Spring Is Back, and It’s Time to Get to Work Outdoors

The sun is finally shining throughout the afternoon hours, and at long last, you can be outside without bundling up. It’s spring. And while now’s the perfect time to sit outdoors and soak up the sun, it’s also a wonderful opportunity to tackle some outdoor maintenance before the heat of summer. Here are a few things you can do now.

Make Your List

Your pre-summer preparations will be different depending on where you live and what features you have on your property. Take time to walk around your yard as well as the perimeter of your home to determine what needs attention. HomeAdvisor’s spring maintenance checklist includes items such as inspecting the sprinklers and caulking around the windows and doors if needed. Double check your toolbox to make sure you have everything you need before you get started — and don’t forget to find a great pair of gardening gloves.

Replace Rotted Wood on the Deck or Fence

If you have deck boards or pieces of fence that have been compromised because of a perpetually damp fall and winter, these are fairly easy to replace. Even if these surfaces are painted, they can hide damage underneath. If you aren’t sure, take a small blade and press it into the wood. There should be very little give — deep penetration is not normal and indicates possible rot. To replace these boards, pop the old ones off. Using them as a guide, make sure your new boards are cut to fit, and then screw them into place. If you suspect issues with the joist or support beams, contact your deck builder for a professional evaluation and repair.

Waterproof the Deck

Once your new wood is in place, it’s a good idea to seal the entire structure. Make sure to use a quality water repellent, and follow Nationwide’s advice to repeat the process every few years.

Banish Bugs

You are not the only one emerging as the ground begins to thaw. All the creepy crawlies are doing the same thing, and they’re looking for shelter. If you want to avoid sharing your indoor space, you’ll need to remedy issues outside. Start by trimming up the landscaping. Vegetation should be cut back to at least six to 12 inches away from your home. This is one of the best ways to prevent spiders from becoming unwanted roommates. Go one step further by surveying your windows and doors, specifically the screens in them. A screen that is frayed or full of holes makes an easy entry for flies and other insects. Fortunately, repairing — or replacing — the window screen is a simple and affordable DIY project.

Perfect the Patio

After a long day of working around the house, you’ll want to relax. That means you will also want to get your outdoor entertainment areas summer-ready. Start by evaluating the condition of your patio furniture. Even if it has been in the garage all winter, some cleaning may be necessary. Make sure to do this on a sunny day when there’s no rain in the forecast. Next, make sure the grill is in good working order and create a dedicated space for your kids’ toys — a deck storage box is ideal for this since it will hide the clutter without looking out of place.

Other projects you can tackle now include:

  • Cleaning the gutters
  • Inspecting the roof for damage
  • Sealing the driveway
  • Cleaning out and mulching flower beds
  • Trimming overhead trees and removing branches and twigs from the lawn
  • Moving wood piles away from the home
  • Cleaning the windows
  • Draining the hot water heater
  • Opening the pool

Again, your spring to-do list is dependent on your home and lifestyle. What is not unique to you is that planning ahead and doing maintenance can lead to less labor throughout the summer.

Article by Julian Lane (guest writer)

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