Spring Yard Cleanup: Get a Head Start on the Outdoor Living Season!

Temperatures are on the rise. After months of being cooped up indoors, many homeowners are eager to spend more time relaxing and entertaining outside.

Spring cleaning isn’t just for your home’s interior rooms. This is also an ideal time to get a jump on summer and tackle your exterior spring cleaning and maintenance tasks!

1. Start With a Clean Canvas: The Yard

The winter months may have left leaves, sticks, and even larger branches in your yard. Begin by picking up any branches. Follow that with a good raking. This will ensure your lawn stays healthy and doesn’t have patches of packed leaves where grass won’t grow.

Prune any bushes or trees now before they get out of hand. But also check the pruning guidelines for the plants in your yard, so you’ll know which ones need to be clipped in spring. Typically, you should avoid trimming flowering shrubs and trees until after they’ve bloomed.

After mowing for the first time, trim around fences, trees, and anywhere else your mower can’t reach. Then, use an edging tool to create a fresh vertical cut where your lawn meets your driveway, sidewalk, patio, etc.

Weed and mulch any flower and landscaping beds that need freshening. Once the yard has received a makeover, it’s time to tackle the exterior of your home!

2. The House: Exterior Maintenance

Over the winter, leaves may have found their way into your gutters. Keeping your gutters clean can prevent problems ranging from roof damage to foundation issues.

Clean your gutters in the spring and the fall—and more often if you live in an area with lots of trees or if you have trees that drop seeds in the summer (like the winged “helicopter” seeds from maple trees).

Spring is also an excellent time to use a power washer on your siding, gutters, and fascia—but be careful not to spray water into any ventilation openings!

Clean the windows inside and out to let more spring light into your home.

Touch up any woodwork that needs attention. You may also want to repaint your front door to give your home a fresh, new appearance.

3. Clean the Furniture

Lawn furniture gets a lot of use in warm weather, so be sure it’s ready! A good scrubbing may be all that’s needed.

A solution of dishwashing soap with vinegar or baking soda and a stiff brush will do the trick for metal, plastic, and canvas. Mild wood soap and a soft-bristled brush are better for wood and wicker furniture.

If your wood furniture has splits or weathering, you may need to do some light sanding and add a fresh protective coat of sealer, varnish, or paint.

Does your lawn furniture have cushions? This is an excellent time to wash or replace cushion coverings.

4. All Hands On Deck… or the Patio!

If your deck is looking tired, a fresh coat of stain or sealer will protect it and make it beautiful for warm weather use. Determine if the railings also need a once-over.

For stone patios, inspect the grout and repair or replace any sections that need attention. If your patio has sand or gravel between the pavers, you may need to replenish whatever washed away over the winter.

5. Walkways, Sidewalks, and Driveways

Sidewalks and driveways need spring cleaning too! Power-washing sidewalks is the best place to start and may be all that’s required. If your walks have residual stains, try using a concrete cleaner.

Once your sidewalks are spring-ready, you may want to seal them to retain that “just cleaned” look and protect them from water which, when it freezes, will expand and cause cracks.

If your driveway is concrete, treat it the same way as concrete sidewalks. However, concrete driveways may require extra effort to remove greasy, oil-based stains.

If you have an asphalt driveway, survey it for cracks caused by winter’s freezing and thawing cycle. Clean any large cracks or depressions before filling them to ensure proper adherence. Finish up with a layer of asphalt sealer. Hairline cracks can be treated with sealer alone to fill and protect the surface in one pass.

Once your spring cleaning, repair, and protection tasks are complete, you are ready to relax and entertain outside, enjoy the warm weather, and relish in your outdoor living space for the rest of the season!