Tips to Get Your Home Ready for Spring

Posted on Mar 20, 2014

2014-03-20-get-ready-for-springThe birds are singing and sun’s rays are beginning to peep through the clouds. It’s the moment we’ve all been patiently waiting for … Spring has finally arrived! With the warmer weather on its way, now is a good time to get your home in tiptop shape. Here’s a list of helpful tips to get you started:

  • Bring your garden back to life by planting perennials like lily-of-the-valley, soapwort, and cranesbill. The thawing soil, increased sunshine, longer days, moist ground, and steady rainfall are ideal conditions for growing. If you plant bulbs now, you may even see them by Easter!
  • Now that the deep freeze is over, it’s safe to turn those outdoor water faucets back on and use them to quench your garden’s thirst. Just don’t overwater those freshly planted perennials, as too much water can restrict the amount of oxygen that gets to their roots, causing them to drown or rot.
  • If the weather is warm enough, open doors and windows to ventilate your home. Shake out area rugs to get rid of the dust and debris that have accumulated over the winter.
  • Liven up your outdoor sitting space by giving patio furniture a fresh coat of paint and replacing old cushions and pillows with new, vibrantly colored and patterned ones.
  • Clean outdoor lighting fixtures and check to make sure bulbs work. For those that need replacing, use energy efficient LED and CFL bulbs.
  • Freshen up your entryway by washing your door and threshold, polishing fixtures, and adding a new welcome mat.
  • Look for rips and tears in door screens. Pets have a way of turning even the smallest of holes into their great escape routes. It’s much better to be safe than sorry.
  • Check the paint on your basement door. If it’s chipping, consider adding a fresh coat of paint, which will extend your door’s life by preventing rusting. Now is also a good time to recaulk the area where your door meets the concrete. Deteriorating caulk can allow water to seep in, which can also lead to rusting. If your door is old or rusted beyond repair, it may be time to invest in a new basement door, such as Bilco’s Ultra Series, constructed of corrosion-resistant polyethylene.
  • Get your gutters ready for spring showers by removing any debris that may have become trapped inside them during the fall. To avoid future clogs, consider a gutter protection system like Waterloov, which is installed on top of a gutter and features two rows of alternating slats that collect rainwater while preventing leaves and other large debris from entering. Now is also a good time to have your gutters inspected by an expert for any damage that may have occurred during the winter freeze. Although gutters may look normal from the ground level, they may be in fact pulling away from your home and allowing water to spill behind them. This happens when the weight of ice causes fasteners to loosen. The improperly draining water can cause fascia to rot, or can penetrate eaves, causing damage even inside your home.
  • Make yard work easier by making your gutters work for you. Collect rainwater by installing a Rain Barrel Diverter on the end of your downspouts. Store the water and use it later for gardening, cleaning or other outdoor purposes. Another useful gutter accessory is the Zip Hinge, which allows you to lift and move your downspout out of the way while mowing or landscaping.
  • After being exposed to ice and snow for so many months, always check your roof for missing or broken shingles, which can lead to leaks. It’s much better to find and fix such smaller problems now before they turn into bigger, more expensive nightmares. Also look for the growth of lichen on your roof. The light green fungus may look harmless but it can cause serious damage. Lichen not only eats away at your shingles, but if it grows alongside a shingle’s edge, it can cause it to lift away from the roof, making it prone to wind damage and leakage. The fungus also acts like a sponge, keeping your shingles damp, which in turn leads to the growth of more lichen. One way to remove lichen is to use a specially formulated spray to kill it. Or, if you’re in the market for a new roof, consider installing Certainteed’s Landmark shingles, which contain special copper granules to prevent algae and fungus like lichen from growing.