We all know the time-honoured tradition of spring cleaning but while we are all focused on getting the inside of our homes ready for warmer weather, we should also venture outside and check the exterior of our homes.
First things first, let's roll up our sleeves and get those gutters and downspouts squeaky clean! Over the winter months, they accumulate dead leaves, twigs, and other debris that can cause blockages. When it rains, these blockages prevent water from draining away properly. This, in turn, can lead to, you guessed it, water damage.
So, clear out all the gunk. You can use a garden trowel or a gutter scoop. Don't forget to check the downspouts for any blockages. A plumbers' snake can be really helpful for this. Once you've cleared everything, give it a good rinse with a garden hose to make sure water is flowing freely.
Now that we've banished the potential water damage from your gutters and downspouts, let's move on to your woodwork. The fluctuating temperatures and harsh weather conditions of winter can be tough on your wooden doors, windows, and deck. This can cause the sealant to crack and peel off, leaving your woodwork exposed and vulnerable.
Examine the condition of the sealant. If it's not up to par, scrape off the old sealant, sand the area smooth, and apply a fresh coat. Make sure to choose a sealant that's suitable for the type of wood you have. This will protect your woodwork from the elements and keep it looking sharp.
If you have a wooden deck or patio it might not be in the best condition after a long winter. But don’t worry, a little elbow grease can make it party-ready in no time. Sweep away the leaves, twigs, and dirt. Then, clean the surface with a power washer or a scrub brush and deck cleaner. You will be amazed at how a good cleaning can restore the original charm of your deck or patio.
Now that you have a clean slate, it's time to play detective. Inspect your deck or patio for any signs of damage. Check for loose boards, popped nails, or cracks. Pay particular attention to the areas that are constantly exposed to water or are in contact with the ground. These are the hotspots for rot and insect damage.
If you come across any minor issues, don't just brush them off. These could escalate into major problems if left neglected. Tighten any loose screws, replace popped nails, and seal any cracks. For more serious damage, you might need to replace the affected boards or even consider getting professional help.
Remember, a stitch in time saves nine. Regular maintenance will extend the life of your deck or patio and keep it looking great for many years to come.
Some Particulars for Your Patio or Deck
Consider using a sealant or stain to protect your deck from the elements. This needs to be done every few years, so check if it's due. For your patio, check the condition of the grout or sand between the pavers. If it's worn away, you'll need to replace it to prevent the pavers from shifting
Look for missing shingles, metal pipes that are damaged or missing, or anything that simply doesn’t look right. If you notice anything that needs closer inspection or repair, call a roofer. If you have a chimney, now is the time to get it cleaned as well. Don't forget, your roof is your home's first line of defense against spring rains, so give it the attention it deserves! Ignoring minor issues now can lead to major problems down the line, so take the time to do a thorough inspection.
Cold weather can actually be quite harsh on concrete and bricks, walk around your driveway or any other area that has concrete or bricks and check for damage. Look for cracks, chips, or signs of erosion, as any of these can worsen if not addressed promptly. Fix any small cracks with a concrete repair kit available at most home improvement stores. For larger issues, consider hiring a professional to prevent further damage.
Checking your sprinklers or irrigation systems in the spring can save water – and save your plants.
Tips for checking your watering system:
As the dreary days of winter give way to the vibrant bloom of spring, it's time to swing into action and prep your garden for the new season. In South Africa, where the climate can vary significantly across regions, it's crucial to understand your local conditions for successful spring garden maintenance. Let's delve into this blooming topic, shall we?
Understand Your Climate Zone
First things first, you need to understand the climate zone you're in. South Africa is split into various climates ranging from Mediterranean to Subtropical, to Highveld and Lowveld. Each zone has unique gardening requirements. Know your zone; know your garden.
Spring cleaning isn't just for your interior. Your garden needs a good scrub down too. Here's where our first list comes in:
Plan Your Plants
Before you roll up your sleeves and start planting, spend a bit of time planning. South Africa's unique climate zones mean that what works in one area might not work in another. Research local plants or consult with a local nursery to understand what will thrive in your garden.
Now comes the fun part - planting! Here's a general guide:
Spring Garden Preparation Table
The best way to prevent mosquitoes around your home is simply by getting rid of any standing water. Walk around your property and check for anything or any area where water stands, fix it, tip it, get rid of it, or maintain it regularly.