Outside Spring Cleaning: A Checklist

It is time to get your spring cleaning checklist in order!  And I suggest you start with the outside of you home and work your way inside.  There is more to do than you might think.  So plan some time to get started this weekend and you will be ready for that first spring cookout with la familia in no time!!

When we think ‘spring cleaning,’ most of us think of the interior of the house and tasks such as organizing the closets, purging unwanted items and cleaning out cabinets and drawers. While this is part of it, a thorough ‘spring cleaning’ also includes clearing and maintaining the outside of your home.

Winter weather can cause damage so your outdoor ‘to-do’ list will involve a heavy dose of maintenance as well as well as the more traditional indoor cleaning and clearing type tasks. I suggest you tackle your outside ‘to-do’ list first and then work your way inside.   To help you on your journey to a ‘clean’ and well-maintained home, I have created an easy-to-implement plan that will help you through the process.

Take it step-by-step, one task at a time and when you are finished your outdoor space will be ready for the first BBQ of the season!

GUTTERS

Gutters do their job best when clean. Without proper upkeep, trapped moisture can leave a house susceptible to moss and mildew and cause major water damage to the roof and walls. During winter water sometimes freezes in the gutter, or between the gutter and the house, and causes the gutters to detach from the house. So the first thing I suggest is to check and make sure the gutters are still properly attached to your house.  Check to ensure that birds, squirrels, or insects have not created nests in the eaves or on the ledges. Next, clean them out and make sure there is no debris in them blocking water from flowing through. Once you think they are clear, check for proper drainage.

Tip: adding gutter guards and splash blocks will make your life easier next season. INSPECTING

SPRINKLERS and SPIGOTS

Turn on your sprinkler system and check for damage that could have been done to the plumbing. Inspect all the sprinkler heads that could have been affected by snow and ice. A dry pipe is an issue and could mean that your pipe is blocked. If it is, your pipe needs to be flushed. Replacing a sprinkler head is easy and inexpensive. It will cost between $3 to $15 per head. Once the repairs have been made, allow a couple of hours to check the system. A spigot left undrained or unprotected during the winter months have been known to freeze and crack, creating a leak inside the wall. If this happens you must repair the pipe and install an inside shutoff valve for drainage. The cost will be between $15 to $20, inexpensive but time consuming. It will take between 2 to 4 hours to make the complete replacement.

Tip: Turn off the valve leading to the outside spigot before the winter season sets in to avoid any future leaks.

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