Kirsty Mcluckie: 'tis the time for Spring cleaning but do the small jobs first

Now is the traditional time for a spring clean, declutter, or a refresh of interior decor but, in terms of return on time invested, there are much more worthwhile jobs which should be attended to first.It is an unfortunate truth that the least glamorous and most arduous tasks are probably the most worth your while. They might not create an instant “wow” factor, but they should save money in the long term.
Image: Adobe StockImage: Adobe Stock
Image: Adobe Stock

According to the Chartered Institute of Building, 85 per cent of homeowners are gearing up for some form of spring maintenance. However, as a nation, it would seem we much prefer the easy jobs.

Figures from Sky Protect Insurance suggest we are a country of DIY-dodgers, as millions of householders prefer improving their home’s appearance in favour of essential maintenance.

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Decorating tops the list of our priorities around the home, followed by buying new furniture, and improving the garden.

Cosmetic upgrades are all very well, but homeowners could be met with hefty bills if certain maintenance tasks aren’t carried out. So the advice is to pick up your toolkit, rather than a paint sample or fabric swatch.

Nearly one in five households have had a home insurance claim rejected due to essential maintenance not being completed, such as water damage from a leak that could have been prevented.

Owner of tool suppliers Saxton Blades, Glen Peskett, says we should be looking for invisible problems: “It’s the ideal time to give your house a once-over for any hidden damage that might have snuck up during the colder months.”

“Changes in temperature and moisture levels during spring can exacerbate existing structural issues, causing floors or ceilings to sag. Uneven surfaces or cracks could indicate underlying problems with the foundation or support beams.

“Doors that suddenly stick may also require professional inspection, but catching them early can save you money.”

Spring also presents an opportunity to get up a ladder and check your roof for damage caused by winter storms.

Glen suggests: “Look for missing shingles, warped flashing around vents or chimneys, or any granule loss on asphalt shingles. If you’re uncomfortable with roof work, consider hiring a professional for a thorough inspection.”

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TV presenter and DIY expert Dom Wood says gutters need attention too. “It’s a tedious job, but if you don’t remove moss and leaves they will get flushed into your down pipe and block it. It’s best to carry this out every six months in spring and autumn.”

Now is also the prime breeding season for unwanted visitors to your home. As temperatures rise, pests such as mice or insects become more active, seeking shelter and food indoors. Keep an eye out for signs of infestation as, left unchecked, such varmints can cause serious problems with wiring and insulation.

And while warmer weather might tempt you into the garden to while away the hours planting new displays or filling pots and beds, now is the time to check that all new growth is welcome.

If you find invasive non-native plants on your land, you must stop them from spreading and causing a nuisance or damage to other land or property.

If you don’t, you could be responsible for damage they cause, and may even be prosecuted.

Check for species such as Japanese knotweed, spear thistle or Himalayan balsam, as the best time to treat these interlopers is when the weather turns drier, so that herbicides won’t wash away.

- Kirsty McLuckie is property editor at The Scotsman

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