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  • Getting Your Home Ready For Spring

    Friday, March 15, 2019   /   by Callie O'Brien

    Getting Your Home Ready For Spring

    Clean the walkway

    Under all the snow, your walkway can be practically forgotten, but a quick pressure wash can spruce it right up! Once the wash is done and your walkway is looking shiny and new, just check around for any damaged pavers or bricks. If any pavers are sticking up too high, remove them, take away a little dirt, and drop them back in place. On concrete walkways you can fill in cracks with a masonry crack filler that matches the color of your concrete.


    Spruce up the front door 

    Check out the weather stripping around the door with a screwdriver and caulk any post-winter gaps to keep the (hopefully coming) hot air from seeping in. Then tighten any hinges that may have come loose due to shifts in temperature.


    Prep the windows

    Just like with the front door, check the caulking for any gaps in the framing and check that the mechanics are working by opening and closing each window a few times. Fill up two buckets: one with 1 cup of vinegar, 1 cup of ammonia, and 1 gallon of hot water; the other with warm water. Wash windows with the vinegar-ammonia solution first, then with water only. Dry with a squeegee.

    Hot tip: Wash windows on a cloudy day. The sun may dry the solution too soon, leaving streaks.


    Reinforce the fence posts

    After the weather we’ve had this winter, you’re going to want to make sure that your fences will still be standing come the summertime. Give a quick walk around and look for warped or rotten pickets or posts, then give posts a good yank to make sure they're sturdy in the ground.


    The driveway 

    Weather also does a number on driveways, but you don’t have to get yours completely redone to make it look nice again! Sweep away debris, patch cracks, then use a squeegee to apply a sealer. For blacktop or asphalt, try Black Jack Blacktop Ultra-Maxx 1000 Driveway Filler and Sealer ($34 for 4?3/4 gallons). For concrete, try Quikrete Concrete Crack Seal ($10 for a quart).

    Tidy up the flower beds

    Be the envy of your neighbors with a beautiful garden this summer. Start by clearing out weeds or debris and use a spade to redefine the bed edges. Till the top inch or two of soil if it's tightly packed, while being careful not to disturb any bulbs below. Apply 2 to 3 inches of mulch, then plant away!


    Fill in the grass

    A simple metal rake will do the trick to remove leaves, twigs, and de-thatch dead grass. Ask for help choosing the right seed at a garden center, then apply it to bald patches or anywhere you want a thicker lawn.

    Hot tip: Weed-killing fertilizer will work fastest if applied right before it rains.


    Fix the sprinkler

    With our fluctuating weather these past months, checking your sprinklers is a must! Check for any winter damage, including broken heads and cracked pipes, by running your sprinkler one zone at a time. Any bubbling or geyser-like area needs a new head.


    Clear out the gutters 

    While not the most glamourous chore, clearing out your gutters every once and while keeps your home protected from any unnecessary water damage!


    Inspect the roof

    After all this snow, you’re going to want to make sure that your roof is ready to do it again next winter. Grab a ladder and climb up to take a peak or grab a pair of binoculars and look at your roof from across the street. Look for any curling, cracked, or missing shingles and any damaged metal flashing around the chimney, pipes, and skylights. Get in touch with a roofer for fixes.


    Clean the deck

    For cleaning the deck, use that trusty power washer again or a deck brush! Deck-cleaning solutions (like Cabot Ready to Use wood cleaner pump spray, $12 a gallon) help to remove mold, dirt, and mildew. If the finish is worn, let the wood dry for a few days after the wash and then reseal it.


    Wash the cushions

    Most outdoor fabrics are safe to throw in a warm wash. Air-dry, then put the cover back on the insert while it's still slightly damp to keep it smooth. If the fabric isn't removable, clean it using a soft scrub brush, dish detergent, and warm water.