As we get into spring it’s a good idea to keep an eye on the weather for warm weekends. It’s the perfect opportunity to get a jump on your outdoor spring maintenance. That way, you can have your outdoor spaces clean, organized, and ready to enjoy right away. Here are some essential tasks to tackle.
#1 Clean Your Exterior
A good place to start your outdoor spring maintenance is to check the exterior paint on your house and any other structures on the property. Specifically, check for chipping or cracking paint that may need to be removed and repainted. You can remove damaged paint with a paint scraper or pressure washer. If you have, you can pressure wash to remove algae, mold, and dirt accumulation.
#2 Fix the Roof
You should give your roof a yearly inspection to check for damage. Loose or missing shingles and flashing should be repaired immediately. If you have a damaged metal roof, you can use a roof ripper to remove damaged pieces. Underlayment can also be replaced at this time if needed. Remove any debris or dead limbs from the roof as well.
#3 Clear or Replace Your Gutters
You should also clean your gutters to remove dead leaves, twigs, and other debris. Look for any winter ice damage and repair or replace if necessary. You should also check downspouts and other drainage spouts for damage or clogs to prevent water accumulation, which can lead to further damage over time.
#4 Check & Clean Your Windows
Check your windows for any damage that may have occurred, such as cracks in the glass or damage to the frames. At minimum you’ll want to replace the pane, but it may be more cost effective to replace the window. Screens can also become ripped or punctured over winter. These can be easily replaced with a new window screen. Spring window cleaning is also a must. Use a glass cleaner or gentle cleanser, and a squeegee to remove excess water.
#5 Spruce Up Your Landscaping
Spring landscaping will be one of your biggest maintenance jobs. Here’s some must-do tasks:
Remove any large, damaged tree limbs with a hand saw or chainsaw (STIHL available at Chemong HHBC)
Use a bypass lopper to reach up to smaller branches
Use a trimmer and shears to prune and prettify your bushes and hedges
Remove dead leaves and debris from your lawn with a rake or leaf blower
Check your irrigation systems for proper working order
Clean and tune up your lawn mower and tiller
Apply a herbicide to remove weeds and other unwanted vegetation
Add soil to your garden beds
Fertilize prior to planting
#6 Break Out Your Patio Furniture
If your outdoor seating took a beating over the winter it may be time to consider new patio furniture, or even just a new set of cushions. Otherwise a little TLC is in order. Here’s how to clean your patio furniture:
Use a good all-purpose cleaner and wet rags to wipe down metal or plastic furnishings
For rust, use steel wool and rust remover to scrub away oxidized surfaces, then prime and repaint to protect the metal and restore its appearance
Check your furniture covers to see if they’re washable to get ready for next season
Wooden furniture can be repainted to freshen up its appearance
For fabric, use dish soap mixed with warm water and allow to air dry
#7 Wash Down Your Driveway & Walkways
Cleaning your driveway is another essential spring cleanup task. Start by inspecting for cracks and other damage which may need to be fixed using a blacktop filler or similar product. Use a pressure washer to remove oil and other stains, and then finish it with a driveway sealer to help prevent new stains and damage.
#8 Clean Your Deck, Patio & Fencing
Repeated freezing, melting and refreezing over winter can cause deck and fence boards to split, and patio stones to crack. Here’s what to do:
Pressure wash your deck and patio to loosen up any damaged areas
Inspect your decks, fences and patio for damage
Remove the broken portions and replace with new lumber and patio stones
Repaint or stain older wood surfaces to make them look like new again
#9 Outdoor Lighting
Get your outdoor lighting ready for warm weather by checking for any damage. Replace any burnt out or broken bulbs. Reconnect or replace any lighting that was brought inside for the winter, such as patio lights. You can also add some security lights to freshen up the look and increase safety.
#10 Get Your Grill Ready
Warm weather means outdoor cooking, so it’s time to get your BBQ ready: Here’s how to do it:
Remove the grill cover and check for any damage
Check the burners, heat plates, igniter, and regulator and hose assembly to see if anything needs replacing
Use your grill maintenance tools to clean the grill’s interior
Make sure you have enough fuel for your grill
Check to ensure you have all the grilling accessories you need for your first cookout, like meat tongs and other cooking utensils
Outdoor spring cleaning is a big job, so don’t fret if you can’t get it all done in one weekend. Consider designating different tasks to different family members. Then follow the steps above and soon you’ll all be kicking back, relaxing, and enjoying the warm weather.