Spring has finally arrived (more or less) here in the Pacific Northwest! After another long, gray winter, the longer days, sunshine and blue skies usher forth a notable difference in our lifestyles. Naturally, we spend much more time outside and have a chance to put all of those “outdoor rooms” to use on a regular basis. Along with opening up all the doors, inhabiting the decks, and throwing late night outdoor dinner parties comes a bit of preparation. Today’s post is a quick Spring Cleaning and Home Maintenance to do list. Not only will it properly prepare your dwelling—whatever the shape or size—for the season, but taking good care of your home is one of the most sustainable things you can do for the built environment. Check these items off as soon as you can (all doable in a weekend, by the way) and get on with enjoying your summer days.

1. Clean all interior filters. That includes the dryer vent filter and the range hood filter. Many range hood filters have removable stainless steel grills that can be soaked in vinegar, scrubbed with an abrasive sponge, air dried, and put back in place.

2. Clean those outdoor surfaces. Give decks and patios a quick scrub-down with a stiff brush and a mildewcide solution like Jomax (non-bleach based) or 30-Second Outdoor Cleaner (bleach based). In addition to making everything look all shiny and new, it opens up the pores a bit and removes mold, mildew, dirt, and grime.

3. Get the screen doors gliding smoothly. Nothing says I don’t care about my house like screen doors that sort of open half-way, then get stuck … for the remainder of summer. Simply removing the screen door and cleaning the bottom track will do wonders. It’s also not a bad idea to give the screen door wheels/runners a shot of WD-40 or graphite spray.

4. Clean the gutters. You know the drill: Remove large debris manually, then give it a healthy shot with the hose. If you’ve got neighbors downstairs, remember to take them a bottle of wine for the inevitable debris fallout that will land on their deck.

5. Show that cedar some love. If you’ve got clear or lightly stained cedar, it needs a bit of maintenance every couple of years (the more pigment in the stain, the longer you can wait in between). For clear or nearly clear finishes, like the application above, give the cedar a sanding and apply one coat of Sikkens Cetol SRD Translucent finish. Same goes for finishing outdoor wood furniture.

Let us know what we missed and Happy Spring Cleaning.

Cheers, from TeamBUILD