After a long winter’s nap, your outdoor spaces require some special care and attention. During the coldest months, we gather indoors and our outdoor spaces often lie neglected under a blanket of snow. Now that spring is around the corner, it’s time to prepare your plan of attack.
Remove obvious debris from your yard.
The winter months can take a toll on the landscaping. Remove any obvious debris such as downed tree limbs, obviously dead plants, weeds, and built up thatch on the lawn. Taking this first important step will immediately brighten your outdoor space.
Get your lawn in order.
Once the ground has thawed, it’s time to get your lawn ready for spring to ensure a lush lawn come summer. Start with a deep raking to remove thatch build up. Consider reseeding areas that appear bare. Spring is also the perfect time to aerate the soil and apply fertilizer to maintain optimum nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorous levels.
Get your windows squeaky clean.
Winter can leave some nasty residue on your home’s exterior windows. Start by opening the windows and using a handheld vacuum to remove dirt, dead bugs, and cobwebs from the window wells. Clean all storm windows inside and out. You should also remove the screens and give them a good rinse with the hose. If your windows are difficult to reach, hiring a professional window cleaner may be a good springtime investment.
Inspect and clean the gutters.
Depending on the type of gutters installed on your home, they can collect debris throughout the winter. Using a ladder, carefully inspect your gutters. Check for places where repairs may be needed. Remove any debris including wet leaves and sticks from the gutters to ensure they are working as intended.
Examine and repair outdoor structures.
Winter’s cold winds and wet conditions can wreak havoc on outdoor structures like fences, shutters, roofs, and mini-barns. Look for weak or damaged spots that should be repaired or replaced.
Power washing is your friend.
Pressure washing removes caked on dirt and mildew from outdoor structures. Rent a power washer and use it in a variety of ways. It can remove mildew from deck and porch structures, freshen concrete walks, and remove loose paint from fences in order to prepare them for new coats of stain or paint. A power washer can remove unwanted dirt from siding and even garbage cans. Beware though, not all siding is power washer safe and can be damaged by the high pressure spray. Check with the manufacturer for recommended cleaning methods first.
A fresh coat of paint never hurt anyone.
A fresh coat of paint is a quick, easy, and inexpensive way to dress up your outdoor structures. Paint protects the underlying wood from the elements and will protect from mold and rot.
Get your patio party ready.
Once your deck is ready for the party, is everything else? Dust and clean any outdoor patio furniture. Replace faded or worn cushions with new, ensuring that they are made of special fabric for outdoor use to allow for fast drying and prevent mildew. Use a wire brush to clean your grill and remove caked on debris from last year’s parties.
With an organized plan, you can conquer your outdoor Spring Cleaning tasks in a just a few weekends, ensuring a long summer of sun and fun!