As the seasons officially change and the bad weather starts giving way to warm, sunny days, that means it’s safe to come out of hiding from the biting wind and blizzards. For the past few months, functionality has taken place over aesthetic around the household, but now that the world is coming back to life and summer BBQ’s are fast approaching, it’s time to make the house look good again and restore some order to the winter-weather shelter you’ve been calling home.
From giving the front yard some much needed TLC to performing maintenance on your driveway, this version of spring cleaning requires just one solid weekend to tackle, and will give your abode that much needed boost to once again being the best looking house on the block.
- Once you’re sure the home is all sealed up and ready for the rain, you can finally relax and start counting down until the warm days of summer roll on in. Loving Your Lawn: After a long winter, there’s a good chance your beloved lawn has been through a lot. Poor conditions can cause soil to compact, pH to shift, and weeds to set in, so once you’re able to get back in the yard, it’s important to give your lawn some attention so it’s full and green come summertime. Though heavy fertilizing may be done in the fall, a bit of light fertilization can be done in the spring to give the grass something to digest after a long winter of starvation. Another key is to go through with a rake and eliminate any spots that may have died since the fall. Dead grass is the perfect material to create that dreaded thatch, and by nipping this issue in the bud before it starts, you’ll leave yourself with a healthier lawn and a lot less work come this fall.
- Driveway First-Aid: It’s been a long time since you were able to head outdoors and give your driveway the care that it deserves. Besides the fact that snow and ice make working outside a hassle, most driveway work isn’t effective when the thermostat reads below 55 degrees, meaning any work you failed to do before December has had to be put on hold until Spring. Now that you have the green light to get into action, it’s time to hit the pavement with a jug of detergent and a power hose, blasting away any stains that have been building up beneath the ice. And beyond just cleaning the surface, it’s also a good time to give the whole area some much needed protection with a fresh layer of sealant, such as Latex-ite, that will help it stay healthy for the next few years. Just always make sure to check the weather, and if any rain is possible in the next 36 hours, you’ll want to hold off until there are a series of sunny days.
- Man Vs. Water: While the nose numbing and snow sloshing weather may be a thing of the past, there is still one more element you have to deal with to pass this season’s final exam: the rain. Sure your house just survived far more extreme conditions than a March shower, but those extreme conditions might have taken a beating on the house and left it vulnerable to leakage in a heavy downpour. Assuring proper safety gear and supervision, use this warmer weather to inspect the roof and replace any damaged shingles or roofing paper. And while you’re up there take an afternoon to clear the gutters of debris.
TIP: Have a lawnmower that stiffened up over the winter? WD-40® Multi-Use Product is great for freeing up locking nuts on lawnmower blades.
(This was originally posted in March 2013)