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4 Spring Home Maintenance Tips

Home maintenanceSpring has officially arrived! As a homeowner, the arrival of each new season usually brings with it a few maintenance chores that will need to be tackled, so wait for a nice, sunny day and check these jobs off your to-do list!

1. Repaint windows, siding and doors if needed. While wood will always be a popular material in home building, unfortunately it does require regular maintenance to keep it looking its best and realizing its life span. As with any job, take the time to gather the proper materials before getting started – it will make things run smoothly. Scrape away old, chipped or peeling paint from window and door frames and wood siding. Sand if necessary and finish by pressure washing on a low setting. Prime and paint as needed with a good quality exterior paint.

2. Organize the garage. After a long winter, your garage may have become a drop-zone for gardening supplies, sporting equipment, toys, broken items, etc. Enlist the help of kids to help create piles, including one for items to throw out, one for items to sell and a third for items to keep. If storage is an issue, assemble some heavy duty shelving or hooks. If your garage floor has seen better days, consider sealing and painting the floor for a tidy, clean look that will also extend its lifespan.

3. It’s likely been a few months since your air conditioner saw the light of day, so remove the cover on your outdoor unit, shut off the power and give it a good cleaning, removing any dust and debris. Inside the house, you’ll want to change the air filter and check for any leaks in the ductwork. Almost every HVAC company offers maintenance packages, so if you’re not up to the challenge or just don’t have time, schedule an appointment with a professional. Proper A/C maintenance will extend the life of your cooling unit and keep your energy bills down all summer long!

4. Clean or pressure wash deck. Canadians certainly spend as much time as possible during the summer months enjoying their outdoor spaces, so start off the season with a fresh slate! Take great care when pressure washing soft wood surfaces – one would rarely need more than 1500 psi to complete this task – any more can damage the wood. You can skip the pressure washer and buy a good quality wood cleaner and use some good, old-fashioned elbow grease to get your deck gleaming for the season ahead!

Jennifer Birch

Creating a Healthy Lawn

Lawn

After all the snow we’ve seen this winter, most of us are ready to welcome the rain showers with hopeful thoughts of May flowers. Your lawn has taken a beating over the past six months and April is an excellent month to tackle your backyard maintenance. Here are some great tips to help you get your lawn in optimal growing form!

A healthy lawn is a happy lawn

Raking is the first step to a healthy lawn this year. Even if you raked last fall, your lawn has developed a layer of “thatch” over the winter – it’s the dead vegetation between the healthy grass and the soil. A deep raking will pull up the thatch, allowing for a thicker, healthier spring lawn.

With the first signs of new spring growth and plants coming back to life, you can be sure a variety of weeds are also lurking. As soon as the soil is thawed – even a couple of weeks before the last frost – you can start cultivating the surface soil in areas prone to weed growth. Pull weeds as soon as they appear – it’s often easier to pull them in the spring because the ground is damp and soft.

Finally, if you’ve never aerated before your lawn might be crying out for help. Aeration is needed when the soil becomes so compacted over time that water and nutrients have a difficult time making their way down to the grass roots. Aeration involves the removal of small plugs of soil using….an aerator, of course! The plugs of soil are left on the surface of your lawn and will eventually work their way back into the dirt. For small lawns, you can buy or rent a manual aerator. Power aerators are also available for rent or purchase. To save some money, ask your neighbours if they want to share the cost with you and pretty soon the whole neighbourhood will have healthy, green lawns!

Jennifer Birch – Realtor

8 STEPS TO KEEPING YOUR HOME WARM THROUGH THE WINTER

Winterize

Love it or hate it, winter is on its way. You have probably spent some time during the past month readying your outdoor spaces for the winter months, cleaning up the yard, pruning and storing outdoor furniture.

Now that your garden and lawn are prepared for six, frosty months, it’s time to turn your attention to your home and begin the task of winterizing for another frigid season.

1. Every fall, it’s a good idea to change your furnace filter. You’ll probably want to replace or clean it once more before spring arrives. It’s also a good time to call in an HVAC professional to have your heating system inspected.

2. Improve the air quality in your home and save on energy costs by having your ducts cleaned once every two to three years.

3. If you have some notoriously drafty areas in your home, take measures to keep the warm air inside. Window insulation film is effective and affordable and it’s easy to install. You can also invest in some weather stripping for doors and windows and buy or make a few draft snakes to place along the base of doors and windows.

4. Help prevent a fire or carbon monoxide poisoning at home by regularly changing the batteries in these detectors. The Office of the Fire Marshal recommends replacing smoke alarms every ten years, or when it has exceeded the manufacturer’s recommended life cycle.

5. Maximize the hot air in your home reversing your ceiling fans so that the blades run in a clockwise direction. Energy Star recommends this tip to help push the hot air down into the room.

6. Before it gets too cold, inspect the eavestroughs around your entire home. With gloves on or using a trowel, clear out leaves and debris.

7. Turn off the water supply to all outdoor taps after draining thoroughly.

8. If you have a wood-burning fireplace, have your chimney cleaned. You should aim to do this once per year.

Jennifer Birch – Realtor