CleanLOWAs soon as warmer weather greets us, it’s time to inspect our homes for winter damage. It’s also a great time to spruce up the yard and get early chores done, so summer can be spent relaxing and enjoying the sunshine.

One easy place to start is at the top. Inspect your roof for any storm-damaged or loose shingles. Take a look at any caulking around vents and replace any that look cracked. This time of year, neighbourhood critters are looking for a nice place to raise a family— don’t let it be your attic! Seal any holes long before anyone moves in. If you suspect it’s already too late, contact a humane animal removal service to have unwelcome tenants relocated safely.

Keep working your way down and power wash any siding, decks and patios to remove winter grime. Give your windows a good cleaning to let the sunshine in!

Take a close look at decking and fencing. Replace any rotten spots and stain, paint or seal your wood to keep it beautiful. Don’t forget patio furniture. It will need a good cleaning and perhaps a lick of paint or stain to look its best for the summer. What about the BBQ? Give it a thorough cleaning and use a thin brush to remove cobwebs from fuel lines. Now you’re ready for al fresco dining!

The lawn and garden need spring cleaning too. Rake up any dead leaves and cut back broken branches on shrubs and trees. Uncover shrubs and plants and give the beds a tidying up. Give the compost a couple of turns to aerate it. Add water if it seems dried out. (It should be as damp as a wrung-out sponge.) Check on your tools and remove any rust. You’ll be amazed how much better your lawnmower works with a sharpened blade and how healthier your lawn is too! Plant spring bulbs and annuals after frost danger is passed.

Although the weather might still be frightful, tune up your air conditioner. Brush out any debris and carefully hose the unit down. A fin comb will straighten any bent fins.

If you’re still feeling ambitious, consider repainting the front door in a great new colour. Maybe it’s time to invest in a rain barrel—you can save about 1000 litres of water in high summer! Awnings are a great way to stay cool and can really add charm and curb appeal to your home. Now you can prop your feet up and enjoy your yard all summer long.