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At Home with Judy....Spring Checklist Series #7

by Judy Gull

Exterior: Gutters, Trees and Gardens

Beginning with your gutters, check to make sure they’re clear of any debris. Spring rains and summer thunderstorms will give them a workout! Check also for any corrosion, separated joints or loose fasteners. Reinstall any downspout extensions if you removed them in the fall. Make sure that water flows at least 3 to 4 feet AWAY from the foundation. You may need to adjust your landscaping to facilitate this.

If you’re not comfortable being on a ladder, or don’t know exactly what to look for, call a professional. Many contractors will give you an estimate on the job before you book for service. Call around to secure a price you’re comfortable with.

Winter weather can also wreak havoc with your roof. If you notice any damaged shingles or seals, call a professional for repairs before the rains come. A small roof leak can quickly turn into a lot of damage if not caught early.

Heavy snows and ice can bend and weaken branches and tree limbs. Do a visual inspection of the trees on your property, especially those that are in close proximity to your home, garage or patio. With summer storms on the horizon, any weak limbs should be removed. You can either do this yourself or call a licensed arborist.

Yard cleanup – Remove all winter debris from the yard and clean up any dead foliage. Begin planning your spring and summer landscaping projects. A little advanced planning can save a lot of time when planting season arrives.

At Home with Judy....Spring Checklist Series #6

by Judy Gull

Exterior: Plumbing and Air Conditioning

Air Conditioning
Your air conditioner gets a workout over the summer, so proper maintenance and inspections in the spring are very important!  First, make sure that the vents are clean of any lint or debris that may have accumulated over the winter months. If any debris is present and you choose to clean it yourself, be very careful not to damage the “fins” that surround the exterior walls. Even if no debris is visible, it’s a great idea to have your system checked and cleaned by a professional every couple of years. A professional can also tune your system so that it will run more efficiently.  In regards to the system and its use inside the home, consider installing a programmable thermostat.  If you have a central air system this can help save considerable money on energy use!

If you use an air conditioner window-unit, now is the time to re-install it. Clean the unit before install and remove the dust and dirt from the filter.  Don’t forget to clean the filter  regularly during the cooling season also.  Once a month should be fine, but check more frequently if you use the unit every day. Be sure when you install the unit that the seals are tight and that it is properly fastened.

Winters in the Coulee Region can be brutal on your plumbing and pipes. Check your outdoor faucets for any drips or leaks and either repair them or call a professional to do the job.  Also run water through your garden hose to check for any cracks or holes that may have developed during the cold winter, even if it was stored in a garage or shed.

Please come back next week for our next installment of the Spring Series for Homeowners.

At Home with Judy....Spring Checklist Series #5

by Judy Gull

Welcome to part 5 of our spring checklist series for homeowners! This week’s entry will focus on decks and patios.  Spring maintenance can extend their lifespan, save you money in future repairs or replacement and keep you safe!

 Exterior:  Decks and Patios

Inspecting your deck and/or patio every spring can help extend it’s lifespan exponentially.  Finding and repairing trouble areas now can really save you money in future replacement costs.  It can also catch potential safety hazards to keep you and your family safe

Heavy snow and ice over the winter months can cause stress damage to decks and patios, so start by doing a visual inspection.  For wood decks, do you see any loose or damaged boards, posts, steps or guardrails?  If so, repair or replace loose boards and reset any protruding nails by gently tapping them back into place.  Next, clean your deck to remove debris that may have accumulated over the winter.  Power washers are a great tool to use.  If you don’t own a power washer, keep in mind that many local hardware stores rent them by the hour or day.  After your deck has been cleaned and is dry, resealing or staining is always a good idea to protect the wood.  If you choose to refinish or apply new decking stain, keep in mind that outdoor temperatures should be above 70 degrees before you do so and make sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

Next, check your outdoor furniture.  Inspect tables, chairs and umbrellas for any damage and repair or replace if necessary.   If no damage is found, then now is a great time to clean and air them out.  Chair pads and umbrellas can be washed with warm soapy water and then air dried.  Keeping them clean not only looks nicer, it will help them last longer as well!

Finally, pull out your grill for a good cleaning.  Clean any dust or dirt that may have accumulated over the winter.  Instructions on cleaning the inside of your grill will vary depending on the type of grill you have and also by manufacturer.  Refer to the manufacturer’s booklet for details.  Remove the grates to clean them.  They can be scrubbed with steel wool (using hot soapy water) or with oven cleaner.  If you choose to use oven cleaner, follow the instructions on the can for safety.  If you cook on the grill a lot during the summer, cleaning it now will save you the hassle of doing it before your first grilled dinner of the season.

We hope this information has been helpful.  Check back soon for the next entry in the At Home with Judy Spring Checklist Series for Homeowners.

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Contact Information

Photo of Judy Gull Real Estate
Judy Gull
RE/MAX First Choice
757 Sand Lake Road
Onalaska WI 54650
Direct: 608-781-7714
Fax: 608-783-4263