You might want to get a few jobs around the house done before the real heat sets in. Even inside jobs seem more fun when you can throw open the windows and enjoy the spring weather! Water plants early in the day before the summer heat. Watering too late can encourage fungus to grow. Spring rains should take care of the lawn but if there are 4-5 days without rain, make sure to water well.
Check around the house for any peeling paint on doors, trim, and around windows. Scrape well, sand, and paint with paint rated for outdoors. Power wash your siding, always working from top to bottom. Move some of your houseplants outside to a covered deck or porch; making sure temperatures are steadily over 50 degrees at night. Clean the tracks on your sliding glass doors. Dislodge dirt with an old toothbrush then vacuum. See that weep holes are free of dirt. These holes allow excess moisture to drain away.
Check the outlets inside. If any regular outlets are buzzing or warm to the touch, have them checked by a licensed electrician. Test GFCI outlets with a small lit lamp. Plug it in and push the button; the light should go off. If not, it may need to be replaced. GFCI outlets also need to be installed within 10 feet of any water source.
Vinegar is a big help around the house. It’s great for cleaning stainless steel. Dip a cloth in white vinegar and clean with the grain, then buff with a microfiber cloth. Clean old paintbrushes by soaking in hot vinegar then washing in soapy water.
Clean your kitchen cabinets with an oil soap like Murphey’s. You can dilute it in a gallon of warm water or use a small amount on a slightly damp rag for grimy wood. Dry with a microfiber cloth.
Change the water filter on your refrigerator water dispenser twice a year; this will ensure fresh, clean tasting water. Check the rubber gasket around the door and clean it regularly. Test with a dollar bill! First, close the door on the bill. If it comes out easily when you pull, you are losing energy and should replace the gasket.
KATHLEEN WEAVER-ZECH & DEAN’S TEAM CHICAGO