A.H. Harris Blog

Looking for Spring Projects? 5 areas in and around the house that need your attention right now.

by A.H. Harris

Ah, Spring! Warmer days, longer evenings, more time to be outside. Get ready to fully enjoy the season by checking out our little to-do list. Now is the time for some projects in and around the house.  

Spring direction sign on sky background.jpeg

Around the yard

Make a great impact on the way your yard looks by simply picking it up a little. If there was no time to rake leaves, pine needles and small branches during fall, do it now. Mow, trim, and if necessary, fertilize your lawn. In areas that are low or next to the foundation, consider using compacted soil which can help prevent flooding and damage. Try to get rid of areas that can become puddles and breeding ground for bugs. Speaking of critters, some shrubs attract them. Talk to pest control if you are worried about ticks, mosquitoes etc. Consider non-toxic alternatives to repel them (e.g. lemon grass, citronella, catmint), particularly if you have pets, small children or are worried about smaller wildlife (birds for example). Now is also the perfect time to start planning what you want to grow throughout the warmer months. If you’re thinking of planting new trees, place them strategically. Check outside faucets and hoses for freeze damage, rust and dry rot. Check your BBQ! You know you’ll need it, so make sure it's clean, has gas and is ready to go. 

Outside of your home

Want to let that spring sun in, then clean your windows inside and out. Pressure washing your house will not only make it look great, it also prevents the growth of mold and mildew. Once you’ve got a nice clean surface, consider adding a fresh coat of paint to your house or deck (check for boards that need to be replaced from wear or ice/water damage). Since springtime often comes with a lot of rain, check to make sure your gutters are clean and working. While up there, clear away any debris and check your roof for damage (cracked or missing shingles should be replaced). Check doors and windows for leaks and drafts, especially in corners. (Re)seal any open areas between the frame and walls. If you have a masonry chimney, check the joints between bricks or stones. If you’re in the mood for a project, adding a new deck or redesigning your current one could be fun. Be sure to educate yourself on different building codes and restrictions in your town or community before you get going though. 

Inside your home

Most of this can be done really any time of the year, but we call it "spring cleaning" for a reason! Declutter your home to make it feel more spacious and comfortable. Once you get all the clutter out of the way, it will also be much easier to actually deep clean the place. If it’s easier, consider breaking up the rooms into separate days and make sure to get the whole family involved. How about cleaning the floors? If you have carpet, it’s a good idea to give them a good scrubbing once a year. Laminate and hard word floors appreciate some TLC as well, winter might have brought in salt, sand and other material that can damage it. Dust those shelves, vacuum the sofas and don’t forget the refrigerator and stove (use non-toxic cleaner). Make sure that air conditioning units are in good working order for the warmer months ahead. Change the filter, check hose connections for leaks, and make sure the drain pans are draining freely. For outside A/C units, consider calling an expert for routine maintenance.

Man's hand holding hammer in front of a house indicating home improvement and maintenance..jpeg

Foundations, Attic & Basement

When inspecting poured concrete foundations, keep your eyes peeled for cracks. If cracks in the foundation exist, routine caulking won’t do the job. You'll want to consult a foundation specialist, who can employ a two-part epoxy injection system that will bond those cracks chemically. Search your attic thoroughly for mold, which often takes the form of gray or black blotches. Proper insulation and good ventilation will deter mold growth, so take action now to prevent the problem from developing. While up there, look for signs that insects and critters have colonized. Dampness in a basement suggests higher-than-normal relative humidity, inadequate ventilation and the need for a dehumidifier. Check the base of poured-concrete walls for cracks and evidence of water penetration. Decluttering both Attic & Basement will help finding your way around and make it safer for people and less attractive for pests.

Garage & Driveway

The structure of your garage should undergo the same inspection as your house when it comes to roofing, siding, and foundation. Check any gas- and/or battery-powered equipment in the garage to make sure they are ready for summer use, clean and sharpen blades in necessary. Between the snow and the salt, your driveway takes a beating every winter. The first step for finding out how your driveway made it through the season is to get it clean. Then check the surface for any growths and obvious damage. The products and procedures to fix your driveway will depend on what material it is made of. Cold patch asphalt repairs are very easy to use and cost effective for potholes. For cracked concrete, you may need grout or epoxy. Clean the area and remove any lose chunks of concrete/asphalt before fixing holes and cracks. Even if your driveway doesn’t show any signs of damage, concrete experts recommend re-sealing your concrete every 5 years or so (depending on the climate where you live). Buy a sealer that is specially made for concrete driveways and follow the instructions.

We hope you find those tips useful! Did we miss any? Let us know what you think in the comments.

Count on our Harris experts and do not hesitate to reach out with any questions. From decorative concrete to waterproofing and sealing, between Harris, Kenseal and HarMac you will find what you need for your new construction or renovation project.

Harris/Kenseal/HarMac locations  

Categories: DIY, Spring, Maintenance


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