Preventative outdoor maintenance is an important part of being a homeowner. Not only does it minimize the cost of future home repairs but it also allows you to enjoy the outdoor spaces you love. With pool party and backyard barbeque season upon us, now is the perfect time to get your outdoor spaces ready for the upcoming season. Check out these six helpful tips to get the job done!
Cleaning the Gutters
Fallen leaves, twigs, and other debris often clog downspouts in the fall and winter months, preventing water from moving away from the home properly. Having clogged gutters can cause water damage to your roof, fascia (the board behind the gutter), foundation, and basement. To combat the potential damage, it’s recommended that you clean your gutters twice a year. If you are going to do-it-yourself, spring and summer are great times to tackle this task. Grab your ladder and use a gutter scoop, plastic sand shovel, or a trowel to remove the gunk. Spare your lawn, and dump the gunk into a bucket or onto a tarp. After you’ve de-gunked, flush the rest of the debris out the gutters with a garden hose. This is also a great way to check if there are any leaks. Lastly, don’t forget to check the weather forecast before you clean- it’s much easier to clean when the gunk is dried out!
Repairing Outside Paint
Have you noticed any chipping or peeling on your home’s siding? Are your shutters and front door a few shades grayer or bleached-out? If so, it may be time to pick up a paint scraper to minimize damage from the elements and increase your curb appeal. If you’re not sure whether you should paint your house, check out this helpful blog. Once you’ve decided to go ahead and re-touch, use a paint scraper to liberally remove any damaged areas. Then, switch to a wire brush to get the remaining loose edges and debris off. Next, apply a thin, flat layer of wood filler that extends past the edges of the spot you want to fix with a putty knife. Let the filler dry for about 2 hours and then use a fine grit paper to sand. After that, apply a primer and paint. When painting, make sure to blend the paint in with the rest of the exterior. If the color is too light once it dries, consider applying a second or even third coat.
Preparing the Grill
Cleaning and maintenance are necessary for quality grilling. Now that the weather is getting warmer, it’s time to get your grill ready for barbeque season. Before you begin cleaning, make sure the dials are in the off position and the grill is disconnected from the propane tank (if applicable). Remove your grates and place them in a bucket of warm water and dish soap. Use a scrub wire brush and degreasing agent to thoroughly clean the grates. It’s also in good practice to oil your grates. Find out how using this article. After that, move onto the main part of the grill. Loosely cover the heating elements with pieces of tin foil for protection. Take a grill brush or steel-wool pad and scrub the inside walls and under the hood. The ash and debris should fall onto the foil. You may also notice that a residue that looks like peeling paint while cleaning. These are the remains of a harmless buildup of carbon from grease and smoke and should be discarded. Once your finished, wipe the walls with a damp paper towel.
Washing the Windows
After rain and snow, windows can look grimy and dirty because of water spots, streaks, and residue on the glass. Clean them inside and out by taking out the screens and gently hosing them off then leaving them outside for a few hours to dry in the sun. At this step, consider renting a steam machine from your local home improvement store to quickly clean your windows but if not, bucket with dishwashing soap and warm water and wash the windows with a cloth or sponge. Starting at the top, use a squeegee and pull in a ‘s’ pattern. After each stroke, wipe the squeegee blade with a rag. To remove water on the edges of the glass, use a damp chamois since it absorbs water without leaving streaks. The last step should be drying the windowsills with a rag.
Freshening up the Outdoor Furniture
Goodbye rust marks, mildew, and stains! Ensure that your outdoor furniture will look beautiful for years to come by periodically cleaning and freshening your pieces. Since outdoor furniture is constructed from a wide variety of materials, the way they are handled, cleaned, and cared for varies greatly. So, the first step in maintaining your outdoor furniture is reading the care label for instructions. After that, begin with some light cleaning like sweeping the surfaces and using gentle cleansers and soft-bristled brushes. Lastly, pick a sunny day to put in your elbow grease so your furniture will air dry faster.
Restoring the Deck or Patio
Whether your deck is wood, composite, or concrete, the constant exposure to the elements can result in mold and mildew that love to grow during the warmer months. Wooden decks are especially susceptible to rot and deck, so make sure to inspect and repair if necessary. Also, consider scrubbing the wood with an oxalic acid to kill microbes, and restain. For, composite decks, a professional powerwash is a simple solution. Make sure to check if your deck is suitable for a powerwash first though! To clean concrete decks, use vinegar or baking soda with water for a great natural and eco-friendly mixture that work wonders on outdoor, concrete spaces. For how to clean and maintain other types of decks and patios and more general tips, check out this comprehensive guide.
Follow these outdoor maintenance tips to improve your outdoor spaces today!