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May homeowner to-do checklist

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Power wash

Give your outdoor hard surfaces a good cleaning with a power washer. This will include deck, patio, porch, sidewalk, fence, siding, driveway and outdoor furniture. Be sure to use a low setting for wood surfaces. For extra grimy surfaces, use a mixture of mild liquid soap and water. You’ll be surprised by how much grime can accumulate.

Check & repair outdoor structures

Inspect your deck, fence, shed, pergola, swing set and any other outdoor structures. Repair or replace loose, warped or rotting boards. Check for excessive movement which may mean loose or unstable posts. Make sure water can easily run off and doesn’t pool around the base of your structures.

Inspect garden tools

Check your garden hand tools so they are ready for the season. Clean off any caked on dirt with a wire brush and sharpen cutting blades. Do a full maintenance check on your lawnmower and sharpen the blade. Check your power yard tools and make sure they are clean and in working order.

Service your HVAC system

For the best performance, you should get your HVAC system checked every six months by a licensed professional. The best times are in the spring and fall, just before extreme weather. This will not only ensure your system will run smoothly for the entire season, it will also extend its longevity.

Deck maintenance

Both composite and wood decks will need cleaning in the spring. Check for loose boards and repair. Wood decks that look a bit worn will need sanding and staining to look fresh again. Wood decks previously stained or sealed with an oil-based product can be revived with another coat. This should be done every 2-3 years.

Clean BBQ/grill

Whatever kind of grill you use, spring is the time to give it a deep clean. Clean grates with soap and water and soak if necessary. Take apart as much of your grill as possible and clean. Check burners and replace any that don’t work properly. Make sure you have a good supply of fuel to start the season.

Landscaping

May is the perfect time for landscaping. Start by trimming trees and shrubs. Mow, fertilize and top dress your lawn. Lay a fresh layer of mulch on your gardens. Plant perennials, annuals, trees and fill planters. Complete landscaping this month so you’ll only require garden maintenance in summer and fall.

Check outdoor water supply

It’s important to wait until the temperature in your area consistently stays above freezing before turning on outdoor faucets. When you do, check faucets and garden hoses for leaks and repair or replace if necessary. Inspect in-ground sprinkler system and get it running.

Ceiling fans

Change the direction of your ceiling fans to counter clockwise in the spring. This direction increases airflow by pushing air down into the room and making the room feel cooler. The ceiling fans in your home assist your air conditioner by making your home feel cool and comfortable while using less energy.

Check attic

It’s a good idea to check your attic twice a year, in spring and fall. Look for moisture issues, water stains and insects. If your attic gets excessively hot in the summer, you probably have a ventilation issue. You can reduce attic heat by adding venting soffits around the perimeter of your attic and a ridge vent to the top of your roof.

Clean ducts, vents & fans

Before you turn on your AC use this transitional period to have your home’s ducts cleaned.Air ducts should be cleaned every 3-5 years. Also clean your cold air returns, dryer vent and bathroom fans. Remove the cage from floor, table and window fans and clean the blades.

Test sump pump

You should test your sump pump at least once a year. If the water level inside the pump is low, it’s probably working fine. Slowly pour a 5 gallon bucket of water into the pump. The pump should turn as the water level reaches the top. If the pump doesn’t turn on, it could be clogged or damaged. Sump pumps typically last 10 years.

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