Top 10 Outdoor Spring-Cleaning Tips
May 20, 2011
10. Squeaky-Clean Windows
You'll want to tackle your screens first, in preparation for those perfect, sunny, breezy spring days that just call out for open windows. Take the screens off and take them outside for a gentle bath with a hose. If they're especially icky, you might want to rub them with some soapy water and a brush — that old, dead fly is exactly the kind of depressing winter sight we're trying to get rid of.
9. Get Your Mind (and Those Leaves) Out of the Gutter
Post-wintertime, there are a lot of things you know you're supposed to do but don't actually feel like doing. Cleaning your gutters is probably one of them, but trust us — you don't want water damage to your house. And at least when you clean gutters in the spring, you have blue skies and fluffy, white clouds as a background. (Always a silver lining, eh?)
8. Sort It Out
For a lot of people, the garage is like a big, cluttered closet — you throw in all the unwanted stuff you can't find a home for, shut the door and hope it will magically disappear.
After all, the biggest necessity for many families is storage space. Installing cabinets, shelves, racks and hooks may help immensely. Use boxes, baskets and old plastic storage containers from the kitchen to organize — adhesives in one box, paints on the shelves, etc.
7. Identify Your Weak Spots
During the winter, you're mostly worried about the inside of your home. But now that you, the kids and the pets are all spending more time outside, it's time to take a look at your fences.
Rot is the biggest thing to look for in a wooden fence, along with loose rails and any kind of wobbly parts. If it's been a few years since the wood has been treated, it's a good idea to check to see if bugs have gnawed their way around, too.
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With a metal fence, you'll want to make sure there aren't any holes or places where it's pulling away from the ground. This could make for unwanted two-way traffic: puppies getting out; vermin getting in!
6. De-leaf and De-clutter the Lawn
Your yard has spent the winter feeling cold, abandoned and suffocating under a layer of snow. Get ready for a lush lawn and a flourishing garden by getting rid of the soggy, old leaves choking your flowerbeds and grass.
Have a few extra dollars in the kitty? Splurge for a landscaper to come out for the day.
5. Driveway Maintenance
After a harsh winter your driveway may need a little TLC, repair any cracks or replace the concrete if it's beyond repair.
4. Wash Those Winter Blues Away
After a hard winter, your home sweet home may be in need of more of a bath than rain can provide. Spring might be a good time to look into renting a pressure washer to wipe away all the grime.
3. Separate the Weeds From the Blooms
After you've spent a whole day sorting screws in your garage, you might want to tear your hair out. Get violent in a more productive way instead.
Start with yanking up weeds. There's something very satisfying about ripping up a troublesome weed before it has the chance to terrorize your lawn and garden.
2. Get Down to the Nitty-Gritty
Banish the dirt and cobwebs with a broom first. If you have plastic furniture, break out the hose. No one's going to want to sit down on dirty cushions, so do some deep cleaning and then invest in vinyl protectant to keep them looking fresh.
1. Rinse and Restain
Everybody likes fungus on the deck! Oh wait, no one likes fungus on the deck — or mildew stains, dirt or weather-beaten patches.
It's tempting to just bleach the whole thing willy-nilly, but don't give in. Pressure wash the deck and — this is easy enough — use an actual deck-cleaner solution.
When you're done with all the washing, it's time to restain. There are finishes and colors a-plenty, so you should be able to find whatever it is your heart desires. Look for something with a protective finish to repel water (and UV rays).