Ahhh, the sunshine and fresh air of spring are returning! With all your new-found pizazz and energy, there are a few things you can do around your condo that will freshen up the place, maintain it after the winter season, and prepare it for the coming warm months.
- Aerate your indoor spaces! Open as many windows and doors as possible to let fresh air sweep through your home for a few hours to make your living area a healthier space. It removes trapped air pollutants and allergens, and can protect you from such things as smoke, radon, and VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds.)
- Check your washing machine hoses. Also, check and clean your dryer vent and hose.
- Clean the ashes out of all fireplaces and wood stoves. Have chimney cleaned if it has not been done for a couple of years and you have used your fireplace.
- If you have an attic, garage, or basement: check for signs of leaks or pests.
- Run water in any unused sinks, and flush any unused toilets.
- Test your water heater’s pressure relief valve to help prevent mineral/corrosion buildup and leaks.
- Confirm the working order of your carbon monoxide and fire alarms, and replace their batteries, if needed.
- Test your window seals. Close each window as tightly as possible. Light a candle and carry it to each window. Hold the flame close to the seam between the glass and the frame, away from curtains and shades. If there is no interfering stream of air (like a fan) and the flame bends and flickers, there is probably an air leak in that spot. Mark each spot so you can repair them.
- Clean the inside, and sills, of all of your windows (and outside, if you are able).
- Check all windows and doors for proper weatherstripping. Mark all places that need repair.
- Vacuum the coils on your refrigerator and air conditioner.
- If applicable, clean the drain pan and replace the filter on your air conditioner.
Since you probably spend more time indoors during the winter, give your pad a full indoor cleaning – including the floors, fans, dust boards, and (behind, under, inside, and on top of) appliances, furniture, pantries, shelving, and cabinets. Also, wipe the dust off of your light bulbs and lamp shades.
- Inspect and repair any holes or cracked shingles in your roof.
- After danger of frost, remove the covers from your outdoor hoses and spickets.
- Since winter can compact your soil and alter it’s pH, once it has dried out, give it a light raking to help mix the first couple layers of dirt.
- Repair any uneven ground by filling the depressions with compacted soil. Low spots cause poor drainage, pools, insect breeding grounds, and can serve as waterways to flood your foundation.
- Check your exterior drainage – will rain water flow away from the house? If not, look into simple Permaculture options that will allow you to reposition the waterway in an hour or two by making a shallow trench or a short berm.
- Check for loose or leaky gutters and clear away all debris.
- Use a screwdriver to prod the wood trim around all of your exterior doors, railings, windows, decks, etc. Repair damaged wood as soon as possible.
If this is the first spring in your own condo, pat yourself on the back after completing these tasks. You have now earned your condo-owner stripes and helped maintain the value of your investment!