Even in our mild San Diego climate, the wear and tear on your home from the outside elements each season is something you should never ignore as a homeowner. Whether you’re living in a single-family home or a townhome, you need to schedule regular maintenance that tackles the exterior of your home and your yard if you have one.
Even for condo owners, you should make sure your association is taking care of these items too, especially if you are living in a smaller building and/or self- managed building.
By keeping up seasonal maintenance, you can avoid some costly repair bills from damage that could have been prevented. And, remember, that a well-cared for property can better retain its value and attract buyers when it comes time to sell.
Your exterior and yard maintenance can include some DIY tasks or regular service appointments from professionals. Here’s a breakdown of what you should put on your to-do list each season for outside maintenance.
Spring (Early March – Early June)
Once spring arrives examine your yard and home’s exterior to see how everything looks and for any winter damage. You can catch up on certain outside tasks and prep your home before the summer starts to heat up. The spring can bring rain, so stay on top of tasks that can prevent water damage or drainage issues.
Remove debris such as dead foliage and fallen branches and twigs that may be scattered in your yard. Clear out any growth or brush you don’t want
Check on exterior drainage systems and consider improvements to get ready for spring rain. To prevent costly water damage to your home, now is the time to make sure all of your drainage systems are operating properly and that they move water away from your home. Consider getting downspout extenders for gutters, having your landscaping slope away from your home’s foundation, or installing storm drains in your yard or even a French drain system.
Gutter and Window Maintenance
Remove leaves and debris from all area drains, gutters, and window wells. Always give your gutters a once over when it’s raining heavily to see if they are clogged and overflowing and hire a professional if needed. You may have to clean your gutters several times depending on your yard. Again, you want to prevent water damage to your home.
Sharpen your Tools
Get your garden tools and supplies cleaned, sharpened and restocked. Remove rust and seal blades for pruning shears, hedge clippers, trowels, etc. Clean and restock garden pots, gloves, kneepads, watering cans. If you mow your own lawn don’t forget to get gas for your lawnmower. Purge and organize your garden shed to get rid of what you don’t need or use anymore and then arrange the space for easy access and a more orderly set up.
Patio Clean Up
Clean and prepare your patio or deck and any outdoor furniture or planters. Consider power washing to get rid of grime on some items that can withstand the pressure. Depends on what material you may have from pavers, concrete, slate etc. Or, give everything a good deep cleaning so the rest of the year, you can do a periodic wipe down.
Clean the exterior siding of your home or schedule a paint job if that is needed. Depending on the siding’s material, you could get it power washed by a professional or rent the equipment.
Winter can leave behind some dirty windows. You can wash your screens and windows yourself or find a reliable professional to get the job done each year.
Barbecue Grill Maintenance
Get your grill cleaned and repaired now. Scrub the grates with liquid cleaner, and wash the burners and covers if you have them. Don’t forget to get the tank filled if you have a gas grill, or stock up on charcoal for other grills.
Little critters start to come out, so hire a pest service that can help you deal with ants, rats, spiders, or mice. Make sure your garbage is securely closed; and clean up any areas with debris that create an inviting home for critters.
You can begin to plant summer bulbs, annuals, and perennials for beds and planters. Come up with a plan so you purchase only what you need and what works for the soil and sunlight in your yard. Cool spring weather early in the season is good for pansies in containers. Order your mulch in the early spring so your yard will look clean and crisp in the coming weeks.
Summer (Late June – August)
Your yard should be in pretty good shape by early summer if you’ve kept up with serious clean-up tasks throughout the spring. Remember that early June is a perfect time to make your yard more beautiful and a good time to finish up any preventative care. That way you’re set to relax for the rest of summer!
Plan ahead and have a professional tree service come out regularly to ensure your trees are healthy and not diseased. You may need to have your trees trimmed if you haven’t in a couple of years.
Continue to check on your gutters during any rainfall to prevent any water damage to your home. Remove leaves and debris from all area drains, gutters, and window wells.
Weed and clean up beds of early spring plantings that have stopped blooming. Now is the time to clear out those wilted leaves and dead plants to make room for late-blooming flowers.
Add a splash of color with some annuals. Put in some colorful plants in containers and beds. Work with your local garden center to see what works best for your yard, especially if you have direct sunlight.
As the temperature rises throughout the summer, keep watering your lawn, beds, and containers. Don’t water in the middle of the day with the hot sun, but do it in the early evening when it starts to cool down.
Yes, there are mosquitos in San Diego! Mosquitos love standing water – any amount! So do your part to cut down on places where they can breed. Maintenance must include double-checking for standing water in your yard and any outside containers – such as wheelbarrows, flowerpots, buckets, watering cans, garbage cans, kids’ toys. Even the little bit in your gutter drain can lead to breeding. Store items in your garage and shed as much as possible. Be proactive about mosquitos, both larvae and adults. Take protective measures for mosquito control to prevent larvae from flourishing. Don’t forget to buy some citronella candles for when dining outside!
Hire a pest control service to manage any seasonal issues if you haven’t done so already. A pest service can offer suggestions and solutions on how to deal with any problems, inside and outside of your home. The summer means more spiders and, yes, rats. Do your part and keep your garbage contained and clear out debris in your yard so you don’t have a tempting “home” for critters.
Fall (September – Early November)
The fall is another season that is perfect for many outside maintenance tasks. Plus, you want to prepare your home for the cooler weather ahead.
Clean out gutters and downspouts of leaves and debris. Blocked gutters can cause water damage to your home at any time. Make sure your gutters are directed so that they drain as far away from the house as possible and on a downslope. Do this maintenance regularly during rainstorms to prevent major water damage.
Inspect roof for any damage to shingles and double check seals around vents and chimney to prevent any leaks.
Remove and weed any dead plants, especially those summer and early fall annuals.
Prune shrubs before they go dormant. Cut back perennials; divide and transplant as needed.
Aerate, fertilize, and seed your lawn in early fall.
Fall is wildfire season. Regardless of what part of the county you live in, it is good practice to keep your home fire safe. Trim tree branches that hang too close to your home or electrical wires. You don’t want any surprises during a storm so hire a professional company to care for your trees and trim where necessary. This maintenance could save your home, and your life!
Winter (Late November – Early March)
Catch up on what maintenance you may have missed over the last few months and get moving on any late spring and summer tasks. Hope this list has helped you know what to prioritize and what to plan on doing now and in the upcoming seasons! If you think of other tasks I can add, please email me with your suggestions.
HI, I’M LISA HINKLEY AND I HELP PEOPLE LIVE THE HARBOR LIFE IN PUNTA GORDA, FLORIDA
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