Spring Cleanup Tips After a Wet Winter

With Memorial Day upon us, Summer is here. After such a long and wet Winter, your house and yard may need a little extra attention this year. Here are a few ideas to make this season a little more manageable.

Around the yard

With extra precipitation, comes extra plant growth. So it’s a good idea to stay ahead of the game this Summer. Be prepared to break out the weed-eater several times this year. It’s always a good idea to mow and remove weeds while they’re green. Waiting until they die off could present a fire hazard. During the heat of Summer, many jurisdictions prohibit using outdoor power equipment after 10 am, to reduce the chances starting of accidental fires.

Bushes and hedges which normally require one or two trimmings a year, may need additional attention this year. If you’ve been considering buying an electric hedge trimmer, this may be the year you want to invest in one. You’ll want to keep bushes from completely covering windows. Also it’s a good idea to prevent plants from growing to the point where they make contact with structures.

Take a moment to inspect any trees around your property. Branches that have grown towards power lines present a fire danger. Also, any branches that don’t have leaves are likely dead. This is common following a drought. Consider having them removed, as they can break off, causing injury and property damage. It’s always a good idea to consult a tree service company for an inspection.

With abundant rain, comes abundant plant growth which could lead to a bunch of extra critters this year. If you have little animals that live in your yard, and you’d like to keep them around, perhaps give them a little extra habitat. Opossums and quail like to live under, and use bushes for cover.

If you live near a reservoir or any body of water that has risen significantly, you might see an increase in snakes. Any animals that have lived in the formerly dried-out areas have had to move to higher ground. So stay vigilant for rattlesnakes when you’re working in the yard.

And then there are insects. Remove any pooled or standing water around your property to prevent mosquitoes. Check your pets (and yourself) for ticks as well. While it might be tempting to grab a sprayer and start blasting the creepy-crawlies away, they do help feed the other, cuter creatures, like those possums and quails, that live in your neighborhood.

Spiders are also a good way to keep the insect population at-bay. However some varieties, such as Daddy Long Legs produce a prolific amount of webs which can be unsightly under the eaves or a house, as their webs tend to capture leaves and other bits of blowing debris.

Around the house

And that brings us to the exterior of our homes and buildings. One of the easiest things you can do to spruce up the appearance of your house is to give it a good wash. If you have a power washer, this is a breeze. It’s always satisfying to blast away all of the dirt and buildup that has accumulated over the Winter. A garden hose and spray nozzle alone can take care of a lot of it, but things like those spiderwebs under the eaves may require a bit more work.

Don’t forget about your rain gutters. Even if you cleaned them out last Fall, it’s likely that they’ve accumulated a some twigs and leaves, following the months of heavy precipitation we’ve had. Again, a power washer can make quick work of this task.

While you’re up on the ladder, take a look at your roof. If you notice any loose or missing tiles or shingles, make sure those get taken care of quickly, before they become a bigger, more expensive problem. Heavy snow loads can also take their toll on roofs. It’s wise to get an inspection.

With all of the precipitation we’ve had, you may have noticed water pooling up against your house. Poor drainage isn’t always apparent in drier years. Even if the water has dried up, you may notice discoloration of the foundation. This can lead to problems down the road. Something as simple as a installing a French Drain can alleviate the problem.

If you’ve noticed some wooden doors and windows that were a little difficult to open over the Winter, it’s likely they absorbed moisture and swelled up as a result. A repair could be as simple as applying some paint or a sealant. As things dry up during the Summer, it can be easy to forget. So if this happened around your house, put this on your to-do list.

So while receiving an abundance of rain and snow was some much needed relief, it does come with some costs. If you stay on top of your household chores, it will make those backyard cookouts much more satisfying and enjoyable.

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