Early Spring Maintenance
Posted by Admin Staff on Monday, March 22nd, 2021 at 3:45pm.
It's always an experiment to start your outside maintenance in March or April. Will it snow again 3 times, or 4? Will we flood, or will our sump pumps work alright? Once you're confident that second and third Winter have passed, you can get yourself on these 7 easy outdoor tasks:
Clean out all of the pesky pine needles, leaves, dirt and other debris in your gutters! Overflowing gutters and blocked downspouts can damage the siding and foundation of your home. If you want to be pro-active, you can install a gutter guard once it's clean, which allows only the smallest of particles through. All you have to do every now and again is wipe off the large debris.
A/C Condenser Cleaning
Find your big air conditioner box outside, and make sure to turn OFF the power to it. Use a shop-vac with a soft brush attachment to vaccuum away leaves and grass clippings from the outside. Realign any crushed or bent fins with gentle pressure from a dinner knife. Don't insert the knife more than 1/2 inch in. Next, you can unscrew the top grille and remove the fan. Carefully set it aside so that you don't strain the wires. Get rid of any leaves you see, and wipe down the interior surfaces with a damp cloth - just to get the ick off. Now you can spray the fins with medium pressure from your garden hose. The best way to do this is by spraying the water from the inside to the outside. An air conditioner gets dirty because a central fan sucks air through the fins; pulling in dust, dead leaves, dead grass and more. The debris blocks the airflow and reduces the unit’s cooling ability. Make sure that you don't use a brush, and you definitely don't use a pressure washer - this will bend the blades! Once this is all clean, reassemble everything and turn the power back on.
Cleaning the Siding
This one is the most satisfying, especially if you're able to use a pressure washer on your siding. Seeing the dirt come off in mere seconds is like magic, and cleaning time is practically nothing! However, if you can't use a pressure washer, the task is still easy, but it will take some time. a bucket of warm, soapy water, a long handled brush and a hose are all you'll need. If you have vinyl siding that requires special cleaner (for warranty and longevity purposes), the cleaners usually come in bottles that attach directly to your hose. In any case, the first thing to do is turn off any exterior electrical lights and outlets. Cover flowerbeds, bushes, and other items that can't be moved if you're using a special cleaning solution. Work in small sections, wetting the area with water first, then cleaning it, then rinsing it off. If you've used special cleaning product, make sure to give your plants and bushes an extra bout of water to make sure the cleaner is diluted and harmless when it drips down to them. The best time to clean your home is on a day when it's not hot and sunny - the heat can cause streaking and early drying. Also, if you have a tall home, it's better to call in the pros than to put yourself at risk of falling injuries.
Another satisfying cleaning job. If you have a deck, Pressure washing is an effective method. The biggest problems with decks however, are those that occur between the deck boards. Use a flat-bladed screwdriver to get in between the boards, cleaning away any debris that can cause rot.
Our winters are tough on windows and doors. Inspect your windows, doors and corner trim. Re-caulk any areas as necessary to prevent water from finding its way to the sensitive insides of your house. This one will save you from costly mould repair!
Concrete is not immune to Mother Nature. If any of your concrete or asphalt cracked over the course of the winter, it's not a bad idea to get it properly filled. If the crack is small enough, a simple sealant made for your driveway will do the trick. Anything bigger, and you'll want to call in the pros.
Take a close look at your roofing to check for loose and/or missing shingles, worn and rusted flashing, as well as cracked boots around vent pipes. If you have asphalt shingling, you want to check the gutters for buildup of small, sandy granules - this indicates that the shingles are wearing down. If you have wooden shingles, check to see if they’re warping or rotting. If you have slate, clay tile, or cement tiles, it's important that you inspect them to find any ice damage, broken tiles, chipped tiles, or missing pieces. If you estimate that 1/3 or more of your roof needs repair, you need to call in professional help. Otherwise, the issue is small and localized enough that you can DIY.
Overall, if you make sure to do these 7 tasks each year after the snow melts, you can take pride in knowing that you're a meticulous homeowner, and a homeowner that saves themselves from costly repairs! Caring for your home from season to season ensures that it will take care of you for years to come, or take care of the next homeowner for years to come if you're selling soon. Happy cleaning!