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Neighborhood Spotlight: Let’s talk about spring cleaning

It’s spring cleaning time! 

Home ownership means keeping up with maintenance items to have our homes looking their best. Waiting to tackle repairs around your home can end up being costly when little problems grow bigger over time.

No one wants to spend tens of thousands of dollars to handle those deferred maintenance items right before listing. So put money in the budget each year for general upkeep and repairs. Spring is a great time to walk around your house to see what needs to be addressed.

So what items can you do yourself and what items do you need to hire a contractor to handle? I asked Paul Fisher, owner of DomestiCall360 to take a look at my house and give me advise. Since spring can mean rain and water intrusion and it can be one of the costliest and most damaging repair items, we focused on outside water issues. 

Wood trim around the house can develop dry rot from clogged gutters and exposure to the elements. We quickly found facia boards and trim that need to be replaced. If the rot is easily accessible, like in a door frame, this can be a great DYI project. There are several places around my house I can handle but the facia boards on my 3rd story — that is definitely a contractor fix for me.

Keeping your decks stained and painted is a great spring project you can do yourself that will help prevent damage that may require costly repairs. In a “do as I say, not as I do” moment, we found a very neglected wood stair railing that now needs to be completely replaced… YIKES, that is expensive. 

Even though I had painted it a few times, I waited too long before realizing I needed to start painting it every year or so to prevent dry rot. So make sure you are painting your exterior wood and staining your deck to keep water from creating a very expensive replacement.

Another easy and valuable DYI project involves gutters and downspouts. Almost every home inspection I have been on, has found issues with improperly directed water flow away from the house. Make sure your gutters are not clogged or broken and that the downspouts have extensions that direct the water away from your house.

After this eye-opening tour of my home, Paul went with me to Bill’s True Value Hardware to pick up the paint, stain and wood filler I needed. I even grabbed some caulk to prevent water issues inside my bathrooms. Keep in mind that warm weather also means cookouts and bugs. Bill’s True Value even repairs screens and sells BBQ grills!

After my spring cleaning and maintenance projects I recycled and disposed some of the hazardous materials I found rather than disposing of them in the trash. I found old paint and CFL light bulbs that needed to be disposed of properly.

If you haven’t been, please go to the Arlington County Household Hazardous Materials/Electronics Collection Recycling Center. You need to make an appointment (Monday-Thursday) but you can come anytime on Saturdays from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. They even accept electronics and batteries. Please don’t throw these items in the regular trash!

Of course spring cleaning isn’t just about DYI projects, it’s also about going through and organizing your home. My last stop was a trip to the Goodwill on S Glebe and route 50, and is a fantastic donation facility. This is a busy location for donations and purchases. Even if the wait looks long, the car line moves quickly and the people that work here are so helpful. Sometimes I don’t even need to get out of my car. Make sure to launder all clothes before donating and that whatever you donate — games, furniture — are not broken and have all their pieces.

Spring is such an exciting time, especially for those looking to buy or sell a home. As a seller, you want to ensure that your home looks its best to attract potential buyers and get the best price possible. So, it’s crucial to make sure your home is well-maintained and in excellent condition. Don’t worry, though — it’s nothing too complicated! With a little effort, you can make your home shine and appeal to buyers looking for their dream home. 

Connect with me to learn more! 

Sarah Picot | 202-251-5635 | [email protected] | |

McEnearney Associates — Arlington Office

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For 40 years, McEnearney Associates has been a premiere residential, commercial and property management firm with 11 offices located in the Washington metro region. With service excellence, hyper-local expertise, powerful data insights, innovative technology and cutting-edge marketing, McEnearney Associates have helped their clients make informed decisions on their most valuable real estate investments. There is an important difference at McEnearney: It’s not about us, it’s about you. To learn more, visit us at

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