When To Catch Up On Your Home’s Exterior Maintenance

The outside elements from the seasons we get here in Utah comes with quite a bit of wear and tear on your home. This causes things that you should not ignore as a homeowner. Along the Wasatch Front we receive a lot of snow and ice in the winter, as well as a blazing desert sun in the summer that can bring some damage overtime if not maintained.

Even if you live in a townhome there will be maintenance involved that you should keep up on. If you live in a condo double check that your association is taking care of these items as well.

Keeping up with these seasonal tasks can help you keep your repair bill down from avoidable damage. Not only that… but it will help keep your property value up as well. Potential future buyers can tell whether or not your homes maintenance has been kept up on.

Your exterior and yard maintenance can include some DIY tasks or regular service appointments from professionals.  Here’s a breakdown of what you should put on your to-do list each season for outside maintenance.

Winter (Late November – Early March)

The outside of your home is where harsh winter storms and cold weather can do damage. Get these outside tasks done starting in late November and early December so you’re prepared for any snow or ice storms. And, stay on top of certain tasks if a storm does happen.

Make sure gutters and downspouts are cleaned out thoroughly of leaves and debris before the winter weather arrives. If your gutters are clogged, the water can freeze causing them to detach from your home. This can also cause major water damage to your home if left for too long.

Prevent ice dams on your roofline. Remove snow from your roof as quickly as you can. Maybe consider investing in some heat cables to put on your roof.

Trim tree branches that hang too close to your home or electrical wires to avoid causing power outages. Ice storms can cause branches to fall; get rid of any dead limbs before the storms hit.

Brush snow off of nearby trees since limbs can break from the weight of the snow and could damage your house or car.

Drain garden hoses and store them inside a shed.

Drain outdoor faucets and winterize in-ground watering systems so you don’t get burst pipes inside your walls. Watch YouTube videos to show you how to do this; it’s easy and a must-do to keep your pipes from freezing.

Cover outdoor furniture or store it inside. Do the same with sensitive potted plants.

Seal foundation cracks to prevent mice sneaking in.

Stock up on salt or deicing treatments for your sidewalks, driveway, and porch to prevent slipping. 

Catch up on what maintenance you may have missed over the last few months and get moving on any late spring and summer tasks. 

Spring (Early March – Early June)

Once spring arrives examine your yard and home’s exterior to see how everything looks and for any winter damage. The spring can bring some heavy rains, so stay on top of tasks that can prevent water damage or drainage issues.

Remove debris such as dead foliage and fallen branches and twigs that may be scattered in your yard. Clear out any growth or brush you don’t want. Don’t dig up any bulbs you planted!

Check on exterior drainage systems and consider improvements to get ready for rain. To prevent water damage to your home, now is the time to make sure all of your drainage systems are operating properly and that they move water away from your home. Consider getting downspout extenders for gutters, or having your landscaping slope away from your home’s foundation.

Remove leaves and debris from all area drains, gutters, and window wells.

Get your garden tools and supplies cleaned, sharpened and restocked. Clean and restock garden pots, gloves, kneepads, watering cans. Don’t forget to get gas for your lawnmower.  Purge and organize your garden shed to get rid of what you don’t need or use anymore and then arrange the space for easy access and a more organized set up.

Clean and prepare your patio or deck and any outdoor furniture or planters. Consider power washing to get rid of grime on some items that can withstand the pressure. Depends on what material you may have from pavers, concrete, slate etc. Or, give everything a good deep cleaning so the rest of the year, you can do a periodic wipe down.

Clean the exterior siding of your home or schedule a paint job if that is needed.  Depending on the siding’s material, you could get it power washed by a professional or rent the equipment.

Get your grill cleaned and repaired now. Scrub the grates with liquid cleaner, and wash the burners and covers if you have them. Don’t forget to get the tank filled if you have a gas grill, or stock up on charcoal or wood pellets for other grills.

Winter weather can be harsh on driveways and sidewalks. Repair cracks whether you have concrete or asphalt. Sealing or resurfacing can give a driveway a bright lift.

It’s still a good time to get your deck and patio power washed or cleaned, especially now that the pollen season is over. You can also protect them with new stain or sealant. And, you can have your home’s siding power washed or cleaned, depending on what the manufacture recommends.

You can begin to plant summer bulbs, annuals, and perennials for beds and planters. Come up with a plan so you purchase only what you need and what works for the soil and sunlight in your yard.

Order your mulch in the early spring so your yard will look clean and fresh in the coming weeks.

Once growth or buds sprout, you can fertilize and prune certain plants. You can transplant trees before they leaf out. Prune trees and shrubs that have any damage from the winter. You can’t prune azaleas, camellias and rhododendrons until after they bloom. You can prune nonflowering trees and shrubs.

Summer (Late June – August)

Your yard should be in pretty good shape by early summer if you’ve kept up with serious clean-up tasks throughout the spring. Remember that early June is a perfect time to make your yard more beautiful and a good time to finish up any preventative care. That way you’re set to relax for the rest of summer!

You may need to have your trees trimmed if you haven’t in a couple of years. Summer storms and trees full of leaves with unstable branches can only bring disaster at this time of year.

Continue to check on your gutters during any rainfall to prevent any water damage to your home. Remove leaves and debris from all area drains, gutters, and window wells.

Weed and clean up beds of early spring plantings that have stopped blooming. Now is the time to clear out those wilted leaves and dead plants to make room for late-blooming flowers.

Prune some flowering shrubs. Azaleas, camellias and rhododendrons can be pruned now that they are done blooming.

Add a splash of color with some annuals that can withstand the summer heat. It’s time to switch out the pansies and put in some colorful but hardy plants in containers and beds. Work with your local garden center to see what works best for your yard, especially if you have direct sunlight.

As the temperature rises throughout the summer, keep watering your lawn, beds, and containers. Don’t water in the middle of the day with the hot sun, but do it in the early evening when it starts to cool down.

Keep mosquitos from breeding in your yard. Mosquitos love standing water – any amount! So do your part to cut down on places where they can breed. Double check for standing water in your yard and any outside containers – such as wheelbarrows, flowerpots, buckets, watering cans, garbage cans, kids’ toys. Even the little bit in your gutter drain can lead to breeding. Store items in your garage and shed as much as possible.

Avoid having long grass to prevent ticks.  Mow your lawn regularly and remove leaves and debris, where ticks can thrive.

Fall (September – Early November)

The fall is another season that is perfect for many outside maintenance tasks. Plus, you want to prepare your home for the upcoming winter weather, which can be the harshest on your home.

By now, you know the drill… Clean out gutters and downspouts of leaves and debris. Depending on where you live, you may need to do this several times in the fall. Blocked gutters can cause water damage to your home at any time.

Make sure your gutters are directed so that they drain as far away from the house as possible and on a downslope. Check on this regularly during rainstorms to prevent major water damage.

Inspect roof for any damage to shingles and double check seals around vents and chimney to prevent any leaks.

Seal foundation cracks to prevent mice from sneaking in.

Inspect your driveway for cracks. Seal it now to prevent winter damage.

Rake leaves.

Remove and weed any dead plants, especially those summer and early fall annuals.

Prune shrubs before they go dormant. Cut back perennials; divide and transplant as needed.

Aerate, fertilize, and seed your lawn in early fall.

Plant bulbs now for springtime flowers. Look at catalogs and the internet for some ideas for your garden. Perennial flowers are less costly and time consuming in the long run, making your yard look nice with less work each year. I love tulips and peonies!

Trim tree branches that hang too close to your home or electrical wires. You don’t want any surprises during a storm so hire a professional company to care for your trees and trim where necessary.

As you get closer to colder weather, drain garden hoses and store them inside.

Clean and then cover outdoor furniture (or store it inside) as you get closer to winter weather.

Winterize sensitive plants such as roses, and stake any shrubs or young trees.

Hope this list has helped you know what to prioritize and what to plan on doing now and in the upcoming seasons!

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I'm McCall Carter and I love helping first time home buyers make their first home more affordable and I love helping sellers looking to move up to their forever home. Let me know how I can help you make your real estate dreams come true. 

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