West River Eagle

Home repair tips

Greetings, everyone. I hope all of you are doing well and will be done with the spring snows soon. This year the weather has certainly lived up to its historical outcomes of being a white March.

I do want to share some tips for spring clean-up and home repair as the time will be upon all of us soon. Below is a short list of things you can do, but is just that — the short list of possible projects.

Spring repair and maintenance list

Clean out and sort your deep freezer. Frozen items have a life span of about two years depending on what it is.

Get you’re a/C ready for spring. If the unit is portable, go ahead and clean the air filter, drip pan, cooling fins, and fan blades and with a vacuum. Check the cord for damage. If it’s an in-wall unit you can do the same thing. If it’s a plug in, get some help as these units are heavy.

If you have a hard-wired outdoor unit, you can clean the cooling fans with a hose and water. Make sure the power is off first. You can clean the indoor portion of the unit under the furnace as well. Clean the fins with a toilet brush, gently, and use a vacuum to get any dust out. Make sure the power is off first.

Clean your shower heads and shower drains. To clean your shower head, remove the shower head with a set of channel locks. Be careful. They should come off easily and are just plastic fittings with chrome for decoration. Soak them in a mixture of CLR for an hour. Rinse and screw back on using Teflon tape. Clean your drain with a hair removal tool. Do not unscrew the drain. The tool is meant to be pushed into the drain. Twist and pull it out. Do this till the tool comes out clean.

Clean your outdoor trash cans. By washing out the cans with bleach and water, you will cut out a lot of smell and will help keep the dogs out. They will smell the bleach over the trash as their nose is 1000 times more sensitive than ours.

Change your furnace filter. Most need to be changed every 30 to 90 days. If you have a very dusty spring, change them every 30 days no matter what. Some of you may have washable filters. I do not see these very often, but most require a special cleaning agent.

Clean up your breezeway or hallway entry doors. Some homes have breezeways separating the garage from the home. These are designed to help with summer cooling. They also are havens for spiders. So clean up any old webs and nests and treat from ceiling to floor as soon as it gets over 55° in the daytime.

Set up annual and monthly pest control contracts now before the season begins. You will see a huge difference in the number of pests. Just remember that pest control does just that, controls pests. It is not intended to totally eliminate pests unless it’s something like a hornets’ nest or rat problem. What we call pests around our homes are actually vital for keeping nature in check. 

What are the pieces of an IPM and differences between manmade chemicals and green chemical solutions? Most companies will offer you an integrated pest management plan (IPM). It’s a mix of chemical, physical, mechanical and environmental control. 

Chemical: Pretty straight forward use of sprays and baits.

Physical: Changing the physical environment such as putting new lids on trash cans and cutting back bushes from your home.

Mechanical: Things like traps and nets.

Manmade chemicals have their place, but we need to limit their use as much as we can. Most are considered forever chemicals that will never break down and become harmless.

Green “safer” chemicals are just as dangerous as manmade chemicals when they are abused or disposed of improperly. They are still a chemical mixture that can irritate skin and even cause death in pets and people. Some are totally harmless, but others are not and need to be respected.

Finally, while it is not required, it’s considered neighborly to alert your neighbors when you will have spray work done. Some people are very chemically sensitive and the smell from the chemicals can make sensitive people ill.

Have a great week, and remember spring will come soon.

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