Spring Cleaning, and Outdoor Maintenance

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Pretty much anytime someone mentions: “Spring Cleaning”–my first instinct is to hide in a closet (not to be cleaned) and frame myself inside of it.  Despite the fact that I rather enjoy clean areas–the actual doing of the cleaning is what seems to bother me.  It’s just so…blech.  There are easily a billion things I’d rather be doing than cleaning–but despite my insistence on the idea that gnomes or armies of pixies will actually do it, they never have.  So,  I present to you:  Spring Cleaning Chores with a Twist: Some outdoor chores that probably should be done–and my suggestions on how to make them seem like things I would have thought of–or at least would participate in.

Clean the Grill: This one is fairly easy.  I actually would do this–as long as you didn’t mention spring cleaning.  Clean and scrub the grates, the bottom, empty the drip pan, and get that grill whipped into some grilling shape.  If it’s a gas grill, check the hose for cracks, and make sure the fittings are all nice and hand tight. 
Spring Cleaning Grade: B+ I would do this anyway, since grilling tasty animals is a favorite past time of mine.  It also goes well with baseball, beer, and bikinis/buff dudes  (I appreciate the fact that many DIYers are from all walks of life–therefore am a staunch supporter of viewing whatever spring “wildlife” tickles your peepers).  These are Ty’s “Big Three B’s” of Spring/Summer.

Roof Inspection 101: Check for cracked, loose, or damaged roof shingles.  Replace where necessary.  On older roofs–this is especially important as shingles can actually “rot” and become extremely brittle and susceptible to wind/storm damage.  Check around vents, chimneys, skylights, and any other protrusions for areas that seem like they could retain water.  Water retention on a roof is bad–reseal and/or flash where necessary.
Spring Cleaning Grade: D- This chore sucks.  And roofs are easy to fall off too. What sucks more than the chore, (assuming you don’t fall), is water in your attic/trusses/insulation.  I give this a passing grade only because of the necessity of it.  Plus–you can stare longingly at your newly cleaned grill from the roof.

Get your Mind in the Gutter: This goes hand in hand with the roof inspection.  Leaves, twigs, dirt, and all kinds of things can clog your gutters and downspouts.  Big spring rains can bring big spring basement flooding.  Prevent as much as you can by making sure water is free to run off the roof, into the gutters and cleanly out the downspouts.  Also, make a quick trip around your crib to see if there are low lying areas of ground–pretty much any ground slanting toward the house is a bad thing.
Spring Cleaning Grade: F Not cool.  Not fun, and a lot of times really yucky.  However–a flooded basement would get an F-, so take your chances if you dare.

Rent a Pressure Washer and Go to Town: Big thumbs up here.  Pressurized water, gasoline combustion engines, and a free hand for one of the tasty, cool, and refreshing “Big Three”.  Wash your siding, decks, patio furniture, driveway –whatever stands in your way! Spring Cleaning Grade: A, A+
A, if you have to rent one–A+ if you own your own pressure washer.  You’re like the kid that has a cooler bike than me.  Outwardly:  I detest you.  Inwardly: I mimic your every move and dream of my own.

Lawn Mower Mayhem: Clean and check your air filter, oil, and blade.  Take it in for a tune-up if needed.  I am going to keep mentioning blades until “A sharp blade is a safe blade” is tattooed on at least one HomeFixated reader.  For this–I will give them a prize out of my personal tool bag and we’ll feature them in a HomeFixated article.  I mean it.
Spring Cleaning Grade: A C’mon.  I just got lawnmowers and tattoos into one paragraph.  Easily deserves an A.  Bonus points for a riding mower.  Super-double-secret points for having a riding mower with a cup holder, and a portable television for mowing while watching baseball.

Choppin’ Brocolli: While making the rounds around your home–check for and prune/trim trees, bushes, shrubs, and plants that maybe actually touching your home.  These contact points can be like a super-highway to insects and moisture.  It’s pretty simple to cruise around with a trim saw and pruning shears while you’re also inspecting for low lying areas of ground near the foundation.
Spring Cleaning Grade: C If able to do this with a power saw–I can see it happening.  Otherwise I’ll be on the lawnmower watching TV.

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1 thought on “Spring Cleaning, and Outdoor Maintenance”

  1. Spring cleaning is not my favorite chore–I will stubbornly sit in my cobwebby lawn chairs for MONTHS before I’ll finally break down and pull out the hose. But since I am a huge fan of preaching what I do not practice, I’d like to add that spring cleaning (or July cleaning, if you’re me) is also the perfect time to perform a deck safety inspection: http://www.ricksfencing.com/blog/is-your-deck-safe/


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