Wash your windows.
Sparkling windows let in the sunshine. Try to choose a cool, cloudy day to tackle this task in order to prevent streaks. Use a soft brush or cloth and a bucket of cool water with a tiny squirt of dish soap—avoiding overly sudsy water. For windows out of reach, carefully get up on a ladder and scrub by hand, use an extendable brush, or try using spray cleaners that attach to the end of a hose.
Before reinstalling any screens you've removed, “be sure to brush and rinse them off,” says David Flax, VP of operations at Window Genie. Patch up any small holes in screens so that bugs can’t fly in.
Smart Tip: To tackle the inside window pane, use a clean cloth along with a glass cleaner or a mix of diluted vinegar and water. Avoid getting the window frame and sills wet.
Trim trees and shrubs.
Give your garden and lawn some attention so they can bloom and flourish in the warmer weather.
- Trim back greenery. Prune anything that’s close to the side of the house, roof, walkways, or driveway, recommends Josh Sevick, president of the Grounds Guys. By getting plants away from the siding and foundation, you’ll protect your paint and prevent water from getting inside your home.
- Rake leaves. If you have any lingering leaves on the lawn or under plants, remove them, says Sevick.
- Add plants. Plant both annuals and perennials to add a pop of color, recommends Sevick.
Test the irrigation system.
“Each spring, the sprinkler system should be pressurized and run to identify any leaks or damaged components,” says Sevick.
Start by closing the backflow pressure valves and opening the main irrigation water shutoff valve, he says. Next, “set the controller to run each cycle for a minimum of two to three minutes. Walk along the system as the heads come up and evaluate each head for pressure and coverage,” says Sevick. Note any leaks or damaged components, and repair or replace them.
Finally, adjust the direction of nozzles to get the desired coverage. Make sure there aren’t any sprinklers aimed at the house so water doesn’t get behind the siding, says Bagwell.
Refresh your driveway.
Fallen leaves, rain, and snow, along with salt and ice melt, can leave concrete areas—such as sidewalks, driveways, and patios—looking discolored and damaged.
Use a flat-surface pressure washer to get rid of grime. "It can lift a lot of dirt and other contaminants that may have embedded themselves in your concrete,” says Flax. Next, apply professional concrete sealant to protect against the elements, he recommends.