Spring into Seasonal Home Maintenance
Spring is here! As you prepare for springtime activities outdoors, you may notice some “to-do” list items that need tackling, such as cleaning your barbecue grill, trimming your overgrown shrubs, or cleaning your gutters.
What other home maintenance tasks might you be forgetting?
Take the guesswork out of preparing for spring with some helpful reminders. This will help ensure your home is in its best shape and that you are ready for your first backyard barbecue of the season.
- Trim/prune trees and shrubs
- Inspect for trees interfering with power lines and branches overhanging rooftop
- Inspect your home’s exterior for rot, peeling paint or insect damage
- Replace or repair any damaged windows or door screens
- Start your mosquito and tick control service
- Inspect your BBQ grill and other outdoor kitchen appliances
- Pressure wash your home’s exterior and deck
- Inspect the deck for maintenance and repair needs
- Deep clean dryer vents & ductwork
- Clean the gutters / downspouts
- Get your air conditioner serviced
- Clear dead plants / debris from yard
Keep Rainwater Outside, where it Belongs –
A little bit of rain never hurt; it is even beneficial in helping your garden bloom during spring and summer.
A lot of rain, however, can be a reason to worry – it can cause serious damage.
Making sure you have a solid, watertight home just takes a bit of inspection and routine maintenance to make sure you are not left out to dry when the water starts to move inside. A little bit of prep now could save you thousands in repair costs.
Before heavy rain hits, protecting the outside of your home is the first step when preparing your home for heavy rain.
Follow these tips on how to prepare and prevent water intrusion. Walk around the outside and review these areas:
- Roof – Inspect your roof for any areas of concern such as missing shingles, sagging, or aging. Make notes of any areas that may need further inspection. If you have a chimney, do not forget to look over it for any cracks or missing tiles.
- Gutters – First, sweep away any debris or leaves from your gutters to allow them to collect and funnel water from the roof away from your home.Clogged gutters will cause water to overflow resulting in all types of problems. For example, water cascading down the exterior wall, which can result in water entering the interior walls.Also, check to make sure your gutters are not broken or leaking.
- Downspouts – Make a quick run to the local hardware store where you can find a downspout extension. These devices carry water away from the house, preventing it from seeping down into the foundation.
- Doors & Windows – Securely shut all doors and windows in your home and check their seal. If your doors and windows do not properly function you will want to have someone further inspect those areas. Improper caulking can prove disastrous, sending water into the house that should be draining away from the windows or doors.
- Sump Pump – Installing a sump pump may be the solution and is highly recommended, especially in the Midwest.If you have a sump pump, make sure it is in proper working condition and you have a battery back-up in case your power goes out.In addition, if the sump pump is original to the house or past the manufacturer’s warranty, it may be time to replace it.
If you do experience damage during or after heavy rains, call Bolden’s at 317-773-7683.
24-hour Emergency service ~ we are ready to help with the restoration and construction process.
Bolden’s works directly with your insurance company to help relieve the stress of the situation. We focus on getting you back to pre-loss conditions in a timely manner.
Carpet Cleaning: Professional vs. DIY
Having your carpets cleaned is a chore that usually falls into the same category as spring cleaning: not very fun to do but necessary and should occur at approximately the same level of frequency. Most carpet owners, however, will only have their carpets cleaned once every few years (and some not even that).
Carpet cleaning is not just important for removing stains. Having your carpet cleaned will improve and prolong your carpet’s performance.
How Often Should You Clean Your Carpet?
To keep your carpet looking and performing well for as long as possible, manufacturers recommend having your carpet cleaned at minimum every 12–18 months, depending on the amount of traffic in your home. In fact, such frequent cleaning is a condition of many warranties—be sure to carefully read your warranty information.
Furthermore, when carpet fibers have been flattened down due to foot traffic, cleaning reactivates causing the fibers to literally bounce back. Professional cleaning will actually revive the carpet and enhance look as well as performance.
Hot Water Extraction / “Steam Cleaning” –
The method of carpet cleaning recommended by most carpet manufacturers is hot water extraction, which is more commonly known as steam cleaning.
In the hot water extraction method, a pre-spray solution is applied and given time to dwell before any cleaning begins. Any spot removing solutions are used at this time as well. Hot water is then essentially sprayed on the carpet and then sucked back into the machine, along with any dirt that was on the carpet.
Professional Carpet Steam Cleaning –
Bolden’s uses a high powered, truck-mounted unit rather than a portable machine. The portable machine has obvious benefits, such as being able to be used in apartment and
condo buildings in units that would otherwise be beyond the reach of a truck-mounted unit’s hose. However, truck-mounted units are more powerful than portable units and should be used whenever possible for maximum efficiency.
DIY Carpet Steam Cleaning –
There is an abundance of do-it-yourself (DIY) steam cleaning machines available for either rent or purchase. With so many different machines on the market, it can lead you to wonder if you should skip calling in the professionals and just tackle the job yourself.
If your household is prone to spills or accidents that are difficult to clean, a small cleaner may be a worthwhile purchase to have on hand. However, for more general cleaning of your entire carpet surface, it is highly recommended to have a professional come do it.
Risks of DIY –
Generally, DIY machines do not heat the water to the same high temperature as professional machines, which results in less effective cleaning. In addition, these machines are not as powerful as the one’s professionals use, which means that they are not able to extract as much of the water (and therefore dirt) from the carpet.
When properly done, the carpet should be only slightly damp after it has been thoroughly cleaned. Wet carpet indicates that the machine was not powerful enough to do the job effectively. If your carpet is very wet after cleaning, use fans to speed up the drying process, and be sure to stay off it until it is dry. Do not replace the furniture before the carpet is completely dry in order to prevent furniture stain.
Other variables—such as the amount of carpet shampoo added to the machine and the technique for using the machine i.e., how fast/slow to move across the carpet—present several opportunities for things to go wrong with DIY machines or at least not as well as with professional cleaners.
Cost-Saving Concerns –
If you are concerned about the cost of having a professional come to clean your carpets, consider having only the “traffic areas” cleaned. This means that your big pieces of furniture, like the sofa, bed, etc., are left in place and the technician simply goes around them. Not only do you not see the carpet under these large pieces of furniture, but it is not exposed to the air, light, and foot traffic the way that the rest of your carpet is so it makes sense that it does not require cleaning as often.
Of course, if you frequently move your furniture around, it would probably be best to have the entire surface cleaned. Having only the traffic areas done should save you some money versus cleaning the entire area.