With spring around the corner and the days warming up it is an excellent time to start thinking about cleaning your home and getting your equipment ready for summer. Items such as your lawnmower, summer toys like ATV’s, and BBQ’s all need to be maintained and checked before taking them out of the garage. Likewise, households require gutter gleaning, roof maintenance, gardening, sump pump preparations and much more. Here are some tips to get you ready for spring and your next backyard adventure.
Clean your gutters! There are a variety of things happening at this time of year and one can forget to tackle this important cleaning. There is a good chance debris has collected over the fall and winter, hidden from you. If the gutters and downspouts are clogged water can back up and damage the roof, fascia, soffits and siding. An easy test to see if your gutters are working properly is to observe them on a rainy day. If water isn’t moving freely or is spilling over the edges; there is debris clogging them. Remember if you are using a ladder always be sure to follow safety measures.
Check your roof. Look for missing or cracked shingles, or shingle-shifting; it may mean you need to install new fasteners. Also look for build-up and debris from the winter as well as pine needles in the valleys between roof peaks. Remove as needed.
Inspect your exterior walls. No matter if you have wood, stucco or brick; look for damaged areas close to the downspouts or gutters. Water stains are a good indication that your gutters are not containing any runoff.
Foundations. It is always a good idea to check the foundation walls of your house as you are attending to other aspects of your spring cleaning and maintenance. Look for cracks from the ground up and when in doubt call in an expert.
Your Toys and Equipment
Your BBQ. A standard for most homes; be sure you are checking the following when you prepare to get your first BBQ of the season in:
· Have your cleaning supplies ready – be sure to sanitize and deep clean your grill before you start enjoying your food.
· Give your grill a good scrub starting with the burners.
· Inspect all hoses feeds and tubes
· Do a complete leak test of the grill
· Check all ignition parts
Lawnmowers are also another important piece of equipment to get primed and ready to go to work for you. Here are a few items to consider when prepping your mower for the spring and summer:
· Do a visual inspection and clean out any debris. Look for any loose bolts / nuts, repair structural parts and frayed or bare wiring.
· Position your lawn mower – tip with care for two or four stroke engines. Take caution to never tip a “four stroke” mower (seperate oil and gas) with the spark plug to the ground. If your mower is a “two stroke” turn off the fuel tap.
· Change or sharpen the blade if needed. Be sure the blade is balanced before running the lawnmower.
· Check the motors air filter while doing this type of maintenance
· Be sure to change the oil and prime the oil filter
· Be aware of stale fuel – change fuel especially if it has been sitting over the winter
With the snow gone, now is also a good time to prep your snow blower for seasonal storage. Here are a few considerations when putting it away for the summer months.
· Drain the fuel – regardless of adding a stabilizer you never want to keep fuel in your snow blower – always drain the tank.
· Seal and protect your engine
· Wipe down salt stains and lubricate exposed metal parts with a rust preventative spray
· Wrap it up using a cover. Covers are typically not that expensive and can extend the life of your snow blower. The best option for storage is your garage. If you have to leave it outside, make sure it is covered off safely and above the ground.
We have noted various aspects to setting up your home and outdoor equipment for the spring. It is also a good idea to be sure you are carrying the proper insurance. At Lambton Mutual we offer a variety of insurance products to help protect you while you are enjoying the spring and summer weather. Talk to one of our agents or a broker about what “fit” and coverage we can provide for you. Happy cleaning!