Tucson may have had intermittent warm temperatures all winter long, but today is officially the first day of Spring! The warmer weather prompts open windows and open cleaning supply cabinets. That’s right – with Spring upon us, it is time for our annual ‘Spring Cleaning’. Generally, year-round cleaning is great, but we’re also big proponents of the meticulous Spring home maintenance rituals.
A well-maintained home is an efficient and cost-effective home. Neglecting important maintenance can lead to hefty repair or replacement bills. Not sure where to start? Use this list to keep your house in tip-top shape so that you don’t run into problems when the temperatures are in the triple digits.
Spring is the perfect time of year to clean up the outside of your home. Start by power washing your windows and siding. Next, inspect your home’s paint and pay extra attention to the fascia boards and any stucco cracks. If needed, schedule an estimate for house painting and chip repair. Exterior paint keeps your house looking new and protects it from sun damage during the summer and water damage during the monsoons, so fresh paint is worth the investment.
Outdoor Fire Safety
Many areas in Pima County, including the outskirts of Tucson, Vail and Corona de Tucson keep a natural desert landscape. If your house has Mesquite or Palo Verde trees near it, you should trim the branches to be at least five feet above the ground. They also need to be a minimum of 10 feet away from your house (or fifteen feet from the chimney) according to the U.S Forest Service. Pull all wildland grasses, weeds and shrubs (a safe distance is to keep them 30 feet away from your house). You can read more about maintaining a “defensible space” at www.fs.usda.gov.
If you are considering re-landscaping and are feeling inspired to be extra cautious, consider planting succulents around your house. These plants are low to the ground and are more fire resistant due to their high water content.
Indoor Fire Safety
Replace the batteries in your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors. Most fire-related home deaths between 2007 and 2011 were in houses without working smoke alarms according to the National Fire Protection Association. Test all smoke alarms by using the ‘test’ button (this should be done monthly) and replace all batteries at least once per year. Replace any smoke alarms that do not respond properly when tested. Also ensure your home is equipped with a fire extinguisher that is easily accessible, and ensure everyone in your household has a lesson on how to use it should the need arise.
While our Arizona winters are fairly mild, temperatures will be in the triple digits in no time. To avoid the notorious 2AM dead A/C unit, call your HVAC technician to schedule your biannual service appointment. Your technician should clean and service the A/C compressor and furnace, as well as check for any signs of damage. Be sure to clean the ducts and vents too. In the Tucson area, this costs an average of $290 according to HomeAdvisor.
Clean Your Dryer Vent
Lint can build up in a dryer vent over time, leading to decreased efficiency and increasing the risk of a house fire. A thorough cleaning requires special brushes, but it is worth the safety and piece of mind. You can find brush kits on Amazon with a simple search such as “dryer vent cleaning kit”. For an easy step-by-step dryer cleaning guide, check out this guide by The Spruce.
Take advantage of our lovely Spring weather to care for your house before the sweltering Summer heat rolls in, and call Michelle at 520.991.6234 if you are considering selling your newly spruced up home!