25 April 2023
Now that the weather is better suited, it is time to venture outdoors and take a good look at your home and see how it survived the rude winter.
Start at the top. Walk around the outside of your home and look at the roof from as many angles as possible. This may mean asking permission to use your neighbor’s lawn as a vantage point. If you feel comfortable, you may want to use a ladder to take a closer look. It is best if you call a professional.
Look for missing or damaged shingles, cracks, or signs of water or other damage. If there are, hire a professional to take care of these issues as soon as possible.
There can be some streaking or discoloration on your roof. This is usually just algae and can be easily cleaned. Moss, however, is not good. It can make the asphalt shingles lift or curl. Then a good wind will pull the shingle off. If you decide to clean the roof, prepare a solution of equal parts bleach and water. Apply it to the roof and allow it to sit for about 15 minutes. Use a garden hose to rinse. Don’t scrub or use a pressure washer or you can damage the shingles.
It is an ugly chore that needs to happen. The debris needs to come out of the gutters and downspouts should be free of obstructions. Caulk any holes and reattach where necessary.
It is time to turn on the faucets and reconnect any soaker or regular hoses. Check for leaks. Keep close attention to the weather and if the temps drop below freezing overnight, be sure to unhook the hose bibs or you will have a nasty, frozen mess.
Walks and Driveways
Check paths and patios for cracks and repair them with silicone caulk or concrete filler. If slabs have shifted, it may be time to have someone come and pour a new batch.
The air conditioner compressor is a large cube that sits outside your home. Remove any leaves, twigs or debris that may have accummulated over the winter. Check the filters and be sure they are clear. If there is foliage growing around the unit, be sure it will not be sucked into the device.
Schedule an annual check to be sure everything is working properly to avoid unwanted summer outages.
Closely look at the window frames, door frames and jambs, decks, any trellises, fencing, or other wood items. Repair or replace any broken slats or pieces. Haul out the power washer and give everything a nice cleaning and then, after it has thoroughly dried (maybe three days) coat with a wood preservative for protection.
Repair or replace window screens, wash windows, and clean all the tracks and seals. Check the weep holes to be sure they are clear.
Landscaping and Gardening
While it feels good to be out playing in the dirt again, spring chores are not the most delightful. Clear up any leaves that may have accummulated in your flowerbeds. Place a layer of organic material and then some mulch. Divide hostas.
If you garden for edibles, till the soil and add additional soil as necessary. Plan your plantings. Check the soil temperature. Ambient, or the air temperature we feel on our skin, is not as important as the consistent temperature in the soil. You may need to cover the area with plastic tarps to keep the soil warm and ready for planting.
Run your lawn mower with a mulcher blade to chop up any remaining leaves so they will drop down and help fertilize the turf.
We have previously written about using pre-emergents to control weeds in the lawn. As appropriate, overseed the turf. Apply a nitrogen-based fertilizer.