Depending on the day, spring is finally here. Yes, there are still blustery days that start with scraping the windows on your car. But there are also those nice days that get us all a little excited for the impending summer. It gets us excited to get up and moving, get outside, and even get some spring cleaning done.
Aside from the psychological rewards of accomplishing a cleaner home, there are also financial benefits to taking care of that spring clean-up. Let’s take a look at some of them:
Lawn debris – As the snow melts, it reveals all of that dead stuff that either blew in over the winter or we just didn’t get cleaned up last fall. These seemingly innocuous piles of dead nature can actually be the breeding ground for new nature that you don’t want. Insects and even rodents will use the debris as nesting for reproduction before they expand their territory, possibly into your home. Now you’re talking exterminator. Leave it too long and it will turn into your own little mold and mildew bomb waiting to blow up your allergies. Clean it up while you still can.
Gutters – They just kind of hang out at the edge of your roof, but they can turn into quiet trouble. Gutters are designed to move water from the roof away from your foundation. Driving around town, I’ve seen gutters so full of debris that there are actually tree seedlings growing out of them. When gutters don’t work right, the water simply runs over the top, down along your foundation, and quite possibly into your basement. And that’s a mess.
Trees – Over the winter, even healthy trees occasionally have branches that die. Before the leaves grow out and conceal much of the tree, check for hanging dead branches. These can be just waiting for a good wind to knock them down onto your roof, car, or even your little dog, Muffin. Take control and deal with them the way you want them to fall. Just be careful if you are leaving the ground for higher branches. Otherwise, we’ll have to cover medical debt in the next newsletter.
Paint – It’s like potholes on your house. Just like water gets into the cracks on the road, freezes, expands, and breaks out chunks of concrete, moisture can work into cracks in your paint and force it to peel away. Paint is more than pretty; it protects and seals your house from water intrusion. So do a little paint touch-up to deal with paint potholes.
Air conditioner – While we may not be ready to use it yet, get it ready for you. The condenser unit outside of your house has thousands of small fins that are used to disperse the heat from the cooling process (I know it sounds like a contradiction, but it’s true). Air needs to move between these fins, but they can become clogged with dirt and even grass clippings from that monster lawn mower you had to have. Pull the cover off and use either an air compressor or hose to clean the unit it out. With the dirt cleaned out, it will move air better and run more efficiently. And efficiency is money.
This is by no means an exhaustive list. The Center for Financial Resources can provide you with a much longer checklist if you like. If you would like help cleaning up your finances, we can help with that too. You can either schedule an appointment online or call us at 605-330-2700.
Just make sure you take a little time to protect your home. It’s an investment worth the effort. Your bank account will thank you.
written by Breck Miller
images courtesy freedigitalphotos.net