Spring Cleaning Outdoors

About twenty years ago, my best friend and I would make jokes about someday one of us having to wear depends, and the other one wheeling us out onto the porch for some sun, in our golden years.

There are four steps you should follow when attempting to clean your eaves troughs. The first step is to get a ladder that is tall enough to reach the roof of your house. Rest or lean it between the downspouts. Be careful when placing the ladder. For safety purposes, ensure that there are no obstructions below it. The second step is to scoop out the accumulated dirt on the gutter and place it in the bucket. Leaves from trees are the most common dirt found on eaves troughs.

If you’re concerned about how bird spikes might look along the roofline of your store, consider that fact that they now come in white, tan, gray, black, brown, brick red and crystal clear. Spikes with a non-reflective metal finish are also available.

One of the things that make you think you need to repair the valley could be caused by buildup of plant life. People rarely look up at their roofs, but inspecting it personally, in the spring and fall, and especially after storms is a good idea. If you haven’t cleaned your Seamless Gutters Durham out and have maple trees by your house, you could have a mini garden growing in your gutters. In a valley, this can cause a mini dam to build and water behind it will go beyond the width of the valley and work its way under shingles. So be aware of it and regularly check your roof. Roof valley repair techniques are best left to professionals, but gutter cleaning can minimize your difficulties.

The real purpose of any good gutter system is to carry the rainfall away from your home. Rainwater, especially in heavy rains, can be damaging to a home’s basement, landscaping, driveway and lawn. Don’t wait until a big storm comes to be prepared – the best offense is a good defense. Put a long, rain downspout extension on the end of each gutter end around your home. Whenever possible point the gutter extensions downhill. This carries rainfall away from your home and foundation or basement.

In addition, home inspectors will point out if key electrical outlets, such as those in the kitchen, are GFCI (ground-fault circuit interrupter) circuits. These are a type of electrical outlet that will shut down if there is a sudden surge in electrical current. In new construction, these are often required in certain rooms of the house such as bathrooms, kitchen, and any outdoor sockets.

Set your mower blades higher. Don’t over cut your lawn. Instead set the cutting height so you’re only loping off 1/3-1/2 of the blades. Not only will this dispense with “clumps” but it will also spread your grass clippings over a larger area (and the grass will donate vital nutrients and other substances to the soil – not to mention the joys of less raking!).

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