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Q: What spring home maintenance do you recommend?

A: Birds are chirping, flowers are blooming and the world is waking up from the long sleep of winter. As the weather continues to improve, now is the ideal time to get your home in tiptop shape for the warmer months.

Here are five key maintenance tips to get your home ready for the warmer weather, so you can savor the upcoming summer as quickly as possible.

Make your front door shine. Your front door creates a major first impression of your home. If replacing the door is not in the budget, there are plenty of ways to revamp the one you have.

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After a long, wet winter, your door’s finish could probably use a boost. Make it shine with a good sanding session and a fresh coat of paint. Maintain its vibrancy by sealing your hard work with fade-resistant exterior polyurethane with an ultraviolet inhibitor.

Restore the luster of the door’s hardware by polishing hinges and knobs. And keep things fresh with a new, clean welcome mat.

Power wash. A pressure washer offers immediate and sparkling results, and it can clean virtually anything outdoors with a quarter of the elbow grease.

When preparing the home for warmer months, it’s perfect for cleaning fences and exterior siding, removing stains from the driveway and clearing out the gutters.

Follow manufacturer’s recommendations and never pressure wash a deck. The older the deck, the more potential damage can be done by pressure washing.

Because of its sheer power, pressure washing can remove loose material, leaving dangerous splinters and gaps. It also removes the natural oils in wood that are not replaced with sealants, and it can lead to cupping and warping. Be sure to select a cleanser that is safe for children and pets, and always follow with a sealant.

Clean the grill. Start by rinsing all exterior grill surfaces with water to remove grime and cobwebs. Wipe inside the barbecue with a grill cleaner and follow by scraping the grate with a stiff wire brush and warm water. Rinse well and wipe dry.

Check your interior systems. In the winter, doors and windows stay shut, which means your home’s HVAC — heating, ventilation and air conditioning — systems have been working overtime.

With fewer major changes in temperature, spring is an ideal time to ensure that air and furnace filters have been replaced or cleaned to maintain efficiency. If the filter is reusable, remove it, wash it with a hose and then reinsert it.

Landscape. Rake away dead leaves from the lawn and sidewalk, clean out the gutters and clear any debris from the roof.

Cut back tree limbs and shrubs that are growing near the house, and make sure branches are not brushing against the roof or power lines.

Spread fresh mulch or bark around trees and shrubs, and replace any cracked garden hoses.

HomeWork is the weekly column by the Master Builders Association of King and Snohomish Counties’ Remodelers Council about home care, repair and improvements. If you have questions about home improvement, send them to

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