There is nothing better than the smell of fresh air and the first flowers peaking their heads out after a long winter. There is something about this wonder that give us more energy and motivation to clean,organize and beautify our homes. Often we focus just on getting rid of the dust and clutter that is accumulated over the long, lazy days of winter, but we should also turn our attention to the outside of our homes. Not only are the aesthetics of your home are an important reflection of who you are, but also cleaning up the outside of your home can prevent you from a bug infestation or damage to your home during the warmer months. Two important areas of yard cleanup that are often overlooked are securing your home against a bug invasion and cleaning out your gutters. Make sure to add these to add these to your Spring Cleaning Check List!A Quick List for Cleaning Your Outside Spaces:
- Check your gutters
- Check and repair screens
- Make sure all windows are sealed
- Check and repair roof shingles
- Check siding and trim for damage and wear and tear
- Repair any damage to your roof or siding/trim
- Prepare your gardens
- Clean your outside furniture
- Change outdoor light bulbs
- Spice up your front door and add curb appeal
- Sweep, clean and repair your walkway
What to Do To Make Sure Your House and Yard Are Bug Free (or at least those little critters don’t invade your home)
There are some simple ways to prevent mosquitoes, ants, termites and cockroaches from invading your home. The best preventative measure is to be aware of your surroundings. That may sound funny, but if you know where these little buggers come from and what they are attracted to it can save you a lot of time, money and frustration.
- Make sure that you don’t have any free standing water near your home as this is a breeding ground for mosquitoes.
- Keep wood piles and branches at least 20 feet from your home, as ants love to live in these and will make there way to your home
- Don’t lay down any mulch less than 15 inches from your home, because ants love mulch and will crawl right in your house from your garden
After you have taken these precautions outside of your home, turn your attention to the ways in which bugs can enter your home and make sure to eliminate them. For instance:
- Repair any holes in screens
- Caulk any holes in your foundation or exterior piping
- Make any door or window jams air tight with weather stripping
- Put steel wool in any opening in pipes or cement that is too large to use caulking
If you have taken all of these precautions and you still find that ants, cockroaches or other bugs have entered your home, make sure that your home is clean and that all of your food is in airtight containers. After all, these bugs are mainly entering your home to find food and if there isn’t any to be found they will be less likely to invade. If this fails too and you have taken all the precautions you can it may be time to call a professional bug exterminator. A professional can spray or bomb your house and even your yard to rid them it of these pests. This isn’t as daunting as you may think, it can be relatively inexpensive and most companies offer an option that is pet and child safe. Make sure to check around and get reviews of the exterminators in your area before hiring one, you always want to hire the best for your home and family!Why It Is Important to Clean Your Gutters
Often our gutters fall victim to the out of sight out of mind phenomenon, but they definitely should not. Although, it is a common belief that cleaning out your gutters is a task that should be part of getting your home ready for the winter, they should also be checked in the spring. Gutters are a very important part of your home as they are designed to prevent your home from having water damage. Water damage can be costly and expensive for any home owner and cleaning out your gutters is an easy way to help prevent this type of damage. You might wonder what can happen to your home if you don’t clean out your gutters, here is a short list of possibilities:
- Insect infestation- You may not think of this when you think of gutter cleaning, but if water-builds up in your gutters it will attract insects. Your gutters can become a breading ground for mosquitoes, termites, cockroaches and ants. Also, they may provide an easy avenue for these creatures to enter your home.
- Leaking- If your gutters leak they can cause rotting and mold in you’re the walls of your home,roof, and basement. Even if your gutters are clean they could leak if they have cracks. So, when you are cleaning them out you need to check for cracks as well and repair them.
- Cracking and rotting of your foundation- If you foundation gets wet because of leaking in your gutters it could begin to mold or the saturated concrete could crack due to being water logged.
These are possible issues that could cause costly and destructive damage to your home. Therefore, it is imperative to check, clean and repair your gutters at least twice a year. Make sure to add this to your spring cleaning list as things can change dramatically in your home over the long winter. Now that the spring has come and you feel motivated to get outside and enjoy the warm weather and fresh air make sure to take some time to attend to your home and you will have a bug and worry free summer!