Spring cleaning has so many meanings for us. All at once, it’s a way to refresh your mind and your home after a long winter. Although we typically fixate our spring cleaning on our home’s interior, the exterior is just as important. After all, the changing of seasons will affect your yard more than your living room.
When you tackle your spring cleaning this year, don’t forget to address your yard. There are a number of chores you’ll want to add to your outdoor spring cleaning checklist, most of which will breathe new life into your backyard.
Decks and Walkways
Snow, wind, and rain can do some serious damage to decks and paved walkways. You’ll want to rake up any trash or leaves that has been scattered around. After that, pressure wash any wooden decks or concrete walkways to get rid of mud and dirt left behind from melting snow.
Heavy rain or hail may have left cracks in your concrete foundation, so make sure to inspect for any. You can easily fill in the cracks with a little concrete patch material, just make sure you address it. Otherwise, the cracks can deepen, spread, and cause irreparable damage.
Hopefully, you keep your patio furniture covered with a tarp during the winter. If not, it’s time to start. Prevention is half the work of maintenance. Even when covered with a tarp, patio furniture can usually use a good clean-through about once a year.
Shampoo and steam clean the cushions, and wipe down exposed wicker or metal. You might even consider repainting the wicker to give it a fresh look.
For non-cushioned furniture, use a pressure washer to hose it down and remove dirt caught in otherwise inaccessible cracks and crevices. Patio umbrellas also collect a lot of dirt, so make sure to beat them down so as to dislodge any dust. You might consider climbing up on a ladder and using a hand vacuum to clean it off, as well.
Leaves, twigs, trash. Your gutters are likely filled with these things. This can be a problem, however, particularly as ice starts to melt and spring showers roll in. Cluttered gutters restrict steady water flow and can lead to flooding.
Remove larger debris with your hands (make sure to wear gloves!) or a trowel, but use a hose to flush smaller debris downspout. If your gutters are really blocked, it may be worth using a leaf blower to try and clear them. If you have one, you’ll probably need to find an attachment kit for your blower. You’ll be able to find lots of sites that review leaf blower attachment kits for top brand blowers before you purchase one, as you need to ensure you get one with the right fittings and attachments to suit your blower. Leaf blowers are a fantastic piece of kit to have in your inventory, as the uses for them really are endless. If you don’t have one, it’s fair to say it won’t be a pointless purchase if you do decide to get one.
You should wash your fence once per year. For vinyl fencing, you can use a scrub brush with warm soap and water to clean it. For wooden fences, you’ll want to use a pressure washer. You’ll be amazed at what a difference a sparkling clean fence can make.
Make sure to also inspect your fence for holes, cracks, or swelling. Wood fences can rot, meaning those portions of the fence will need to be replaced. If your fence is experiencing some fading, you might want to stain or repaint it.
Dirt and debris has probably made its way into your flower beds over the winter months. You’ll want to clean it out, and add some fresh soil and fertilizer to your plants. Prune perennials, rose bushes, and other similar plants that may have become overgrown.
If you haven’t already, apply some mulch. This will help the soil retain its moisture, as well as decrease weed growth.
Chances are, some aphids have moved in and decided to call your flowers home over the last few months. This problem can be addressed by purchasing a colony of lady bugs and setting them free in your garden. They’ll be sure to eat the aphids, thus saving your plants from further destruction.
Outdoor Kitchens, Grills, and Cabinetry
If you love to host backyard barbecues, you probably understand the importance of cleaning your outdoor kitchen regularly. However, spring is an excellent time to conduct a deep clean. Most cabinetry can be washed with a soft cloth or sponge and some warm water. You can add a mild detergent to the mix, the same kind you would use to wash your car.
Don’t scrape or scrub cabinetry with brillo pads, as this will cause irreversible damage.
Meanwhile, grills are another animal altogether. Your barbecue may be stainless steel, but that doesn’t mean it’s stain-free. While most manufacturers provide detailed cleaning instructions for their grills, you can almost never go wrong with a Scotch-Brite pad and some WD-40 for surface corrosion.
Remember to scrub in the direction of the grain, particularly when tackling rust or other stains.
Otherwise, the appliance will get scratched.
Last, but certainly not least, you’ll definitely need to give your grass lawn some extra-special TLC. The first, and possibly most despised, step is to pull the weeds. Make sure to pull them by the root, otherwise they will grow back.
Once this is done, you’ll need to dethatch the lawn. To do this, you’ll want to set your lawnmower to a closer grass-cutting setting. Mow the lawn, and then use a convex rake to pick up any missed patches. If you don’t have a lawnmower or don’t have one which will do an excellent job, then it’s time you got a new one. Why not take a look at the latest battery powered lawn mower reviews here to give you a better idea of what you should get.
There are dethatchers and power rakes available to make this process easier, but this is what you can do with tools you likely already have available.
Next, aerate your lawn to encourage grass growth and allow more oxygen and water into the soil. You can buy an aerator to do this or a manual aeration tool – though the latter can be exhausting. Fill in dead, dried out, or damaged areas with new seeds. Finally, fertilize your lawn to encourage new growth and introduce nutrients back into the soil.
With just a few tools that you can find in your storage shed, you can give your lawn a complete spring refresh. This process will boost your home’s curb appeal and lessen the amount of maintenance you need to do throughout the year. With that, we bid you a happy spring cleaning – and don’t forget to clean under those eaves!