Use a little elbow grease to welcome spring

March 31, 2013

What kind of regular maintenance should I do to prepare my home for spring?

Jim Embe, Baltimore district manager for Home Depot, suggests these spring chores for around the home.

•Now is the time to put down lawn fertilizer and pre-emergent weed killer. If you want to seed your lawn, there are now products that allow you to do both.

•Clean out the gutters and downspouts and make sure they haven't pulled away from the fascia during the winter.

•Now is the time to power-wash the deck or the siding. But wait until everything is dry and the temperature is consistently above 40 degrees before applying paint, stain or sealers.

•Check your hoses. Water left inside the hose may have frozen over the winter, causing the hose to split.

•Get your lawn mower serviced before the season gets under way. Or do it yourself by purchasing fresh oil, new spark plugs and filters and sharpening or replacing the blades.

•Check the caulk around windows, doors and the garage door and recaulk where needed.

•Now is the time to get your air conditioner serviced. And don't forget to replace the air filters. And clean the filters in your window air conditioners.

•Now is a great time to repair cracks in the driveway that may have opened up during the winter.

•Start seeds inside with a seed-starter kit so the plants are ready to transplant when the time is right. Spinach, lettuces and peas can be sown now in the garden or in containers on the deck. Growing edibles in flower beds, planters, pots and small spaces will be popular again this summer.

Susan Reimer

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