Robin Williams said it best… Spring is nature’s way of saying, “Let’s Party!” Therefore, let us party! You may be thinking how…birthday parties, graduations, barbeques, etc.? No! The kind of party I’m suggesting is a cleaning party for the outside of your home. Those other exciting parties will happen but before they can happen you have to set the venue and no doubt about it that will involve a little hard work. But the pay-off will be great…a beautifully landscaped home where you will feel pride and accomplishment and can host with confidence.
So, the sky is sunny, the weather is warmer, your sleeves are rolled up and you are wondering where to begin. Start with a to-do list so that you are able to stay focused and get the job done quickly.
Here is a suggested list to follow:
- Sweep and power wash your deck and porches
- Stain deck if needed
- Clean the grill
- Clean outside patio furniture
- Power wash siding
- Power wash garage door
- Wash outside windows
- Check windows to see if new caulking is needed to keep cool air in and water out
- Inspect all screens (replace any bent or broken)
- Rescreen if needed (options are fiber, sunscreen, or wire)
- Wipe away cobwebs from entries, awnings, and eaves
- Clean and repair gutters
- Replace any broken bricks, wood, or stones
- Touch up paint trim, wood, doors, and shutters
- Clean outdoor light fixtures
- Clean outside door frames
- Inspect your roof…look for missing or damaged shingles, And replace if needed. Especially inspect asphalt shingles to see if there is an algae buildup. This is visible by black streaks on the shingles. It is important to clean these stains as this is algae and it feeds on the limestone filler in shingles and can eat your roof away. These algae will also spread if not cleaned away.
- Shake out entry mat
- Trim trees, bushes, and shrubbery
- Fertilize the lawn
- Plant flowers
- Check and repair sprinklers
- Plant a garden if desired
- Add new mulch where needed
- Clean outdoor trash cans
- Clean the garage
Phew!!! Exhausting right? Swipe the sweat away…there is a bit more to do. Remember you can always have a bit of this contracted out.
There are two more things I would like to recommend you do this Spring that will ensure that your home and yard are well taken care of. The first is the service your air conditioning unit and the second is maintenance on your mower.
It is important to service your air conditioning unit every spring before turning it on. If you cannot do it yourself, then hire a professional. There is no embarrassment in that. However, if you decide to do it yourself remember to wash the filter, clean the coils and wash the outside condenser. Also, trim away shrubs from the unit and make sure the drain line is not clogged. Voila!!! Turn the air conditioning unit on.
So let’s talk mowers. The grass grows quickly in the Spring, your mower needs to be ready. Here’s what you should do to ensure the life of your mower:
- Check the spark plug. A good plug is necessary for your mower to run properly. If the plug is dirty or coming loose on the mower it might be difficult for the mower to start and it could run poorly. It also could waste fuel and cut your grass choppy instead of smoothly. If the spark plug is bad, your mower won’t start at all. Check the spark plug wire as well. If you see dirt or corrosion, gently brush it clean.
- Change the oil. The suggested oil change to keep the engine protected is at least once a year or after 50 hours of use. Be sure and get the right type of oil for your mower. This can be found in your owner’s manual. Replace the oil filter as well if your mower has one. An important tip to remember is to never over-fill your mower with oil as it can damage the engine.
That’s it! You are done. Remember we live in the south…time for some sweet tea. It’s time to sit on that clean deck and be proud of yourself. Enjoy!