February 21, 2019

Spring Home Fixes

The winter months can be hard on your home and yard, particularly when the winter was preceded by a hurricane and also included a blizzard that dumped three feet of snow in one day!  Add into that the past year’s higher-than-average winds and our typical New England freezing and thawing cycles, and chances are your home and yard are looking grimmer than usual as spring finally inches closer.  Now that longer days, sunnier skies, and gradually warming temperatures are finally here, it’s a great time to start on sprucing up your home for spring and summer.  Here are some tasks that will have your home looking great and ready for warmer weather!

1.  Clean gutters thoroughly and make any repairs as needed.  Your local hardware store can help you replace any gutter parts that were lost or damaged during severe weather and advise you on properly installing them.

2.  Renew patio furniture.  Even furniture that was properly covered or stored during the winter months can use a good cleaning.  If cleaning isn’t enough to save your patio furniture from looking shabby but you don’t want to replace it entirely, try an exterior spray paint.  This is a quick and simple outdoor job.  If you aren’t sure which type of spray paint to use, ask the hardware store for advice.

3.  Clean your patio or deck.  This might mean nothing more complicated than sweeping and giving the area a good rinse with the hose.  This is also a good time to discard any cracked planters or other accessories that may not have survived the winter.  Investing in new planters or pots and filling them with colorful flowers can have a huge impact on how nice and welcoming your outdoor space looks.


4.  Inspect your grill to make sure it is working properly.  Clean it inside and out, make sure your grilling accessories are also clean and ready to use, fill the propane tank or stock up on charcoal, and replace the cover if it was torn or damaged during the winter.


5.  Clean and maintain your yard tools.  Rust can be scrubbed off with a wire brush after a good soak in white vinegar.  Once the tools are clean, wipe them down with WD40.  After each use, yard tools should be cleaned and once again oiled.  Wooden handles that have gotten splintery can be lightly sanded and tools with blades, such as pruners or shears, may need to be sharpened with a whetstone.

6.  Trim bushes and shrubs (you may want to check with a garden center or research the varieties of plants in your yard to learn the best time of year and method of trimming) and refresh mulch.  This will go a long way toward neatening up the appearance of your yard!


7.  Add decorative touches to the yard.  Stepping stones, a bench in a shady spot of the yard, or a bird bath makes your yard visually appealing and welcoming.

8.  Touch up paint wherever needed.  Severe weather can be hard on paint, so some areas may need to be lightly scraped or sanded before a touch up.

9.  Consider powerwashing your exterior to refresh the entire outside of your home.  A good powerwash will make a huge difference in your home’s appearance.  If you don’t own a powerwasher, you can rent one from a hardware store or hire a professional.

10.  Spend an afternoon on general yard clean-up.  If you have kids, they are great helpers with this kind of job!  Remove leaves, pick up sticks and branches that have fallen from trees, put away any snow toys that have been left out, and discard debris that blew into the yard.  It’s surprising how much nicer a yard looks after being straightened up this way!  This will also prepare your lawn for the return of the lawn mower!