Spring Maintenance Checklist
· Gutters and downspouts: Pull leaves and debris from gutters and downspouts. Reattach gutters that have pulled away from the house. Run a hose on the roof and check for proper drainage. If leaks exist, dry the area and use caulking or epoxy to seal the leak.
· Siding: Clean siding with a pressure washer to keep mold from growing. Check all wood surfaces for weathering and paint failure. If wood is showing through, sand the immediate area and apply a primer coat before painting. If paint is peeling, scrape loose paint and sand smooth before painting.
· Exterior caulking: Inspect caulking and replace if deteriorating. Scrape out all of the eroding caulk and recaulk needed area.
· Window sills, door sills, and thresholds: Fill cracks, caulk edges, repaint or replace if necessary.
· Window and door screens: Clean screening and check for holes. If holes are bigger than a quarter, that is plenty of room for bugs to climb in. Patch holes or replace the screen. Save bad screen to patch holes next year. Tighten or repair any loose or damaged frames and repaint. Replace broken, worn, or missing hardware. Wind can ruin screens and frames if they are allowed flap and move so make sure they are securely fastened. Tighten and lubricate door hinges and closers.
· Drain waste and vent system: Flush out system.
· Hot water heater: Lubricate circulating pump and motor.
· Evaporative air conditioner: Clean unit, check belt tension and adjust if needed. Replace cracked or worn belt.
· Heat pump: Lubricate blower motor.
· Foundation: Check foundation walls, floors, concrete, and masonry for cracking, heaving, or deterioration. If a significant number of bricks are losing their mortar, call a foundation professional. If you can slide a nickle into a crack in your concrete floor, slab or foundation call a professional immediately. · Roof: Inspect roof surface flashing, eaves, and soffits. Perform a thorough cleaning. Check flashings around all surface projections and sidewalls.
· Deck and porches: Check all decks, patios, porches, stairs, and railings for loose members and deterioration. Open decks and wood fences need to be treated every 4-6 years, depending on how much exposure they get to sun and rain. If the stain doesn’t look like it should or water has turned some of the wood a dark grey, hire a deck professional to treat your deck and fence.
· Landscape: This is a natural for spring home maintenance. Cut back and trim all vegetation and overgrown bushes from structures. Limbs and leaves can cut into your home’s paint and force you to have that side of the house repainted. A little trimming can save a lot of money and time.
· Sprinklers: Check lawn sprinkler system for leaky valves, exposed lines, and improperly working sprinkler heads. If there is an area of your yard that collects too much water or doesn’t get enough, run the sprinklers to figure out the problem. If it’s not something you can fix yourself, call a professional before your lawn needs the water
Spring Lawn Care
Transform your yard into the envy of the neighborhood by grooming a gorgeous lawn. Taming weedy, patchy, or thin grass isn’t difficult. It helps to remember that your lawn is a living, growing field made up of many individual grass plants. By tending your grass like you would a tomato plant or pot of petunias, you’ll be on your way to a beautiful lawn.
Clean up. Kick off the growing and mowing season with a quick spring cleaning. Grab a lawn rake to rake out dead grass and dead remnants of annual grassy weeds, like crabgrass, goosegrass, and barnyard grass. Pick up any sticks or other debris that have accumulated on the lawn over winter.
Mow high. Double-check your mower deck height, and position it to cut grass at the highest possible setting for your grass type. Cutting high encourages grass plants to grow thicker with deeper root
Apply fertilizer. Lawns wake up from winter dormancy with an appetite. Feed your lawn in early spring with Scotts Turf Builder Halts Crabgrass Preventer with Lawn Food. This will help thicken your lawn and protect against heat and drought. Feed again two months later with Scotts Turf Builder Weed and Feed, making sure to follow label directions. Beat weeds. Spot-treat dandelions or wild violets using Scotts® Spot Weed Control For Lawns. This weed killer controls weeds without harming grass. By spraying, you avoid disturbing grass roots and unearthing dormant weed seeds, both of which can happen when you hand-weed. Patch and thicken. Repair bare spots in both cool- and warm-season turf using Scotts® EZ Seed®. Timing is crucial for success: Aim for an early spring sowing for cool-season grass and a late spring sowing for warm-season grass. If your lawn is worn and thin, thicken it by overseeding