Don’t wait until spring has actually sprung to get ready for the change of seasons. As milder weather approaches and you await the return to the outdoor living, there’s more to do around your home—both indoors and out—than just spring cleaning. Here are 7 tasks to tackle now to make springtime safer, easier, and more enjoyable.
1. Clean Rain Gutters
Wind, animals, and gravity bring sticks, leaves, and other organic matter into your rain gutters, and chances are yours have accumulated their share of detritus over the winter. That’s bad news for your home: When downspouts are clogged, rainwater can spill out of your gutters and around the perimeter of your house, putting it at risk for leaks and flooding. Get ready for spring showers by removing the mess from your gutters to ensure that the water will flow freely.
2. Service the Lawn Mower
Get your lawnmower ready for the season with a tune-up. If you didn’t do it in the fall, now’s the time to drain and replace oil, sharpen the blades, remove caked-on grass and mud, and lubricate moving parts.
3. Pamper the Lawn
Once the danger of frost has passed and your grass starts to come out of winter dormancy, it’s time to jump-start your spring lawn-care routine. Address winter damage to your turf by seeding bare patches—although if you do reseed at this time of year, you should avoid spring applications of chemical weed or crabgrass treatments, which can harm new grass. Then get a head start on weed prevention by manually removing broadleaf weeds before they have a chance to multiply. For cool-season grasses, spread a light application of fertilizer in early spring; for warm-season grasses, fertilization can wait until late spring or early summer.
4. Groom Shrubs and Trees
Winter storms can be hard on your landscaping, resulting in broken tree limbs, ragged shrubs, and a garden full of organic debris. Get your yard ready for spring by removing broken or damaged branches, pruning summer-blooming trees and shrubs like butterfly bush and crepe myrtle, and raking up fallen leaves.
5. Plant Bulbs
Spring is the ideal time to plant summer-blooming flowers, which include beauties like dahlias and gladioli. Go ahead and get them into the ground as soon as the danger of frost has passed.
6. Clean Backyard Furniture
As the weather warms up, outdoor entertaining may be just around the corner. Prepare for warmer days ahead by thoroughly hosing down all backyard furniture—chairs, tables, and lounge chairs—wiping away cobwebs, and bringing outdoor chair cushions out of winter storage.
7. Check the Roof
Take advantage of the sun’s return to check your roof for cracked or missing shingles or tiles, and examine flashing around vents and the chimney for damage. While you’re at it, have the chimney cleaned and inspected by a professional.