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Springtime Home Maintenance Tips
May 15th, 2018
Winter is finally behind us! On that note, the Spring season is the best time to inspect your home for any damage Winter may have caused and take the proper steps to ensure a smooth transition into the Spring/Summer seasons. Getting outside is the easy part but figuring out which projects to tackle first is where things start to get challenging.
Because the hardest part of spring clean up is figuring out where to begin, the best way to get going involves making a list of the things you want to accomplish, followed by strategizing which ones should be done in what order.
Having a thoughtful and thorough plan of attack is never a bad idea—especially when it comes to making improvements to your property.
The following is a list of spring home maintenance tips, tricks and advice that every proud property owner or renter should follow this season:
1. Prune Trees/Shrubs
Chances are, the trees or shrub branches on your property have been damaged by cold, snow, and wind. Pruning damaged tree limbs and branches creates stems that will eventually lead to new growth—and new growth is what’s going to make your property POP. Hand pruners work best on shrubs or bushes. If you’re dealing with a large branch or limb, you may need a handsaw or a chainsaw. WKPS is happy to help with larger jobs as tree maintenance can be quite tricky!
2. Prepare Flower/Garden Beds
Your flower/garden beds are likely overrun with decaying leaves, twigs, and anything else that managed to survive throughout the cold winter. Unchecked, these leftovers can smother future growth and even lead to disease. If you want your flowers and/or vegetables to grow and bloom this summer, it’s best to dedicate your spring to getting them prepared for the long growing season. This is simple, and often involves raking out leaves and dead foliage, pulling up old plants and replacing old mulch. Spread some new fertilizer once the ground has fully thawed.
3. Reseed Damaged Areas
Grass in New England typically tends to start growing in mid April—meaning early spring is the best time to start treating damaged areas of your lawn. If an area of your lawn is in fact damaged, remove it and start anew. Apply a generous layer of fertilizer to the barren patch of land and apply your grass seed.
4. Clean Up Walkways
Equally as important as your outdoor area are the pathways you take to get there, so don’t skimp on this task. While this ultimately depends on the type of walkway you have, be sure to clean, sweep and spray all of it away to ensure a smooth transition from your indoor living space to your outdoor paradise. If you have pavers that were re-positioned during winter, take this time to set them back in place. Some walkways may also suffer from algae growth or leaf stains. For heavy duty clean up you can rent a pressure washer, or simply grab a hose and a scrub brush and use some muscle to wash away the grit.
5. Power Wash Deck
Hopefully you still have that pressure washer you rented or borrowed and can tackle this project in no time. A quick hit of your outdoor deck will have it looking like new and will ensure it’s longevity for years to come. Gauge the pressure to be sure that you aren’t losing the finish as well, unless you are planning to apply a fresh coat of stain or paint.
6. De-Junk Gutters
When it comes to making improvements to your actual home, de-junking your gutters may be the most important of them all. Chances are, your gutters filled up with dead leaves and gunk during the fall, and then during the winter all of that was left to decay and then freeze. Come springtime, the last thing you want is for your gutters and downspouts to be clogged and unable to drain. Excess buildup can cause your gutters to take on more weight, and lead to weed and plant growth—both of which can cause damage and a bad smell. If you have a ladder, a tarp and some rubber gloves, get up near your roof and do your best to clear any and all obstructions. Throw what you find on to the tarp below. You can also grab a hose and thoroughly wash your gutters once all of the clutter is removed.
7. Check Sliding Doors/Screen Doors
The sliding door/screen door you would normally use to access your yard was likely not used a whole lot throughout the winter. If this is the case, be sure to inspect them both thoroughly. The best way to do this is to physically remove the door(s) from its hinges. This allows you to inspect not only the door itself, but also the track in which it is situated. Patch or replace any tears so you will be comfortable and protected when mosquito season begins.
8. Exterior Painting/Wood Replacement
Exposure to moisture can lead your homes exterior to look worn and ragged, which in turn can cause cracking, blistering, flaking, and peeling. And when the sun comes out, the wood will begin to chip & mold while the paint can then begin to fade—making your home look old and worn out. If you don’t have the time to properly scrape, sand and repaint your home, trust the professionals to do the work for you.
9. Inspect Storm Windows
After long, hard winter, it’s a good idea to remove and clean your storm windows. Remember, the weather during the spring and summer can be just as harsh, so taking a little time at the start of the spring to ensure all is well with your storm windows is a good discipline. Before cleaning your storm windows, inspect them for any chips or cracks. Note: It can be very dangerous to remove storm windows that have cracked glass so be sure to hire a professional or have a helper to stand by and spot for any hazards.
10. Inspect Roof
Inspecting your roof now can save you some serious heartache (and budget!) later on. If you have a ladder, and a spotter, get on top of the roof and give it a thorough look. Remember, be very careful. Inspections can also be done from the ground. Examine shingles to see if any were lost or damaged during winter. If your home has an older roof covering, and that wear and tear is beginning to show, it may be a good time to start a budget for replacement. The summer time can mean some windy and wet weather, so any shingles that are loose or damaged will likely end up on your lawn.