After the cold and wet winter months, it’s time for the annual spring clean. Make use of the warmer weekends to repair any damage caused by storms or excess moisture, and get your home and garden ready for the coming months.
- Wash down your home’s exterior with a water blaster or a soft brush to remove any lichen, mould, spider webs and insects. Consider applying a repellent to keep insects at bay.
- Repair any chipped bricks, deteriorated mortar, rotten or broken weatherboards.
- Check the roof for winter damage including cracked or loose shingles and tiles or ‘popped’ or rusting roof nails, and make repairs. Check flashing sealing as damage here could lead to future leaks.
- Check guttering and drains for damage and remove any residual leaves or debris.
- Inspect your loft or crawl space for signs of leaks, especially around chimney areas. Good ventilation is vital in this space so while you’re up there remove anything that restricts or obstructs the airflow.
- Inspect your garage or basement for signs of leaks or seepage through foundation walls. Spring/summer is a good time to excavate exterior walls, apply sealant or install further drainage if required.
- Check all decked areas for soft and spongy wood indicating decay, particularly in damp areas. Clean your deck and spot treat any mould with one part bleach diluted with four parts water. Consider resealing or re-staining to further protect it.
- Check for water stains near exterior walls, what begins as a simple drip can result in water damage to your home.
- Wash your windows inside and out. Clean out the windowsill tracks with a soft brush, then wipe with a 50/50 solution of vinegar and water to kill mould spores. Check that weep holes are draining freely; unclog with thin wire if required.
- For a perfect lawn, preparations begin in spring. When you mow, make your first few cuts higher than you usually would; grass grows best when it’s left to grow from about 50 millimetres high. Sow grass seed on any bare or sparse patches of lawn and eliminate winter lawn moss with an application of lime.
- Fertilise and mulch garden beds prior to planting. This also aerates the soil and increases worm activity.
- Plant out your veggie garden and flower borders. Hardy vegetables can be planted in early spring, but keep things like lettuce, cabbage, carrots and celery until you are sure the frosts are over. Plant batches a few weeks apart to ensure you don’t get a glut all ready at the same time.
- Remove any stray weeds, especially around areas where you expect spring bulbs to flower.
- Remove leftover firewood stored beside your home. Restack it elsewhere, out of the way.Check hoses for damage. Turn on the water and restrict the flow with your thumb – if you can stop the flow your home’s interior piping may be damaged and repairs may have to be made.
- Check hoses for damage. Turn on the water and restrict the flow with your thumb – if you can stop the flow your home’s interior piping may be damaged and repairs may have to be made.
- Clean your outdoor furniture, and fill the gas bottle on your barbecue so you are ready for impromptu outdoor entertaining on balmy spring days.
This article featured on page 110 of Issue 008 of New Zealand Renovate Magazine. New Zealand's first and only magazine solely dedicated to home renovations.