have caused damage. If it looks like there is any damage, have it repaired.

Remove any storm windows and replace with summer screens. Keep screens in good shape, replace torn screen.

Home maintenance also involves checking your heating and air conditioning units. Spring is a good time to have a serviceman check on your air conditioner to head off any problems before the summer heat waves. Don’t forget to change your furnance and/or air conditioning filters monthly.

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Spring Cleaning Checklist

Follow this helpful spring cleaning checklist to keep your home in tip-top shape.

Home cleaning and maintenance is an essential rite of spring, like adjusting your clocks one hour ahead. Preparing a checklist for spring cleaning puts you in a forward-thinking mode, letting you both enjoy your home in the present and enhance its future resale value.

OUTDOORS

·   Roof: Check for any damage incurred during the winter season, such as loose, broken or missing shingles.

·  Gutters and downspouts: Remove any leaves, dirt and debris left over from winter. Make sure that water drains away from your home to protect the foundation.

· Siding and foundation: Repair any broken masonry or lifting siding. Fill in or caulk any areas where insects could get inside the house to nest. Power-wash siding yourself or give us a call to give it a thorough cleaning.

·  External water taps: Hook up the garden hose and turn on the tap to make sure everything’s running properly and to check the water pressure.

· Outdoor lighting and landscaping: Test all outdoor light fixtures and replace light bulbs. Sweep away winter debris and dead leaves. Rake the ground (take care around newly sprouted plants and flowers) to aerate the soil. Prune shrubs and tree branches as needed. 

·  Porches and decks:
Check for peeling paint, broken masonry and splintering or rotting boards. Give us a call for a thorough cleaning. We’ll also be happy to apply sealant, re-stain or re-paint as needed. Bring out and clean patio furniture.
 
INDOORS

·  Windows and doors: Wash the windows until they sparkle and replace storms with screens.

·  Air conditioners and humidifiers: Install individual room air conditioners or, if you have central air conditioning, hire a professional to clean and service it. Test all equipment to make sure it’s running smoothly. Turn off all humidifiers.

·  Air ducts and vents: Vacuum your air vents to keep them clear of dust and debris. Consider hiring a professional to thoroughly clean your air ducts.

·  Faucets and plumbing: Check for any leaking pipes or dripping faucets and have them repaired or replace washers where necessary. Remove calcium deposits from faucets and showerheads.

·  Cabinetry and drawers: Tighten loose knobs and wobbly doors. Repair or sand down drawers that stick.

·  Carbon monoxide and smoke detectors: Test to ensure all detectors are operating properly and replace all batteries.

·  Kitchen and medicine cabinets: Take inventory and discard any canned, jarred or packaged goods and medications that are past their expiration dates.

·  Mattresses: Rotate and flip your mattresses to help prevent sagging and increase their life span.

·  Rugs and carpets: Send area rugs out to be dry-cleaned. Have carpets cleaned professionally or rent a machine and do it yourself.

·  Clothing: Pack away winter clothing and dig your summer clothes out of storage. This is also a perfect opportunity to prune your wardrobe. Get rid of items you haven’t worn in the last three years. Donate them to charity or organize a neighborhood yard sale.China, glassware and silverware: Set aside half a day to clean, wash and polish those unused dishes and glasses that have

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Landscaping: Spring Checklist

Spring is a busy time for landscaping.

Spring is an important, and fun, time for landscaping. After hiding from the cold all winter, you are eager to get out into your yard and enjoy the warmer weather. One final note – just because the calendar says spring does not mean that the cold weather is over. There can still be cold temperatures as late as April and into May, depending on where you live. Be sure that your landscaping does not include anything that cold weather can ruin. With a few tips, you can help your landscaping to get back into shape for the spring.

Repair
Cold weather can do a lot of damage to your landscaping but not just to the plants. With any winter snows gone, get out into your yard and assess the damage. Look carefully at any borders, walls, or walkways. If there are cracks or uneven spots, now is the time to repair them. Also, you may notice damage to your landscaping from animals. Moles or gophers can dig tunnels under your lawn and cause it to be unleveled and unsightly. Raking, leveling, and seeding these spots should repair them.

Cut
If your landscaping includes perennials or ornamental grasses, now is the time to cut them. Cut perennials back to about ground level. Ornamental grasses need to be cut to six inches height. This stimulates the new spring growth.

Clean
Spring cleaning is not only good for inside your house, but your landscaping as well. Clean out the gutters thoroughly. With spring rains on the way, you don’t want your gutters clogged with fall and winter debris. Also, spring is a good time to clean your tools so that they are in tip-top shape for spring landscaping.

Landscape
There are many other tasks to be done for your landscaping. Spring also brings the weeds back, so now is the time to start weeding again. Also, your mulch probably faded or thinned out through the winter. Rake it and measure it. It needs to be between two and four inches so you may need to add more. As the leaves start to appear on the trees and shrubs, you may notice some deadwood that you did not notice when pruning in the fall. Go ahead and remove them now as a part of your spring landscaping.

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Lawn Care - Spring Checklist

Spring is an important time for lawn care. Lawn care seems to be the activity of choice for homeowners in the spring. As the days get warmer, people end their hibernation inside their homes to come out, socialize, and work on their lawns. Spring is perfect for lawn care. Enjoy your time in your yard, but do be sure to spread out the work. If you do all of your lawn care in one weekend, you actually can do more damage to your yard than help. Take several weekends to work on your yard, enjoying your time outdoors while caring for your lawn.

Rake
Even though you thought that raking was just for fall lawn care, it is actually important in the spring, too. Ever notice that dead grass under all of the green grass in your yard? That is called thatch, and more than ½ inch of it is detrimental to your lawn. Rake hard to remove it. This also reveals any dead spots that were covered by the thatch that you should now treat.

Weeds
A common part of lawn care is fighting weeds. If crabgrass is a problem, you can apply a crabgrass preventative, but this must be done early in the spring. It is also important not to plant seeds at the same time as killing weeds – you’ll kill your seeds if you do.

Fertilizer
If you fertilized in the fall, you may not need to fertilize as a part of your spring lawn care. Too much can burn your grass. However, if you missed the fall fertilization, go ahead and do it in the spring.

Lawn mower
Proper maintenance of your lawn mower is an important part of lawn care. Remember to remove the spark plugs before working on it for safety – you may as well replace them now that you have them out. Sharpen the blades, replace the oil, and check the air filter to make sure your mower is ready to go.

Water
Proper lawn care of course includes watering your yard. A thorough, deep soaking once a week tends to help the roots grow deeper than several light waterings. And, Mother Nature often helps with this in the spring with lots of spring showers.

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Summer Checklists
Cleaning - Summer Checklist

Use the following cleaning checklist to help with your summer cleaning.

The warm weather of summer gives you a great opportunity to focus on cleaning certain areas of your home. Tasks that were too cold to do in the spring should be easy for the summer. Just a bit of deep cleaning can get your home in tip-top shape for the summer. Be sure to divide the work up (and enlist help!) so you don’t overdo it. Summer means outdoor living, so be sure to focus on that area of your home when cleaning. The following summer cleaning tips can help you keep your home looking its best.


Getting started
Before you begin cleaning your home, do a little preparation. First, make a list of everything that you want to accomplish. If your cleaning is going to take more than a day, create a timeframe. You’ll also want to gather your supplies before you begin. Try to have on hand the following :

·  garbage bags for throwing away as much as you can as you clean,

·  gloves to protect your hands,

·  a good duster,

·  white vinegar for cleaning most surfaces as well as mirrors and windows,

·  lemon juice to remove stains from counters and to use as a disinfectant,

·  baking soda for cleaning and scrubbing down your sinks, tubs, and toilets,

·  club soda to remove stains in carpet and upholstery,

·  distilled water to clean leather furniture, or

·  your own favorite cleaning products.

Quarterly tasks

With a deep cleaning, there are certain tasks that need to be done at least every quarter to keep your home in good shape. If you make these tasks a part of your quarterly cleaning, they shouldn’t take too long to do.

·  Wash down the baseboards and moldings.

·  Clean the exterior of all of your cabinetry.

·  Wash the porches and exterior doors with an attachment on your water hose.

Summer tasks

·  Wash the windows of your home, both inside and out. You may need an attachment for your hose to help in cleaning the exterior of the windows.

·  Use that attachment also for cleaning the siding of your house. A pressure washer can be too rough unless used by a professional.

·  Have your deck cleaned and restained (if needed).

·  Thoroughly wash the driveway and sidewalk.

·  Clean your grill thoroughly. (It probably gets a lot of use during the summer.)

·  Clean the patio furniture so you can enjoy outdoor dinners.

There are areas that should get your attention on the indoors, too.

·  Have the air conditioner serviced and all of the filters changed. Summer is hard on an air conditioner, so you want it ready to go.

·  Clean out the pantry. Throw out food that is expired. Donate cans that you stocked up on but never used. Also, organize your pantry so you have a better feel for what you have.

·  Have the water heater serviced. This is best done by a professional. It should be drained and flushed. If you do decide to do it yourself, don’t forget to turn off the water and electricity first.

·  Time to get rid of those dust mites sleeping in your mattresses. Vacuum the mattresses and flip them if possible. Also, be sure to wash all bed coverings in the hottest water possible.

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Lawn Care - Summer Checklist

Keep on top of your lawn care during the hot summer months.

Lawn care is important in the summer. The high temperatures and lack of water can really do damage to your lawn. The only way to combat these factors is through proper lawn care. Yards can be delicate in the harsh weather of the summer so be diligent in your summer lawn care to help your lawn to make it through summer in good shape.

Water
Probably the most important part of your lawn care during the summer is to water your yard. However, there is a little more to it than simply turning on the sprinkler. You must water at the right time and at the right amount. First of all, water in the early morning hours, preferably when the dew is still on the grass. It is the coolest then so less of the water evaporates and more actually reaches the grass. Also, watering once a week and giving your yard a deep soaking tends to be better than several light waterings a week. A deeper watering causes the roots of the grass to grow deeper than they can with lighter waterings. Watering too often also encourages crabgrass.

Mow
Summer lawn care definitely involves mowing the yard. However, this can also cause damage to your grass if you are not careful. Set your mower at a high setting. This benefits your summer grass in a couple of ways. It encourages longer root growth, which can help your grass survive in the hot, dry environment of the summer months. Also, the longer grass makes it harder for water to evaporate, therefore making it easier for water to reach the roots.

Rake
Some of your grass inevitable dies throughout the summer. Also, mowing causes grass clippings to fall on your yard. Proper lawn care includes raking up this dead grass, known as thatch. If the thatch is ½ inch thick, it can damage your lawn. Periodically make a hard raking part of your lawn care to help your grass to be in its best shape.

Fertilize

Although fertilizing may seem like an assumed part of lawn care, it may not necessarily be what is best for your lawn. The nitrogen in the fertilizer can combine with the summer heat to burn your grass. Look for a slow-release fertilizer that has a lower nitrogen content. This kind of fertilizer is better for your summer lawn care. Another option is to simply not fertilize during the hotter months. Then, you are not encouraging new growth which will take up more water.

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Fall Checklists
Home maintenance: Fall checklist

Preparing your house for winter is an important part of home maintenance. Winter weather can be hard on a home. These simple home maintenance tasks can help make your your home winter-ready. The cold weather can be very tough on a home, so make sure to have your fall home maintenance done before the weather gets too cold.

Preventative maintenance: If you have not done so already, have your heater serviced. Preventative maintenance with your heating system can keep it from breaking down when you can least afford it.

Insulate exposed pipes: Part of home maintenance includes making sure that the pipes are well-insulated. Nighttime temperatures can dip pretty low, causing exposed pipes to freeze and break.

Make sure that your storm windows are in place to keep the warm air inside your house and the cold air out.

If you have unused rooms, close them off and lower the temperature to no less than 55 degrees. You don’t need to pay to heat the unused space, but you also do not want any pipes to freeze.

Stockpile any fuel that you may need. If you require propane or some other fuel, always have enough on hand for several days. That way in case of emergency, you have some in reserve.

If you have a window unit, that should also be part of your home maintenance checklist. Either cover it or remove it from the window for winter.

Store any firewood at least 30 feet from the house. Storing it too close can be a fire hazard and can also attract pests (adding to your home maintenance in the spring).

Don’t forget holiday decorating! Check that your exterior outlets are in good condition, and make sure all of the wires in any holiday lighting are still in good shape.

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Landscaping: Fall Checklist

Fall landscaping is still important despite the cold weather.

Even though cold fall weather may make landscaping the last thing on your mind, there are few landscaping things you should do for the fall months. Fall landscaping is a lot like helping your plants and flowers to hibernate for the cold weather. You are settling them in and helping them to stay warm for the winter months so that there will be a burst of bloom in the spring to greet you. A little landscaping maintenance can help your yard to be at its best in the spring. It is all about planning ahead.

1. Before the freeze hits, plant your spring bulbs. Map out where you want the blooms to be when warm weather returns. Bulbs are typically planted at a depth 3 to 4 times their height. This protects them from harsh winter weather.

2. Aerate, seed, and fertilize your lawn before the freeze, too. This is a very important part of landscaping that should not be neglected. Aerating is needed to loosen the soil so the seeds can get in deep to grow. The fertilizer prepares the grass for spring growth.

3. Drain and store your water hoses and blow out the irrigation systems. Leftover water can freeze and cause damage, which can be expensive to a sprinkler system.

4. Bring in container plants that accented your landscaping. They cannot take the cold nights of winter.

5. Pull up any dead annuals. If you have a compost pile, add them to it so the dead plants can be used to fertilize the new growth in the spring.

6. Weed the vegetable garden and flower beds one last time for the season.

7. Clean up any debris in your yard that can be hidden by the snow and cause damage or disease.

8. Protect any sensitive plants in your landscaping by mulching. Several inches of mulch or soil gathered around most plants should do the trick.

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Lawn Care - Fall Checklist

Lawn care is still important during the fall, even with the cold weather.

Fall lawn care is still necessary even with the cold winds and short days. Just a few steps can help ensure that your fall lawn care pays off with a greener yard in the spring. Although fall lawn care is not as strenuous as perhaps fall or spring, is it still important to care for your lawn during the colder months. Year-round lawn care produces a better yard for when the grasses are growing again.

Before the first freeze

There is much lawn care that must be completed before the first freeze. Of course, the timing of the first freeze varies greatly depending on in which region you live. Be sure you have done the following before that first frost hits.

·  Have the lawn aerated so that the compacted soil is loosened.

·  Overseed your lawn after it is aerated so that the seeds can penetrate the soil.

·  Make one last fertilization part of your lawn care so that the grasses can store the nutrients for the spring.

·  Remove all debris from the yard. Not only does this include leaves and fallen branches, but also any toys, hoses, tools, etc. that can be hidden by snow and cause damage to the grass.

·  Gradually mow the grass shorter and shorter as part of your fall lawn care. This helps prevent new grass during the winter, which can be more susceptible to winter diseases and also can dry out more easily.

At the end of winter

Lawn care preparation for spring begins as the winter starts to give way to spring.

·  Check for any signs of disease on your lawn and treat them appropriately if you find any.

·  Patch any bare spots in your yard.

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Cleaning - Fall Checklist

Use the following fall cleaning checklist to maintain your home.

Fall is a good time to give your home a thorough cleaning. Fall is a busy time, but you won’t regret taking the time for a deep cleaning for your home. With the holidays approaching, you may have family coming to visit or parties to host. A deep fall cleaning gets your home ready for the holidays and company. Giving your home a deep cleaning can help it to look its best.

Getting started

Before you begin cleaning your home, do a little preparation. First, have a plan. Make a list of everything that you want to accomplish. If your cleaning is going to take more than a day, create a timeframe. You will also want to gather your supplies before you begin. Try to have on hand the following :

·  garbage bags for throwing away as much as you can as you clean,

·  gloves to protect your hands,

·  a good duster,

·  white vinegar for cleaning most surfaces as well as mirrors and windows,

·  lemon juice to remove stains from counters and to use as a disinfectant,

·  baking soda for cleaning and scrubbing down your sinks, tubs, and toilets,

·  club soda to remove stains in carpet and upholstery,

·  distilled water to clean leather furniture, or

·  your own favorite cleaning products.

Fall tasks

Because of holiday preparations, it makes sense to make certain tasks a part of your fall cleaning regimen.

·  Clean the carpets. Nothing makes a home look better than freshly cleaned carpets.

·  Clean the chandeliers and light fixtures. Leave the chandelier in place to gently wash it – just place a towel below it to protect the furniture. Remove the light globes from the other light fixtures and soak them for cleaning. Wash the porch lights, too.

·  Clean the attic. If you keep decorations in the attic, fall is a great time to clean it out. Toss any junk that has migrated up there. Also, vacuum it out by starting at the ceiling and working your way down (wear a mask). This can improve the air quality in your home.

·  Your kitchen is going to work overtime during the holidays. Prepare it by cleaning the oven and range. Also, clean out the refrigerator and freezer to make room for all of those leftovers.

·  Be sure all of the silver is polished and ready to be used.

·  Have your gutters cleaned out when the leaves are through falling.

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Winter Checklists
Cleaning - Winter Checklist

Use the following winter checklist to help with your winter house cleaning.

Winter is a great time for some deep cleaning inside your home. The cold weather may have you trapped inside, but you can take advantage of this hibernation to improve the quality of your home through cleaning it. Focus on the indoors for winter cleaning. It’s too cold to be working outside, but there are plenty of tasks to keep you busy cleaning and maintaining the inside your home. The following tips can help to guide you in your winter cleaning.

Getting started
Before you begin cleaning your home, do a little preparation. First, have a plan. Make a list of everything that you want to accomplish. If your cleaning is going to take more than a day, it helps to create a timeframe. You’ll also want to gather your supplies before you begin. Try to have on hand the following :

·  garbage bags for throwing away as much as you can as you clean

·  gloves to protect your hands

·  a good duster

·  white vinegar for cleaning most surfaces as well as mirrors and windows

·  lemon juice to remove stains from counters and to use as a disinfectant

·  baking soda for cleaning and scrubbing down your sinks, tubs, and toilets

·  club soda to remove stains in carpet and upholstery

·  distilled water to clean leather furniture

·  your own favorite cleaning products

Winter tasks

Take advantage of your time indoors during the cold weather to tackle the following cleaning projects.

·  Clean the chimney (especially if you use it regularly). Have this professionally done by a chimney sweep.

·  Have your heater serviced so it is prepared for the cold weather. Be sure to change the filters.

·  Rid your mattresses of dust mites. For cleaning the mattresses, vacuum them after removing the bedding and flip them if possible. Also, wash all bedding on the hottest temperature possible.

·  Clean out the pantry. Throw out any food that is past its expiration date. Donate any cans that you bought but never used.

·  Clean your computer. This involves cleaning off its desk as well as cleaning the keyboard, monitor, and printer.

·  Tackle the junk drawer. Cleaning it out at least once a year guarantees room to throw your car keys in there. And, you just might find a coupon or gift card before it expires.

·  Go through the holiday decorations. As you take them down, organize them. Buy bins to keep them in if necessary. Get rid of any that you no longer use.

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