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Cue the Warmth: Spring Maintenance Projects to Prep Your Home by Ray Flynn

Don’t wait until the summertime heat has arrived to prepare your home for the warm days and cool nights. The onset of spring is the best time to put plans in motion to start spring home maintenance that will carry your home through to the end of summer. Taking care of spring home maintenance projects helps you save money and stay cool during the spring and summer months.

Cleaning the Guttera
Cleaning rain gutters should be one of the first things on your spring to-do list. Clogged gutters can lead to flooding inside the home, falling gutters, and a cracked foundation. While all homes need their gutters cleaned once a year, homes directly under a tree or on a lot with many trees may need more frequent cleanings. If you’re cleaning the gutters yourself, check the weather; the task is much easier if the debris inside the gutters is dry. There are several different variations for cleaning gutters, but regardless of which one you choose, ensure you’ve researched the steps, gathered your tools before you start, and always follow proper ladder safety.

Although cleaning gutters is fairly simple, it can be dangerous if you don’t take the necessary precautions. “If you’re unsure about anything, it’s best to hire a professional,” recommends Fox News. When looking for a company, choose one with experience that’s fully licensed, bonded, and insured. Whether you do the work or hire a professional, inspect your gutters and spouts afterward by checking to see if the water is coming out the next time it rains.

Furnace and Plumbing
While most manufacturers suggest changing your air filter every three months, you should do a monthly check to ensure it’s not filled with dirt and other debris. Also, if you smoke or have pets, it may need to be changed more frequently. At the start of the spring season, have an HVAC professional inspect your A/C and give it a spring clean and tune-up. A licensed technician can ensure your unit is running efficiently and can spot potential problems before they’re wallet-busting issues.

In the winter, pipes are at risk for freezing, which can cause the pipes to break. Pipes most at risk include those that are exposed to the weather (outdoor faucets, swimming pool supply lines, water sprinkler lines, etc.) and water supply pipes in unheated interior areas (basements, crawl spaces, attics, garages). To protect those pipes, you probably drained the water from the swimming pool and water sprinkler supply lines and disconnected hoses from outside faucets. Now that you’ll be watering your yard and garden and swimming in the pool, give those same pipes a check for leaks to avoid a hefty water bill.

Windows and Chimneys
Check doors and windows throughout the house for gaps and potential places where cool air can escape, and caulk or apply weather stripping to areas with a draft. While caulking and weather stripping can help in many instances, outdated windows may need to be replaced with more energy-efficient models. Weatherproof windows can make a remarkable difference in your energy costs and comfort levels, especially in older homes.

Before the weather gets too hot, go ahead and give those exterior windows a clean, and check the screens in the process. Holes in your screens allow bugs, dirt, and debris in, taking away from all the hard work you put into polishing the glass to perfection. Depending on the size of the hole, you may be able to patch it instead of replacing. Repair and repaint frames too to prevent movement and the accompanying wind damage.

From cleaning the gutters to checking outdoor plumbing to patching windows, your spring maintenance to-do list is sure to keep you busy, but you’ll definitely reap the rewards. Preparing your home for spring and summer saves on energy, which is not only good for the planet, but also good for your wallet. It also means you and your family will be comfortable and safe throughout the warmer months.

Supporting Thurston County Food Bank

Colonial Estates Supporting Thurston County Food Bank

Colonial Estates residents have a long and proud history of supporting the Thurston County Food Bank with food items, cash donations and volunteer time.  We have some residents who make automatic donations from their bank accounts either directly to the food bank or through our food bank coordinators.

In recent months our donations of food items have declined and we hope to put a new emphasis on this significant way we reach out to our community.  Here’s some ideas and information about the food bank also check their website – for more information.

In the past we have brought donations of non-perishable food to all Colonial Estate activities  CEHOA meetings, social events, rummage sales, swap meets, and in general whenever you have items to donate  to put in the food barrel in the Clubhouse entry hall.

Ed & Debbie Lovelady  Unit 3  459.4080  are our food bank coordinators and deliver food items and money donations to the food bank on a regular basis.  Contact them if you have any questions.  They also keep records of money and food donations and post a monthly report on the bulletin board and the CEHOA website

Food Donation Ideas:

  • High protein food such as canned chili, peanut butter, beans, or canned meat – Pasta and macaroni and cheese – Canned fruit and vegetables Soup – Baby food, baby cereal, and formula – Fresh fruits and vegetables that store well in a refrigerator. Home grown produce is most welcome. Please see our produce page for more details.

The FOR Kids Program was created to assist children in our community that struggle with hunger.

Weekend Food Bags  Working with counselors and teachers in local elementary schools, the Food Bank provides weekend food bags to children who rely on free and reduced cost lunch programs during the school week.

  • Birthday Bags Parents with children (up to age 12) can request a birthday bag when they pick up groceries at the Food Bank. The birthday bag contains cake mix and frosting, small gifts, books and party favors to support a family celebration.
  • Summer Lunches Children who rely on free and reduced-cost lunch programs during the school year are left without support during the summer months. The Summer Lunch Program is a collaboration with other youth-focused non profits to ensure that children in need receive nutritious lunches throughout the summer. Lunches are delivered to children’s programs around the country and delivered via Food Bank vans operating on fixed routes.

Bless you and Thank you for your generous sharing