Well, it’s March. Hopefully that means the snow is going to officially be done for the season and we can start looking forward to using the outside again. This is also a time of year that the home looks the most unsightly. With the snow melted you can see all the vegetation that was dormant over winter, the yard is usually a hot muddy mess and if you are a dog owner…well, you know :)
This is also the time of year to start prepping your yard for those April showers and hopeful May flowers.
Here are some thing to address in March.
1 - Clean those Gutters.
Any debris that was frozen in them from winter will need to be removed before the rainy season starts. Blocked gutters can cause major water damage if not cleared. Each gallon of water in a clogged gutter weighs 8 pounds. Add that up along the length of the gutter and failure is bound to happen. At the very least, water pouring over the sides of the gutter can eventually lead to water intrusion of the facia and water soaked soil around the foundation of your home. That can lead to a whole other headache of problems.
2- Clean you AC Condenser
The AC condenser is that big metal thing outside your house. Dirt and Debris can build up on and around the condenser. You can use a hose to wash it away. Careful not to bend or damage the metal fins. Do not use a broom as that can damage those delicate fins as well. A good spraying down should be all you need to do.
3- Prep your Yard
Remove branches and stones, and use your lawn mower with a catch bag to make short work of dead leaves and twigs.As long as your yard is dry enough. You don't want do put any ruts in the grass that is about to spring to life. Got roses? For full, beautiful blooms, most landscaping experts will tell you to prune your rose bushes just before the plant breaks dormancy and after the final frost—around mid-March for much of the country. If any buds are diseased, bag and toss them in the trash to avoid spreading fungus and infestations.
4- Check windows and doors
Look around all your windows and doors to make sure the caulk has not cracked or dried up. All those cracks can add up and they allow airflow into the home. A 1” hole can allow as much as 7 gallons of water into the home's air. It also protects against all those insects that will be coming back after the long winter. Ants, flies, bees, even small rodents like mice only need a hole the size ¼ of an inch in diameter to fit through.
5- Walkways and Driveways
Your walkways and driveways are the same material as our Michigan roads. They go through the same condition and can deteriorate just like the roads do. The freeze thaw cycle can be brutal to these areas of the home. Walk around and check for cracks or shifting. Any cracks found should be sealed with a concrete crack sealer or a tar sealer for asphalt driveways. Preventative measure will keep your driveway and pathway in good condition for longer and to help avoid costly repair work prematurely. Here is a great, easy DIY video on how to repair cracked concrete.
5- Inspect your roof
Your roof takes a beating year round. The winter months can be especially harsh from ice and heavy snow loads, coupled with freezing temperatures and high winds, this can cause shingles to tear off or lift up. Use a pair of binoculars from the ground to inspect the roof safely. If you see any missing shingles, call a professional roofer right away to have it fixed. You certainly don't want those April showers inside the home :)