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Tips to cut down on seasonal home maintenance

Each season brings its own list of home maintenance
and repair tasks. Here are ten tasks to perform monthly
or bi-monthly that will reduce time spent on seasonal chores

Fall and spring are the two scheduled times to catch up on cleaning, maintenance and repairs around the home. Reduce time spent on some of these tasks by taking a little time every few weeks for a few preventive measures.

- Over the course of a few months, heavy layers of dust will accumulate on ceiling fan blades, both on the tops and on the edges. A swift dusting every few weeks will prevent the need to use heavy duty cleaner on the built-up gunk at mid-year.

- Black mold takes time to grow and the toilet reservoir makes a great hiding place. Remove the lid, drain the water, and give it a thorough swipe with cleaner or a spray with disinfectant. Once the mold takes hold, even bleach may not work.

- The top sides of vanity lights are dust magnets. Never use a wet cloth to clean a hot bulb; it will explode. A once-a-month dusting with a dry rag will eliminate the need for a heartier cleaning.

- Check the shady areas around the outside of your home. If you see signs of mildew and mold taking shape, give the area a squirt with a half bleach-half water solution to kill the bacteria and brighten up the darkened areas. Be careful where you spray the bleach and test a small spot first.

- Gutters do collect leaves in the fall, but it is easy to keep them free from other types of obstruction. Birds frequently build nests in them and wind can deliver other types of junk. Use an extension pole with a hook made from a coathanger to sweep the gutters and you won't even need a ladder.

- Electrical wiring issues will be a job for professionals, but you can find out quickly if any problems exist in your outlets by testing the ground fault interrupters (GFI). Locate each GFCI, push the test button, then reset it. If the test button does not trigger, replace the outlet - or contact a professional - immediately.

- The undersides and ribs of sink drain plugs can become coated with slime and turn black with mold growth. Release the plug from underneath the sink and give it a good soak in vinegar to prevent a major cleaning.

- Tackle one large appliance cleaning or maintenance chore every few weeks. You won't be stuck with the overwhelming task of doing the big jobs all at once when your major cleaning times come around.

- Not only should you check and change the air conditioning and heating filters on a regular basis, but you should also check each unit's overall condition. Are all hoses in good condition? Now is a good time to oil the furnace's blower motor (this could also count as one of your major chores).

- Try to stay on top of carpeting stains by spot cleaning the high traffic areas. The same applies to throw rugs. Interim treating will prolong the life of your floor coverings until you get to the deep cleaning.

You will find that these tasks can be performed quickly and just may save you some extra steps and costs in the long run.



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