Bob Vila's 10 February "Must Do" Projects

February's here—and that means at least 6 more weeks of winter. That means that now's the time to take care of some end-of-the-season indoor projects. If you're looking forward to spring, though, there are a handful of jobs you can do right now to prepare for months of outdoor fun.

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  1. Seal the Shower


    Bathroom caulk creates a waterproof barrier between the shower or bathtub and the wall, thereby preventing water damage. Over time, however, the silicone breaks down and cracks, which lets in moisture and allows mold to grow. To renew the water-resistant seal, chip away the old caulk, and apply a fresh bead of silicone. Not only will your bathroom be protected against water damage, but it will look fresher too.

    Related: 10 Quick Fixes for a More Refreshing Shower

  2. Check for Wear


    When a washing machine leaks, it could be due to crCacked washer hoses. It's a good idea to check these periodically to ensure that they are not worn or cracking. To do so, move the washer away from the wall and inspect external hoses, then take a look inside at the internal hoses as well. If you see signs of wear you'll want to replace the hose, after first shutting off the water and power to the machine.

    Related: 10 Laundry Room Storage Ideas That'll Knock Your Socks Off

  3. Make It Gleam


    Even for those who keep the cleanest of kitchens aren't always proud of the gunk and mess that can accumulate on stoves and ovens. To remove baked-on grime, try applying a paste made of baking soda and water. Let it sit, then scrub it away. Don't forget to clean the range hood and replace the range hood filter while you're at it.

    Related: 10 Unusual Tips for Your Cleanest Kitchen Ever

  4. Make Do and Mend


    Spring is on the way, and that means you'll be opening the windows again to get some fresh air into the house. Before you do, take an inventory of all your windows. Check for torn or missing window screens and replace any that need it. If you spot any discolored wood around the windows, this could be a sign of moisture or rot. Make a note of any damaged areas and make sure to identify the source of the leak in order to prevent additional damage. Then repair the rotted wood along the interior or exterior of the house as the weather allows.

    Related: 7 New Ways to Use Old Windows

  5. Review Your Policy


    Many homeowners already know to review their homeowner's insurance policy after building a new addition, or when purchasing a big ticket item. But it pays to review the policy annually, regardless of your situation. You may be eligible for a discount, or an insurance agent may be able to recommend changes to give you the best coverage available. 

    Related: 9 Things You Won’t Believe Home Insurance Doesn’t Cover

  6. Flip the Mattress


    Flipping your mattress every six month increases its lifespan. Normally you sleep on the same surface of the bed each night, but by changing the orientation of the mattress, the distribution of weight will be more even, thereby preventing sagging. Keep in mind that not all mattresses can be flipped. If that's true of yours, rotate it 180 degrees.

    Related: 10 Simple Ingredients for a Very Comfortable Bed

  7. Fix Sticky Locks


    Check the locks on your windows and doors, from the front entryway to the half bathroom. Sticky locks can be fixed by spraying powdered graphite in the keyhole. Then, insert a key to work the graphite into the lock. Broken window locks can be easily replaced, provided you have the parts you need. Photograph the broken pieces and take them with you to a home goods store or window dealer to get replacement parts that are an exact match.

  8. Freshen the Disposal


    There's something in the kitchen that stinks—your garbage disposal. This fixture traps food particles and bacteria, so it's no wonder that it needs frequent cleaning. Take a box of baking soda from the pantry and sprinkle about a half cup down the drain. Then, add vinegar to create cleansing bubbles. Once the mixture has been allowed to work for a couple minutes, flush out the sink with hot water. 

    Related: 10 Ingenious Home Uses for Baking Soda

  9. Start Seeds


    If you're starting a garden from seed, late February is a good time to start your seeds. Many flowers and veggies should be sown 6 weeks before the last frost, but check the growing instructions on your seed packets before getting started. You can start seeds inside eggshells, cut cardboard tubes, or cardboard egg cartons. Once sprouted, these compostable plant pots can be place directly into an outdoor garden bed.

    Related: Vegetables On Demand - How to Grow Edible Plants Indoors—Starting from Seeds!

  10. Maintain Your Tools


    Before giving your garden tools a workout this spring, take a little time to recondition them now. Dull blades should be sharpened and broken tools and handles must be repaired. Tools with moving parts, like shears, should be properly oiled to keep them in peak condition.

    Related: 9 Essential Tools for Every Gardener

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