Feb 17, 2016

5 frugal home maintenance tips for spring

People usually look at spring like a breath of fresh air, and we might add deservedly so. Still, if we would have to point out some drawback of all that spring joy that would be that it makes winter look very bad in comparison. Sometimes, quite literally. Yes, we are talking about dead plants, cracked sidewalks, and other usual winter casualties. Let us see what we can do to solve these issues and put our properties back in shape once spring kicks in again.

Clean the Gutters

Gutters are one of the most exposed parts of our house, and the one that can potentially cause a lot of inconvenience if left unchecked. The truth is that gutters’ “problems” start to pile up during the autumn, and the winter just makes them inaccessible, but the outcome remains the same – Next time it pours rain, your roof may suffer a serious damage. Do not allow this to happen and use the first sunny break you get to clean your gutters. It should not be a bad idea to inspect the roof and attic while you are there, either. 

Check the Water Sources and Regrade the Soil

These two things are immensely important if you are involved in farming, or you plan to start farming in the near future. If your property is too big for you to control the damage your soil and irrigation have suffered during the winter, you can even consider asset advisory, as a very convenient solution to this problem. As for now, be sure to repack the soil around your home so the water runs down to the yard during heavy rains, and check your outside water sources for dry rot and winter damage. 

Inspect Concrete Slabs

In a better case, loose concrete and heavy cracking are plain ugly. In a worse case, they can cause damage to you and your home. Any of these reasons, however, should be enough to call you to action. Clean your concrete slabs of furniture, planters, and debris, power wash it with appropriate gas or electric washer, and fill the cracks with the silicone caulk or concrete crack filler. 

Re-Caulk Windows

Depending on how severe the winter is, your windows may suffer a substantial damage which is, of course, a bad news because they will not be able to keep the warm air in, and the cold air out. Use the putty knife to clean out any old caulk around the frame, and once you have cut a proper sized hole, apply the caulk with the caulk gun, and use the wet finger or a damp rag to push it into the gap and smooth it into a curved seal. 

Refresh the Wooden Surfaces

Finally, you should pay some attention to the outside wooden surfaces, which suffer from heavy humidity the most. Check them for the soft sports and other signs of rotting wood, and if the damage is not too severe, approach the problem with the usual “sandpaper - fresh paint” method. If the rot, however, has taken too much hold or the affected surfaces are providing support to your home, it would be a better idea to replace them completely. Do not worry, this duty does not stray too much from the usual DIY territory.

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