When you walk outside and look around, are you bogged down by all the things that are falling behind? Equipment, bugs, dirt, and weather can combine into what feels like an endless maze of to-dos, many of which can be downright intimidating.
Here’s how to check those issues off your chore list, easy-breezy.
Keep the Air Flowing
Without proper maintenance, your air conditioner can become less efficient, working harder and using more energy to keep your home cool. However, there are some simple things you can do to keep it running smoothly. First and foremost, you should change air filters regularly. Air flows through the filter, so when the filter is clogged with dirt, the unit works harder. It can even reach the point of causing a coil to freeze, which at best is uncomfortably miserable on a hot day. You can regularly clean the air conditioning unit as well, in case leaves, seeds, and other debris build up. If you experience a frozen coil, locate the filter and install a fresh one. If your unit is still not working, you can use a search tool to contact an HVAC professional in your area.
Tidy the Tool Shed
The elements take a toll on metal and wood, so giving your outdoor tools a regular sprucing up will keep them in top shape and ready to work hard for you. Today’s Homeowner recommends cleaning, lubricating, and sharpening your tools routinely with some basic supplies. A little detergent, a sponge, and a garden hose can lift dirt, steel wool and wire brushes remove rust, sandpaper enhances wood, and a sharpening stone can crisp dulling edges. Oil woods and metals when you’re finished to restore their gleam.
Give Your Lawn a Lift
When it comes to lawn care, a little TLC can go a long way. Sunset.com notes that one of the most overlooked aspects of lawn care is thatch accumulation. Thatch is a layer of roots, dead grass, and other debris that can form a thick mat in your yard. If your grass has a build up of thatch, it can kill your lawn. To fix this issue, simply dethatch regularly with a dethatching rake, or rent a dethatching machine to cover large expanses.
Groom Your Greenery
Trees and shrubs benefit from routine pruning, and removing damage and overgrowth encourages them to thrive. When removing branches, cut at the bases of stems or in the groove of a V. Routine thinning will allow better air flow and help the leaves to see more sun. Generally speaking, most trees and shrubs can benefit from removing a third of woody growth each year. Do so either when the plants are dormant or right after blooming for flowering plants.
Deal with Deck Deterioration
Exposure to sun, wind, precipitation, and changing temperatures can be hard on wood decks. If deck nails are lifting, replace them and then install a deck screw to ensure the nails don’t pop up again. When boards are broken, split, or rotten, replacing the damaged board is the best option. Family Handyman recommends cutting out damaged boards with a jigsaw, pulling the nails, installing cleats to support a new board, and then installing the replacement board.
Spruce Up Vinyl Siding
Dirt, mold, mildew, and grime can build up on vinyl siding, making it dingey and unsightly. You can clean siding with products from your pantry. Make a mix of 70 percent water and 30 percent vinegar, and to prevent streaking, scrub your siding from the base of your house and work your way up. For landscaped areas, you can mix a gallon of water with a cup of oxygen bleach.
Are you ready to tackle the great outdoors? With a bit of elbow grease and a few household basics, you can knock out your to-do list quickly and easily. Once complete, it’ll feel great to admire your work and enjoy the breeze.
Written by Rob Woods