Spend Time on Outdoor Improvement Projects This Spring

Preparing a deck for summer and years to come is one of several great outdoor improvement projects for your home.

Springtime means getting outside to start your garden, fire up the grill and enjoy the weather. It’s also a great time to start some new projects around the house (check out “Safety Tips for DIY Home Improvement Projects” before you get started). If you’re a homeowner, consider these outdoor improvement projects for your home:

Upgrade Your Siding

The siding on your house not only makes your house look good, but also protects it from harsh weather. Replacing a broken or loose piece of siding is something you should do to keep your home protected, and it’s one of those outdoor improvement projects that can be done in an afternoon. A full siding replacement, however, will take longer and will be a lot more expensive. Make sure you weigh your options and seriously consider the cost, maintenance requirements and reliability of the materials. There are a variety of siding options to choose, from metal to fiber-cement to wood. If your siding is very old, consider updating it with an energy-efficient option like vinyl.

Maintain and Protect Your Deck

In order to make sure your deck isn’t damaged by weather you need to maintain it properly in spring. Make sure to inspect above and below your deck. If you see damaged parts or deterioration, replace those parts as soon as you can. Clean and sweep any debris — leaves, twigs, dirt — off the top. Check the spaces between boards as leaves will rot in the seams and rest on the joists. This can eventually rot the boards as well. Check the structure and frame, and look for any loose nails, cracks or rotted boards. Treating your deck with a waterproofing sealant will help make your deck last longer. Scrub your deck with a scrub brush and a cleaning agent or use a pressure washer to get it clean before applying a sealant. If your wood deck is showing significant wear and tear, you can also consider replacing it with alternative, no-rot materials.

Make Repairs to Your Roof

Checking your roof is one of many outdoor improvement projects. Look for broken shingles and curled corners.

Your roof keeps your family and everything in your house dry, so it’s vital that you make sure there are no leaks. Go up on your roof and inspect it for problems. Make sure there aren’t any cracks or holes in your shingles or any debris left from winter. Typical repairs include repairing cracked shingles or replacing them, and fixing curled corners. Check vents and skylights to make sure they aren’t damaged. Check that your chimney cap is tight. Look at your gutters and remove any leaves, branches or other debris that might be clogging them and obstructing water flow. Use a garden hose to remove dirt after clearing your gutters.

Keep Your Gutters in Good Working Condition

Outdoor improvement projects sometimes come down to the details. Your gutter system allows water transfer and drainage, so you need to make sure that no gutters and drain pipes are obstructed or damaged, and are working properly. Broken or leaky gutters can cause water to accumulate below the roof line, which can lead to flooding. Replace your gutters if they aren’t in good working condition. Installing them is a straightforward, simple and inexpensive process. You may also consider installing a gutter debris shield. This will allow water in but keep unwanted debris out.

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