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Inspect Porches

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Check floorboards for signs of rot or damage, looking underneath—where most rot will start—if the area's accessible.

Organize the Attic

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Before summer heat sets in, remove items that can be sold in a yard sale or donated, and make an inventory of what's left.

Head Off Spring Allergies

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Prevent pollen and other allergens from spreading deeper into your home by placing area rugs in entryways.

Check for Termites

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Look for spongy wood, narrow tubes of mud, or discarded wings along your home's foundation, inside and out.

Recaulk Around Tubs

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Ensure that no water is seeping behind bathroom tiles by removing old caulk and replacing it with fresh stuff formulated for tubs and tile.

Refresh Old Potting Soil

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If last year's potted plants were healthy, you can reuse the soil this year. Remove old foliage or roots, and fluff it up with 25 percent peat moss or compost.

Plant a Tree on Arbor Day

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Happy Arbor Day! To get in the spirit, consider planting a fast-growing flowering species that will offer up plenty of color. In hot, sunny climates, try a crape myrtle; in cooler zones, opt for a purpleleaf sand cherry. Both can grow up to 2 feet per year. Choose a planting site large enough to accommodate future root and canopy growth.

Keep Windows Working

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In honor of National Window Safety Week (April 5–11), inspect your home's windows to ensure none are painted or nailed shut.

Mix up How You Mow

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Changing direction each time you cut the lawn will help grass blades grow upright, not tilted in the direction you mow.

Pull Weeds After It Rains

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The softer soil makes it easier to remove the entire root.

Get the AC Ready to Work

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Give the system a whirl now so that you'll have plenty of time to schedule a service call, if needed, before the pros get booked up.

Place Sprinklers Strategically

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Make sure you're watering your yard, and not your driveway, house, or sidewalk; you'll save water and avoid rotted siding.

Open Seldom-Used Taps

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If guest baths haven't seen company in a month or longer, run faucets and flush toilets to keep traps from drying out and causing unpleasant odors.

Check Washer Hoses

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To avoid costly flooding, look for cracks and bulges in washer hoses and replace if there's any sign of wear.

Reseed Bare Patches

Fill bald spots by raking and sprinkling with garden soil and grass seed. Water regularly to keep seeds moist.

Fix Driveway Cracks

Winter ice can cause or broaden cracks in concrete driveways. For narrow gaps, apply a masonry crack filler; in wider ones, use patching mortar.

Clean and Seal Your Fireplace

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Keep critters from holing up in your chimney by closing up your flue until fall. Then schedule a cleaning and inspection—you can often get lower rates in the off-season.

Replace Your AC Filter

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Before turning on your AC this spring, change the filter so that it runs with maximum efficiency.

Clean Your Doormat

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Dirty mats are less effective at trapping dust and debris. Use a vacuum to clean out caked-in dirt so mats are ready for muddy spring shoes.