With lengthening days and milder temperatures April is a wonderful time to freshen up the home inside and out.
Here are some tasks to make the most of the first full month of spring.
-- Test sprinklers and irrigation system
Don’t let the first sign of a malfunctioning irrigation system be a drooping garden! Take the time this month to test each part, and adjust or repair as needed. If you don’t already have drip irrigation for your garden, consider having it put in — a properly installed system can save time and water. Also, consider the Water Wise Incentive Program from the city of Ventura www.cityofventura.net/HHW -- there is still money available from the city for those homes who are willing to give up their grass.
-- Keep mosquitoes at bay
Having warmer weather and longer days means we’re entering mosquito season. Take preventative measures by regularly checking your property for standing water and emptying it. Any open containers (empty flowerpots and saucers, a wheelbarrow) can become mosquito breeding grounds when filled with rainwaterm -- store items like these upside down or in a shed.
-- Boost curb appeal
Spring is a wonderful time to make upgrades to your home’s exterior, and even small changes — Put up bold house numbers or a shiny new mailbox. If you’re planning to put your house on the market this spring, increasing curb appeal can help lure in potential buyers, making it especially important.
-- Spruce up the front porch
Clean the porch floor, exterior windows, windowsills and front door. Wipe cobwebs from the ceiling and high corners.
Lay down a fresh doormat, and plant a pot of flowers. If you have porch furniture, clean it off and wash the cushions.
-- Inspect paths and driveway
Check your driveway and paths for cracks, schedule repairs as needed.
-- Wash windows
Welcome the spring sunshine by clearing dirt & grime from windows inside and out. After cleaning the glass, take an extra moment to wipe the window frame & sill.
-- Clean and inspect screen doors and windows
Pollen and grime can also build up on window screens -- it’s a good idea to clean them once a year. For a quick cleaning, leave screens in place and vacuum with a dusting attachment. For a deeper cleaning, remove screens (mark which is which if cleaning multiple windows) and gently scrub with warm, soapy water.
Rinse and let dry. Before putting up window screens and screen doors, inspect each one for holes and rips — even small tears can let in mosquitoes! If you find any holes, repair them with a screen patch kit (available at most hardware stores).
-- Clear clutter
Create more space in your home by clearing out unloved items. Contact a local charity to schedule a pickup — some will send a truck free of charge if you’re donating large items like furniture. If you have a lot of one type of item (i.e., books or baby clothes), look for a consignment shop where you may sell them.
-- Schedule cooling-system maintenance
If you have central A/C be sure to schedule professional maintenance. A properly maintained system cools better, uses less energy & lasts longer.
-- Maintain wood decks and fences
Keep outdoor woodwork in top shape by staining or resealing it each spring.
Check gates, fencing, decks, railings, pergolas and other outdoor structures, and make repairs as needed.
-- Keep an eye out for termites
From now through May or June, be on the lookout for these winged insects. “Termites swarm in the spring,” says Josh, Inspector and owner of All Pest & Repair. “If there’s a bunch of winged insects flying out of a hole in the woodwork, that’s probably termites.” If you notice any, call a licensed professional pest-control specialist.
-- Clean out the garage
Can you park your car in your garage? If not (or if it’s a tight fit), it may be time to make some more space. Clear out the junk, and schedule time to take unused paint, motor oil and other hazardous items to a recycling center that accepts them. www.cityofventura.net/HHW. Once your garage is cleaned out, consider adding wall-mounted storage to keep things neat and off the floor.
-- Clean gutters and downspouts
Having your home’s gutters and downspouts cleaned (and repaired if necessary) is one of the first important tasks to schedule this season. Clogged gutters during a rainy spring can cause water to pool, potentially damaging the roof and siding.