Please welcome guest writer, Carol Evenson.
5 Outdoor Home Maintenance Projects for Spring
This winter has been particularly harsh across the country, and for months, people have hunkered down inside their homes to weather the cold. Spring is just around the corner, though, and the time is fast approaching for people to venture outside, survey the damage, and get to work making the necessary repairs to keep their homes in prime condition.
Winter weather can be rough on a home’s exterior, from the lawn to the structure itself. Here are a few particular areas homeowners will want to pay particular attention to this Spring:
One of the first things you should check out this Spring is the roof of your home. Your roof is your home’s first line of defense against the weather, and chances are that it’s taken quite a beating from the rain, snow, and ice. Before climbing up, though, take a look from the ground to see if any shingles have been dislodged by the weather. This is also a good time to do a final cleaning of the gutters, removing any debris that has accumulated.
If you’ve noticed leaks, Spring should offer you a good opportunity to make repairs. Replace any shingles that have come loose, and look for any problem areas that may be the source of a leak. The source of a leak may not be directly over the spot inside where the water comes through, so give the entire roof a thorough inspection to discover any damage. You may be able to save some money by doing the repairs yourself, but don’t try to be a hero. If the damage is severe enough, don’t hesitate to call in a professional.
Inspect your home’s siding, whether it is wooden, vinyl, or brick. If you see stains or water damage along the sides, it may indicate a problem area on the roof or gutters leading to extra runoff. These areas should be taken care of quickly to prevent further damage. Also, keep an eye out for damage from insects that may have burrowed into wooden siding during the winter. Check for soft areas that may have begun to rot due to wet weather and may need to be repaired or replaced.
While you may not see a lot of homes in northern cities like Denver and St. Paul with pools for sale, Naples-Fort Myers, and other Florida towns are a different story. If your home has a pool and you want it to be ready for summer fun, then the work starts in spring. After a long winter, even in warmer cities, there is likely a lot of debris on your pool cover. You don’t want that to spill into your pool as you remove the cover, so remove as much as possible beforehand.
Use a cover pump to remove the excess water, then sweep the debris off with a long-handled broom. Remove the cover, then let it dry before you store it. Treat it with a product to prevent mold and rot, then roll it up and keep it in a cool, dry place.
Raise the water level in your pool back to normal, and if you do happen to live in a cooler climate, follow the necessary steps to de-winterize your pool system. Turn the system back on and be sure to check your pool’s chemistry. Ideally, the chlorine levels should be between 2.0 and 4.0 ppm. Your pool’s pH should be between 7.4 and 7.6, while the alkalinity should be between 80 and 120 ppm.
Chances are high that your lawn has suffered a bit of erosion and will have some dead patches coming out of the cold. This is particularly true if you live in a climate with heavy snowfall. If there are any leaves that you missed last Fall, clear them away so the new grass isn’t suffocated.
Take care of any bare patches by reseeding and applying new fertilizer. In drastic cases, you may want to consider aerating. This may be something you can do yourself, or you may want to hire a lawn care service that specializes in such things. A simple online search for “lawn care services near me” will provide you with a long list of capable professionals.
If you have a sprinkler system that you winterized, many of these lawn care services can help you to get things up and running again, as well as perform an inspection to ensure there are no leaks that have appeared over winter.
While you may not think “outdoors” when discussing your air conditioner, the main unit is located outside and has been subject to the harsh weather. Check the hose connections both inside and outside for leaks and cracks to ensure your unit is running efficiently. Spring months offer a brief window where it’s warm enough outside to inspect the AC unit, but not so hot that you’ll be too inconvenienced if you find a problem. Stay on top of it and make sure that it’s in good working order before the hot summer months.