Now that spring is officially here it’s a good idea to do some basic home maintenance to welcome in the season without suffering spring’s potential problems.
Remove Insect Superhighways to Your House
Make sure plants – this includes shrubs, tall grass, weeds, and ground covers – don’t come into contact with your house. When plants rub against your house they create a pathway for insects to move from the ground to your home. Make sure to pull weeds and trim back or relocate plants growing too close to your house. It’s also a good idea to make sure there isn’t any dirt-to-wood contact around the house as it can result in rot (unless the wood is of a type that’s approved for this).
Avoid Sugar Ant-pocalypse
Here in the PNW we are attacked by sugar ants (also known as odorous ants) once spring hits. There are a few things you can do to keep them from taking over your home. One way to deter them is to sprinkle diatomaceous earth around the perimeter of your home. Another method is to use peppermint oil as a deterrent – I’ve found this works really well but you have to keep reapplying the peppermint every few days or it wears off. I personally use a service from EcoElite for my house. After the first invasion I was more than willing to hand off this fight to a professional. I haven’t had ant problems since I started with them. Just please avoid poisonous chemicals – they can kill honey bees as well as ants and is just generally bad for the environment.
Clean Those Gutters
Now is a good time to clean your gutters – with spring comes rain and you want to make sure your gutters are clear and working properly. Water overflows from blocked gutters can wreak havoc on your yard and even result in water intrusion in your basement.
Discourage Moss Growth
Trim trees back if they overhang your roof – this will reduce gutter clutter but will also help keep moss from growing on your roof. It’s also a good time to get rid of any moss that developed over winter – powerwash it off and apply an anti-moss agent to keep it from coming back.
Check Attic & Roof
Spring is when birds and other creatures start nesting and procreating. Often times they like to do these things in attics – much to the chagrin of the homeowner. Now is a good time to take a peek inside the attic to see what’s going on up there. You want to check for signs of water intrusion (mold, damp boards, rusty nails) as well as holes or other areas critters could get in.
You’ll also want to check the outside of the roof for damage and loose tiles. Make sure tree branches are cut back away from the house and do not overhang. Branches overhanging roofs can encourage moss growth (especially on the north side) and can act as bridges for squirrels and other unfriendlies to explore your home.
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