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March homeowner to-do checklist

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As the weather begins to warm up, March is the perfect time to prepare your home for spring, complete necessary maintenance, and start planning your outdoor projects. Shake off the winter chill and refresh your home inside and out with our March checklist:

Spring cleaning

Get a jump on spring cleaning by starting in March. Cleaning the entire interior of the house can be overwhelming so take it room by room. Clean every surface including windows, walls, high corners and baseboards. Move furniture out of the way and clean behind and under it. When one room is done, move on to the next.

Clean out the freezer

Freezers should be cleaned out annually. Food often gets shoved in there and forgotten. Go through it and make meal plans to use up the oldest. Put any remaining food in a cooler while you wash the freezer surfaces with hot soapy water. Rinse with clean water. If there is ice buildup, you’ll have to defrost first.

Freshen up entryways

March may be warm enough to transition from winter coats and boots to more seasonal spring gear. Store the coats and boots you won’t need during warmer weather. Wash hats, mitts and scarves so they are ready for next winter. Switch out the heavy winter floor mat for something lighter and in a fun spring colour.

Check garden equipment

Ensure your lawn and garden equipment is in good working order for the coming seasons. Wash dirt from tools and spray metal surfaces with WD-40 to prevent rust. Do a maintenance check on the lawn mower and sharpen the blades. Also sharpen the blades of pruners and loppers.

Replace furnace filter

The cold weather can continue in March so replace your furnace filter especially if required every month. It’s important to keep your furnace running efficiently throughout the year. If you are unsure how often to change the filter on your furnace, consult the furnace manufacturer manual.

Clean the garage

An accumulation of dirt, sand and mud from the roads ends up on the garage floor. You can use a push broom or a leaf blower on a low setting to move the dirt outside. Start at the inside end of the garage and work towards the open door. It’s a good idea to wear a face mask, it’s going to get very dusty. A less dusty option is a shop vac.

Check outdoor drainage

Make sure your gutters and downspouts are clear so water can run freely. Walk around your house and look for any potential drainage issues. Downspouts should have extenders so they empty away from the foundation. Note any pooled water and make a plan to correct the drainage in that area.

Plan the garden

As the weather starts to warm, think about changes you’d like to make to your garden. Draw up a plan for this year’s plantings and include any ideas you have for improving the hardscaping. Start seeds indoors or pick up seedlings from a nursery. Vegetables planted early from seed can often have more than one harvest.

Inspect house exterior

Look for exterior damage that has occurred over the winter. Check your roof for loose or missing shingles and repair. Inspect the driveway for cracks and make a plan to repair when the weather is warmer. Routinely check your basement walls and floor for leaks during a thaw or after a big rain.

Outdoor safety

With weather starting to fluctuate throughout the day, regularly check the walkways around your house for ice. Use de-icer, sand or kitty litter on icy patches. Remove any fallen branches or debris that could become a tripping hazard on walkways. It still gets dark early so replace burned-out bulbs in your exterior lights.

Tree limbs

Snow storms in March aren’t that unusual so continue to watch for heavy snow on tree limbs and remove with a long handle broom. If there is a buildup of ice on tree limbs after an ice storm, let the ice melt on it’s own. If you are really concerned for the tree, spray with cold water to help the ice melt.

DIY plan

When planning major DIY projects, don’t forget to research your local bylaws and building codes. There may be municipal requirements to be complied with and you may need a building permit. Building without a permit could lead to legal problems when you sell your house.


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