Article Contributor: Bret Engle
Spring is in the air, and so is the pollen. However, even if you sniff and sneeze every time you step outside, it’s the perfect time to knock a few projects off your spring to-do list. Doing your outdoor chores now will save you from working in the oppressive heat of summer. Keep reading for projects that shouldn’t wait and a few ideas on how to put the kids to work with you.
But First, Gather Your Gear
Before you start any spring maintenance task, gather your tools. This should include quality garden or work gloves, safety glasses, bug spray, and any special tools you’ll need for a specific job. An example would be to have deck screws and a good cordless drill when you’re fixing bulging deck board. A few minutes of research and preparation will save you time and trouble.
Tackle Safety Concerns First
Winter may have left your home damaged in ways you’ve yet to detect, but don’t wait until the first big summer storm to find out where you’re vulnerable. There are several quick and easy ways to check for problems and fix small issues now before they grow into something that requires a call to your homeowners insurance.
Cleaning the gutters is probably one of the least daunting tasks here, but it is one that can prevent water intrusion in a downpour. You can do this by hand or with a gutter cleaning tool that attaches to your water hose. HomeAdvisor also suggests checking for leaks by running water into the gutters. These are sealed by applying epoxy or caulk, which you can find at the hardware store. Make sure the downspouts are securely attached and take a quick glance at the roof while you’re there. If you see an issue, call your roofer for repair.
Leaking gutters can damage your home, but there is an even more dangerous threat overhead. Dead trees and rotting limbs put your family at risk of a serious injury. It may be difficult to tell which limbs are alive and dormant and which have seen their last leaves. Remove a layer of bark from the trunk. Seeing green underneath means the tree is healthy. However, if last summer was dry or winter lasted longer than expected, you could have dead branches. Branches that don’t bud within a week or so of the rest of the tree should be inspected and removed by an arborist to prevent them from falling.
Another simple fix many homeowners overlook is warped or popped decking. With a drill and a handful of deck screws, you can flatten these back down, saving you from a stubbed toe at your next barbeque. WoodItsReal.com stresses the importance of using deck screws since they are less likely to pop out and will keep your deck in better shape than nails.
Spring is also the ideal time to tend to your pest problem. Prevent insects from entering your home as they awaken by spraying insecticide around the perimeter, paying careful attention to door jambs, windows, and the garage door. Move wood piles away from the house and cut back bushes so they aren’t touching the foundation.
If you have an asphalt driveway that hasn’t been cared for in a few years, then seal it now. Not only will this keep it in good shape, but a shiny new surface will also enhance the appearance of your home. While you’re waiting for this to dry, lubricate the garage doors and mend any holes or sagging spots in the fence.
Get the Kids Involved
Home maintenance isn’t a one-person job. Give the kids their own tools and gloves and set them loose watering plants, pulling dandelions, and picking trash and fallen twigs from the yard.
Don’t let summer sneak up on you. Get your hands dirty now and you’ll be free for more important duties as the days grow longer and the thermometer heads higher.
Image via Pixabay