Spring has Sprung… maybe?
The days are getting longer, and temperatures are warming up – well, mostly! There was snow over the weekend in many places (it IS Colorado, after all).
With the change in the weather comes a change in the chores & maintenance that we need to do around our homes. Here is a list of some maintenance items that are typically completed this time of the year.
1. Irrigation & Sprinkler System
Here in Western Colorado we typically water our yards via irrigation. The canals were filled up in early April and most neighborhoods have had their water turned on already.
If you haven’t already done so, now is the time to check your sprinkler system, and do any repairs that are needed. Check all of your sprinkler heads for build-up that needs to be cleaned out, and your pipes & hoses for any leaks.
If you have a pump, have that inspected as well, and make sure your filtration system is working like it’s supposed to.
2. Clean Up Landscaping
Again, in the Grand Junction area this may have already been completed in time for the city-wide clean-up service, but if not, it’s time to tackle those plants!
Clear out dead branches and debris that may have collected over the Winter months, trim back any overgrowth, pull the weeds that already realized it’s Spring, and get ready for planting any new additions for the year.
Notice I said get ready to plant…
Here in the Grand Valley, we have an old wive’s tale that’s a pretty good guide for when to plant anything you don’t want to freeze. Look up at the Grand Mesa. See the swan? Has the swan’s neck broken yet? If not, DO NOT plant!
Where is the Swan, you ask? It’s just around Palisade Point to the north of the Bear (or Lion, depending on who you ask).
Here are some photos:
It’s one of those legends that locals just know, and our transplants think we are crazy for… until they have lived here for a few Spring seasons & had all of their baby plants freeze. Just trust me on this one. No planting while the swan is still whole.
With those new plantings, do be mindful of your foundation & water. The general rule of thumb is 3-feet from your foundation with anything that will be thirsty. The less water you can put within 3-feet of your foundation, the better. Look at using decorative rock or xeriscape that area.
1. Check Outdoor Lighting
This is an easy one! Check to make sure all of your outdoor lighting is working properly. Change any bulbs as needed, and don’t forget to look at any lights in your yard – those solar lights can burn out without you realizing it.
2. Check the Roof
This year has been a windy one around Grand Junction.Check to make sure you haven’t lost any shingles from your roof, & schedule to have those repaired as soon as possible if you have. Roofing Professionals get very busy this time of year, so it’s not unheard of for them to be scheduling a month out by mid-April.
3. Clean Out the Gutters
With all of the wind & extra rain we’ve had (yay moisture!) out gutters have seen a bit more use this year than normal. Mine was backed up on Easter from the hail clogging it up! Clean out any debris that has collected over the past few months, and check for leaks. Like the roofers, the gutter guys are getting busy, so call early & get any repair work scheduled.
4. Check on your Deck or Patio
We tend to live outdoors much of the Summer around here, so making sure that your deck is in good shape is important! If you have a wood deck, check for signs of water damage, discoloration, or warping. Make sure that all planks & rails are securely fastened (again – more moisture this year than normal can cause issues we don’t normally have).
Spring is a good time to refresh the sealant on wood decks too. Once you’ve sealed it, you can enjoy it all Summer long!
For a concrete patio, check for any cracking, and get those fixed before the outdoor season really gets going.
5. Spruce Up your Fencing
Like your deck, your fence has been out in the weather all Winter long. Check for any loose or rotting planks, and make sure that you get fences , railings, & trellises sealed if they need it.
6. Check the Porch
If you are blessed with a front porch (you lucky dog, you!) take some time over the weekend to clean it up. If there is space for seating, look into adding some chairs or a swing, and create a relaxing space for to enjoy your morning coffee, or to sit in the evenings.
7. Inspect your Air Conditioner or Evaporative Cooler
Those with Refrigerated Air generally need to put in a fresh filter every month or so (depending on the unit), make sure their unit is running correctly, and flip the switch from “heat” to “cool”, & make sure your pre-set temperatures are where you want them.
Some of us still use an evaporative cooler out here in the desert, and those take a bit more maintenance every Spring & Fall.
- Check your filters to see if they need changing (this differs based on the unit you have).
- If you covered your unit, cleaning it won’t be as much of a hassle. If not, you will need to clean out dead leaves & other debris (like wasp nests) from the unit before you start it up.
- Don’t forget to clean the actual water tank as well. Just wipe it down with mild soapy water & rinse.
Once it’s all clean & your pads are looking good, it’s time to fill the tank! Hook your unit up to the water supply and turn it on. Hopefully you can feel a difference inside in just a few minutes!
8. Check Your Outside Faucets
Make sure your hose faucets didn’t freeze over the winter. Turn on the water, place your finger over the opening, and see if that stops the water flow. If it does, call a plumber.
9. Check Your Grill
While grilling does happen in Colorado year-round, most of us choose to keep it to the warmer months. If you haven’t fired up the grill since last Fall, it’s time to do a check-up.
If your grill has been outside all Winter, give it a good, deep clean. Glean the grates & the interior of the grill with a grill brush, and shine up the outside with a warm, soapy bath. I usually take my grates inside & give them a really good scrub down in the Fall, so the spring maintenance is a little quicker.
If you use a gas grill, check all of your supply lines & burner holes for leaks, clogs, or cracks.
That’s the Outdoor Spring Maintenance checklist! Take some time over the next few weekends to run through these to help keep your home looking great and operating at it’s best.