Now that spring seems like it is finally here to stay, there are a few things you need to try to get accomplished. While the weather gets warmer, colder, wetter or drier, we need to make sure things are in place to keep maintaining our properties. Below is a checklist to aide in all the projects that you may hope to complete this spring:

Exterior

1. Clean all gutters of any winter debris.
2. Check all down spouts to make sure they are properly attached and free of debris.
3. Uncover air conditioning unit and clean area of any obstructions.
4. Check sump pump line for proper attachment and discharge location.
5. Clean out all window wells and securely fasten cover.
6. Turn water source on for all outside hose bibs.
7. Clear all large debris from lawn surface.
8. Rake only the loose or piles of brown grass the remainder of thatch should stay in place.
9. Now that the Forsythias are in bloom you can apply your Pre-emergence to your lawn. (Forsythia are the bright yellow bushes you see all over at this time of year)
10. Cut back all perennial materials in planting beds to $" above ground or above any new growth.
11. Rake any excess leaf debris from planting beds.
12. Prune only dead and broken branches and flowers from shrubs and smaller trees.
13. Apply pre-emergence and fertilizer to all planting beds.
14. Apply a fresh layer of mulch. Levels of mulch should keep a consistent depth of 3-4" to protect plants and aide in keeping weeds away.
15. Cut off or mend any broken tree branches.
16. Check grading around foundation to ensure proper water flow away from home.

Here are some additional tips for interior and exterior maintenance, provided by Home Inspections Plus by Jeff Voison:

Exterior

1. Clean debris from gutters.
2. Check exterior grade for proper pitch to move water away from foundation.
3. Clean out window wells, cover to keep water out.
4. Uncover AC unit, turn on power supply if average temperature is above 50 degrees.

Interior

1. Check batteries in smoke detectors and Carbon Monoxide detectors.
2. Open shut off valve to exterior spigots and check for proper operation.
3. Operate the main water shut off valve to make sure it closes completely.
4. If you have high and low air returns on your furnace, cover or close the lower return and open the upper return.
5. Empty fireplace ash pit.
6. Clean fireplace and check for cracks. Call Fireplace contractor for any needed repairs.
7. Check sump pump operation; verify output is directed away from foundation.
8. Replace furnace filter.
9. Drain several gallons from water heater to flush out sediment.
10. Check fire extinguishers for proper charge.
11. Review fire escape plans with family.
12. Clean around clothes dryer to remove lint.

If you would like to contact Jeff Voison, please call 414-418-7587 or visit his website at www.home-inspections-plus.com.

For more information on these tips or any other questions you may have, please call 262-784-8219 or email us through our Contact Us page.

Thanks for all your support and don't forget to take time to smell the flowers.


Grass seed areas or sodded lawns:
Keep all areas damp each day for approximately 3-4 weeks. This can be accomplished with watering for ½ hour of the entire area (morning is best). Multiple daily waterings can occur during hotter, drier during periods and less watering during wetter, cooler periods. The best way to tell if the area is still damp would be by inserting your finger into the ground one inch, if it still feels damp the lawn is fine; if dry, water area for ½ hour and repeat as necessary. After 3-4 weeks slowly back off daily watering to every other day and so on until it is once per week. Grass must not go dormant until that years winter season. In seeded areas weeds will mix in and can be treated after 3 lawn cuttings.


Water all plant material once every 3 days for 3 weeks. After that initial shock period plants should be watered once per week if no rain occurs. Water is best with sprinkler for even watering. Sprinkler should run for 30 minutes covering the entire plant surface. If using soaker hose, water for 20 minutes. If watering by hand, approximately 5 minutes per plant in one minute intervals rotating between plants. No fertilizing should be done for the first year, it can damage your roots. Make sure all plants receive water once per week until that years winter season. Please do not over water; it will do more damage then good.


This should be done at least once per season. We find that June is the best month to prune for over all landscapes. The rule of thumb is to prune specific plants after flowering is complete. Pruning can be done at anytime of the year, but restrict during dry periods. Trees are to be pruned in the fall or winter for best results. Pruning times can be specific to different varieties of trees. Please ask us for each variety if you plan to do the work yourself. If you do not know what type of trees you have we will be glad to come out and assess your landscape for specific instructions.


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