Outdoor Spring Cleaning Tips

spring cleaning

Spring has sprung in Fort McMurray! Here are some tips for exterior maintenanance on your home.

Mowing

Keep the blades of your lawn mower properly sharpened. A clean cut ensures that your grass will recover more quickly rather than when the grass is torn from dull mower blades.

It’s also advisable to leave the grass clippings on your lawn after mowing. It will serve as a natural fertilizer to help the grass grow healthier. Under wet spring conditions, however, you will want to remove thick grass clippings, or it will end up smothering your grass.

Fertilizing

Before considering the use of fertilizers, remember that aeration is still the best way to promote grass growth - or any plants for that matter. It allows more air to reach the roots of your lawn and promotes new growth. While an aeration machine will do the job quickly, they are heavy and bulky. And what if you don’t have one, or there’s none around for you to borrow or rent? Any machine evolved from an old school concept, so there’s no shame in using items that will end up with the same holes. Pickaxes, garden forks, and spiked boots will do the job anyway, so a DIY wouldn’t hurt. Read up on how to aerate your lawn here.

Compost and other organic fertilizer like ground up egg shells are still the best ones to use for plant growth. These can be applied at any time of the season in a thin layer, and raked over your existing lawn.

For busy households however, the use of commercial fertilizers can’t be helped. Here’s a great resource for researching about purchasing commercial fertilizers.

Gutter and Downspouts

This is definitely a must not only for fall, as they may already have buildup of ice and snow. Here’s what you need to do:

  • Check from the ground up to make sure that nothing is detached from the house.

  • Check for clogs, and test to see if water will make its way out of the downspouts.

Cracks and Windows

Check your foundation, patio, and walkways for any cracks that may have occurred in the winter months. It’s important to fill them or have them filled as soon as possible to avoid the domino effect of water getting into your house and ending up paying for more repair work.

As for your windows, water and insects can get into window gaps. It’s important to scrape off any old caulking and replace them as soon as possible. This is also the time to check your wood sills and trims if they need to be replaced.

Inspect, Inspect, Inspect…

It’s always good practice to have your air conditioning units, outdoor faucets and lighting inspected before using them for the season. It’s much more advisable - and safer to have a professional inspect them for any damages.

Decks

Spring is the time of the year when we are getting ready to start using our decks again. But before getting everybody out to have some outdoor fun,  you should do a quick check to make sure that your deck areas are still safe for your family. Here are a few tips:

  • Check for boards and beams that may have deteriorated over the winter months and replace them as needed.

  • Wash the deck to prolong the life of the wood, as well as to remove any mold or mildew. One hack is to use laundry detergent that does not contain any bleach.

  • Apart from giving your deck a thorough cleaning, you may also want to apply water repellant or a deck stain to keep the wood clean and damage-free for a longer time.

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