HOLMES: Spring into action on your home’s exterior

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Last week I discussed some of the essential spring tips you can do inside your home during these transitional weeks as we approach more springlike temperatures. This week, I will concentrate on all the outside jobs you can do for your home.

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I can’t talk about spring tips without mentioning the all-important deck. Your deck is exposed to the elements, day-in and day-out. Therefore, it’s more prone to wear and tear. Ensure you inspect and maintain it regularly. Many wood decks can last 15 to 20 years with proper maintenance, so remember to keep on top of cleaning and sealing them.

While wood is one of the most popular material choices for a deck, there are some great alternatives. Recently, I redid my deck, keeping the pressure-treated subfloor structure intact I added a fortified waterproof joist guard on my structure and then a new paver stone surface. It looks fantastic and will last me for 40 to 50 years! I love it.

Another tip is to survey your exterior walkways, sidewalks, and driveway. If you notice any small cracks, fix them now. Some great DIY-friendly products do a great job fixing small cracks on both asphalt and concrete surfaces. Proper maintenance will help keep your walkways, sidewalks, and driveways safe and looking great for many years. It’s also a great way to increase curb appeal, especially if you plan to sell your home.

While tending to your outdoor space, check your gutters, eavestroughs, and downspouts for damage or blockages. I like gutter screens and guards as they help prevent gutters from getting blocked by pine needles, leaves, and other debris. If you don’t have gutter screens, I recommend getting them installed.

Moreover, while surveying the exterior of your home, check your foundation for cracks and leaks. Don’t ignore the signs, especially if you plan to refinish the basement. If you notice any pooling around or near the foundation, your grading may need to be adjusted.

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Look around your yard, clean up any winter debris, especially around your AC unit, and think about scheduling a service call soon. Check for any weak branches on large older trees, and contact an arborist if you have any concerns.

Inspect your outdoor structures, like sheds and garages, check for damage, and make repairs. Also, check any fences on your property, including around a pool area, and ensure they are not damaged or weakened by snow or frost from the winter and do the necessary repairs so they don’t worsen and become a hazard.

Check caulking around exterior windows and doors for damage, air or water leaks, and repair as needed, but remember to use rubberized silicon caulking because it lasts longer. It’s also flexible, so great for reacting to the natural expansion and contraction due to temperature changes.

Also, check exterior finishes for signs of deterioration, like peeling paint, loose siding, and cracks, and schedule the repairs as needed.

Your garage door gets used a lot so if you notice anything slightly off, get it checked out by a pro. They will service your garage door tracks, lubricate bearings and ensure the bottom seal is in good shape.

You might also want to start planning your backyard entertainment space, so think about what you might need. Perhaps some new seating, lounge furniture, or a fully equipped outdoor kitchen area. I think it’s great for homeowners to make the most out of their homes, which means not only the inside but also the outside. A well-designed backyard will provide more living space and enjoyment for you and your family.

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The pandemic has taught us to appreciate what we have and perhaps be a bit more self-sufficient. As a result, many people opt to add a vegetable garden to their backyard. My son Michael and his wife, Lisa, created several raised garden beds for vegetables, herbs, and plants in their backyard. It’s a great way to enjoy the fruits of your labour and enjoy a variety of fresh veggies. You may also want to consider getting a covered water barrel that will collect rainwater for watering your garden, which will also help you conserve water. Also, check your outdoor faucets and get them ready for the warmer weather.

Now that you have a good list of all the spring home maintenance tips you should consider, it’s time to get started. You can start ticking them off as you get ready to enjoy the coming warmer months.

Watch Holmes Family Rescue on CTV Life Channel on Thursdays.


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