It’s Spring! Time to take it Outside!

With green grass popping up everywhere and tree leaves emerging, it’s safe to be sure it’s spring! Warm weather has been a long time coming in the GTA, and whether you want to sell your home or stay put, some outside home maintenance is always in order. Now is the time to do an outdoor inspection of what winter has done to your property, and get a start on sprucing it up.

Take a look at your driveway. Has winter frost heaved it and caused cracking anywhere? Has oil and salt stained it? Get out your pressure washer and give it a good hose down. If you don’t own a pressure washer, high powered ones that do a great job are available for rent. If driveway cracking is an issue, or it’s just looking worn out, call a paving company (there are many in the GTA) to see what’s needed in order to fix it. It may just need resealing, which is a quick and economical process.

Windows and screens can get quite dirty, so give them a good wash and polish. Screens that can be removed can be sprayed with a hose for a thorough clean. Check your window screens for rips and tears, and repair them as needed. Re-caulk around window frames to keep the heat out and air conditioning in, and to keep creepy-crawlies outside where they belong!

If you have a wood structure on your property, such as a deck, spring is a good time to refresh it. Gently sand any splintered boards, and pressure wash the dirt and mould off it. Check out your local weather forecast, and when you have a string of sunny days forecasted, stain your deck. You want nice weather to do this job so the stain dries evenly and isn’t affected by rain. There are many options available when choosing a stain, so visit your local paint or home improvement centre for more info on this. Whether you’re thinking of moving or not, and you don’t already have a deck, consider adding one to your property. Outdoor living spaces add valuable square footage, and they can be an attractive addition to your home. In Ontario, we love to soak up as much warm weather as possible, and by having a comfortable, functional outdoor living space, you can get the most out of summer.

Grab your summer equipment and get it ready to go. Get out your lawnmower and give it a good cleaning, making sure to get all the old grass out. Top it up with gas so it’s ready to go, or check to make sure that your electric mower’s cord is still functioning (i.e. not chewed through by a stowaway mouse). Weed trimmers will need the battery charged or a gas top up also. Bring your BBQ out of hibernation and clean any old grease and dirt that may have been missed from last use. Top up your propane tank if your BBQ uses one.

Once the weather is consistently above freezing, you can turn on your outside water supply. Attach your hose and turn on the water to make sure your hose has not developed any leaks. Make sure to check the pipe between the shut off valve and the outside tap when the water is on to ensure the pipe has not frozen over winter and is leaking.

Rake old leaves and debris left over from last fall away, and if you encounter bare spots, work the soil in those spots and sow fresh grass seed. Don’t do this too early in spring, as temperatures need to be consistently warm for the seed to germinate. If it’s done too early when the night temperatures dip down low, your grass seed will become bird food! Keep your grass seed watered, and you will have a nice thick lawn before you know it. Fertilizer will help your lawn to look beautiful too- just be sure to follow the directions or the fertilizer can “burn” your grass. Prune shrubs and trees as needed, and add some beautiful plants to your gardens.

Getting your outdoor space in order early on in the season will save you time and money. Best of all, everything will be done in the spring, so once summer arrives, all that will be left to do is enjoy! Oh – and cut all that beautiful, lush grass you’ve grown!