After a long winter, all homes and yards are due for a deep clean. But, make sure you take these steps to stay safe during spring cleaning.
- If, over the winter, any part of your home or various structures on your property were damaged, make sure to stay away until they have been examined and certified as safe by a building inspector
- Leave immediately if you hear shifting or unusual noises that signal that the structure may fall or if you smell gas or suspect a leak. If you smell gas, notify emergency authorities and do not turn on the lights, light matches, smoke, or do anything that could cause a spark
- Keep children and pets out of the affected area until cleanup has been completed
- Go throughout the home and replace the batteries of your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors. By doing this every spring, you will form a habit and be on a constant look out for keeping these safety devices in working order
- During the winter, branches and other debris pileup in the yard. If you will be using a chainsaw to cut down any type of debris, operate the saw according to the manufacturer’s instructions, wear appropriate protective equipment, avoid contact with power lines, be sure that bystanders are at a safe distance, and take extra care in cutting trees or branches that have gotten bent or caught under another object. Use extreme caution to avoid electrical shock when using an electric chain saw. For tips on safely operating a chain saw, see Preventing Chain Saw Injuries During Tree Removal After a Disaster.
- If there has been any flooding, make sure there was no back flow of sewage into your yard or home. While cleaning, wear rubber boots, rubber gloves and goggles to stay protected against injury and disease while in the affected area
- When snow melts, it can make basements extremely wet and foster mold growth. If you have objects like mattresses, carpet, bedding, stuffed animals, etc. in your basement, you may have to discard them due to mold.
- Check for water damage on drywall and insulation. Mold will grow where water has been so it is important to catch it as soon as possible. Take out and replace damaged sections of dry wall.
- Clean the basement floor with bleach and hot water. This will kill mold and help to prevent a moldy smell from lingering in your basement.