Spring Clean Up

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Come springtime, most of us are eager to throw open the windows and clean out the closets.
It’s also time to give your house, inside and out, a good once-over.
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Start outside, raking up any remaining leaves that survived the winter, and laying down mulch in your flowerbeds and beneath the hedges. A thin layer of mulch will protect plants from drought and keep weeds at bay.

Turn your outside faucets back on, checking for damage. If you plan on hiring a lawn care service to maintain your property and mow your lawn, now is the time to renew your annual contract.

 

Spring cleanup

Trees

If your property has any trees, have them inspected by a certified arborist, who can check for signs of illness or any dead branches and catch problems before they escalate and kill a tree. The untrained eye could miss signs of damage, and a dead or dying tree poses a safety hazard to you, your home and neighboring properties.

Lawns and hedges

Reseed your lawn, filling in bald patches before the summer heat. Plant your perennials, and give them plenty of water. Later in the spring, when the grass turns bright green again and the lilacs bloom, it is time to fertilize the lawn, although you may not need to fertilize as much as you think. (See more about the best lawn mowers from Wirecutter.)

Goodbye snow blower, hello lawnmower

With the last of the winter snowstorms behind you, early spring is the time to store your snow blower (if you have one) for the summer. You’ll need to drain the fuel or add a stabilizer, check and clean the motor and parts. Later, pull out the lawnmower and give it a checkup before the grass gets too long. Mowers get a lot of use, but not a lot of love.

The Outside of Your Home

Inspect

The gutters

Paint

Walk around the outside of the house: Are there cracks in the concrete? Is the driveway in good condition? Check the roof for signs of loose or broken shingles. Look up at the chimney for signs of wear. Check the facade and foundation for cracks or signs of water pooling.

Your gutters control the flow of rainwater on your house, protecting your roof, siding and foundation. Clogged gutters can cause a roof to leak or water to infiltrate your house. Clean them at least twice a year (or more frequently, depending on how many trees surround your property and hang over your roof). Also, check for damage.

Exterior paint looks nice and protects your shingles from water damage and rot. Look for signs of peeling or chipping paint. You may need a touch-up or a fresh coat. If you plan to hire a professional, schedule the job in the spring so the work gets done by the end of the summer.