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The outdoor spring cleaning checklist

It’s almost impossible to avoid the inevitable cleaning that needs to be done after the winter ends. However, a proper list of chores and tips regarding the outside of your home is quite rare.

This month, the Reliance Better Home Blog focuses on the tasks that need to be done and those that “should” be done to get your home ready for the summer.  This list doesn’t contain everything you may need to do to get your specific home ready, but it does have quite a few tips that will save you some time and provide you with great results.

Dedicate time and get it done

Hopefully we are in for some really nice weather during the next few weekends. When the forecast looks like nice weather when you’ve got some free time, make sure you plan a little spring cleaning or summer prep time into your day. Getting it all done and being able to enjoy your home is incredibly satisfying and will allow you to begin working on other new or longer-term projects that you have planned for the year.

Picking up any leaves that may have blown in

A great place to start is by picking up any leaves or garbage that may have blown into your yard during the winter and windy March. This is one of the most satisfying jobs because you will quickly see your progress and that can be very motivating. It’s also a great place to start because it sets the stage for a lot of the other yard work that you will be doing over the next few weeks and months to make the most of your outdoor space.

Cleaning up after the dogs

It’s by no means a fun task, but because of a lighter than average snowfall throughout much of Ontario, you may have already been attending to it through the winter. There are many different tools on the market to assist you in this unpleasant task, including shovels and glove-shaped bags, and the best thing to do is dedicate a little bit of time and get it over with. Look at your backyard like a grid and work through the grid section by section to make sure you cover it all. Remember to wear old shoes that you can leave outside if you have a mis-step, and a final sweep is always a good idea.

Spray down the driveway

We haven’t had the coldest or snowiest of winters but the few cold snaps we did have produced a fair bit of ice and gave you enough reason to put salt down on your driveway. It’s never a bad idea to give your driveway a rinse in the spring to remove excess sand and salt, helping to keep them out of your house and off your pet’s paws (which are quite sensitive to salt). Remember to try and direct all washing water towards the street and not your lawn as salt can be quite damaging. Click here for more information on the impact of salt on our environment and the Canadian Government’s code of practice.

Sharpening the lawnmower blade

One of the things that most people overlook each year when getting ready for the summer is the lawnmower. If you have attend to your lawnmower blade in the past, you can attest to the difference it will make when it’s time to cut the grass. While more eco-friendly models don’t have quite the same power as their gas-powered predecessors, a quick sharpening or blade replacement will make a tremendous difference. A quick Internet search should let you know where you can sharpen or replace your lawnmower blade, and if you don’t have your user manual handy when removing or re-attaching your blade then Google can likely help you out there as well.

Turning your soil and getting your garden ready

As many aspiring gardeners know, getting your garden started at the right time of year is tremendously important because you want to reduce the density of the soil (make sure the soil isn’t too wet when you do this). This gives your plants the chance to grow a much more structured root system, which will reduce the risk of wilting in the really hot summer weather because they won’t dry out as easily. It also means you will have fruits and vegetables ready to enjoy sooner. Click here for a detailed list of steps to prep your garden for a prosperous season.

Remember to remove your A/C cover

This is a quick one and isn’t often overlooked, but for the few people who forget and turn their A/C on without removing the cover, this can wreak havoc on your system. We are an HVAC company after all, and would be remiss if we didn’t recommend you attend to this as soon as the winter is over. Plus, chances are the person who first turns on the A/C will not be the same person who is responsible for removing the cover, and they may not know it hasn’t been done (or if it’s your kids, they may not know that it needs to be done).

Overseeding the lawn

Each spring, though the lawn starts to fill in with bright green grass and looks beautiful, this is the time to give your lawn all the nutrients it will need to get through the hot dry weather that will arrive in the next months. Your local gardening store or big box chain like Home Depot or Canadian Tire will have lots of different options for products you can use to get your lawn in fine form. Just remember to read the labels and instructions carefully, and ask about any hazards to kids or pets. Click here for a helpful article on overseeding tips.

Wash your car thoroughly

Did you know it has been estimated that vehicles driven on salted winter roads will only last about one-half to one-third of the time as those that are restricted to warm weather and a salt-free environment. The salt we use to dissolve ice on the roads also increases the rate of corrosion on our cars, so washing them regularly during those warm winter spells is very beneficial. Now that it’s spring, give your car a thorough wash and make sure you give the undercarriage a good spray as well. It will make a difference.

We have some really intelligent readers and we know that some of you have tips to share, so please feel free to add your thoughts to the comments below.

Please remember that your posts need to be approved and although we want to post everyone’s opinion, we cannot post those containing offensive and abrasive dialogue.

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{ 5 comments… add one }

  • GM March 26, 2012, 8:27 am

    You do not need to cover ur AC…20 yrs+ in the cold rain/shine/snow/hail and it still works 100%

  • Jacqueline Bertrand-McCallum March 24, 2012, 4:52 pm

    I was told there was no need to cover the air conditioning by one of your technician, is this still true ?
    Thanks,
    JB

  • Annette Milne March 24, 2012, 4:01 pm

    Turn off the humidifier on your furnace (if you have one) because you won’t want the extra humidity in your home once the thermometer rises and you turn on the a/c. You may even want to purchase a de-humidifer for the summer months for the lower/basement level of your home.

  • Annette Milne March 24, 2012, 3:58 pm

    Using a pressure washer as per manufacturer’s suggestions with cleaning solutions to clean your siding and soffits (and eavestroughs if you missed them in fall), garage door, carefully clean gazebo cover and outdoor furnishings, powerwash decks prior to restaining/repainting and patios to help remove winter and weeds and don’t forget to clean bbq/grill; THEN, look forward to an exciting outdoors adventure in your own home.

  • Jo-Ellen Logan March 23, 2012, 8:31 pm

    Thank you for a very informative and instructional message. We often forget about those “small” things without realizing how important they are.

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