Last month, we shared part one of our 2018 spring maintenance checklist for homeowners looking to get their residence in tip-top shape for the season. With the warm and sunny days of spring finally fully in session, we’re following up with part two of the checklist, providing you with additional ways to properly prepare your property so you can relax and enjoy the loads of backyard barbecues, patio parties and days of fun in the sun that are sure to come this season!
Establish Mosquito Prevention Around Your Property
Nothing puts a damper on a fun-filled outdoor party with friends and family than the presence of pesky bugs that you and your guests have to constantly try to swat away. But mosquitoes aren’t just an annoyance that can ruin the vibe at your summer barbecues and pool parties—they can also pose a serious health risk when they take a bite out of your skin and transmit infectious diseases ranging from the West Nile and Zika viruses to dengue and yellow fever. And if you think it’s just your partygoers dining on the patio who could be affected by mosquito-borne illnesses, think again. Your pets are also at risk of catching diseases such as heartworm infections from a solitary mosquito bite.
To help limit or eliminate entirely the exposure your family, friends and pets will have to mosquitoes this year, be sure to establish sufficient methods mosquito prevention around your property before the dog days of summer have officially arrived and you end up with swarms of mosquitoes inhabiting your outdoor space. The first—and the absolute simplest—method for preventing mosquitoes from taking up a long-term residence in your backyard is to eliminate any and all sources of standing water, which can serve as a breeding ground for these tiny pests.
Mosquito larvae can emerge from eggs that are covered by just 1 inch of water, so keep a watchful eye out for containers and other objects that frequently fill up with rainwater, such as gutters, planters, flowerpots, buckets, outdoor décor items, patio furniture and kids’ toys. In addition to objects that regularly capture rain when it falls from the sky, keep containers that are actually designed to hold water from being contaminated and harboring mosquito eggs that will eventually hatch into larvae as well. Examples of these types of mosquito breeding grounds on your property include birdbaths, rain barrels and your pet’s water bowls. Emptying the standing water from these containers at least once each week and cleaning them thoroughly with soap and water will help mosquito-proof your property so you can enjoy your outdoor space all season long.
Protect Your Residence by Repainting the Exterior
Many homeowners mistakenly believe that the main reason some of their friends, neighbors and co-workers make the effort to repaint the exterior of their residence regularly is simply to give it a face-lift and to significantly enhance its curb appeal. While replacing faded, chipped or peeling paint with a fresh coat of color can certainly achieve your goal of improving your property’s appearance, hitting your local hardware store, stocking up on an assortment of high-quality brushes and applying a new layer of exterior paint after a long, harsh winter can have many more benefits for your home than you might think.
According to most home repair and renovation specialists, the biggest benefit your house will receive when you give it a fresh coat of high-quality exterior paint is increasing its protection from the elements. Whether you reside in the northeastern United States—where strong winds, extremely cold temperatures and massive amounts of snowfall can quickly contribute to wear and tear on your siding—or your property is situated in a coastal region that frequently receives hurricane-force winds, blowing sand and debris, and torrential rains resulting in excessive moisture that can lead to rotting wood and the development of mold, examining the exterior of your home at least once each year is essential to extending its lifespan.
Applying the right exterior paint to your home can create a protective shield that helps resist the damage caused by natural elements like rain, wind, snow and sleet. When you choose a high-quality paint, it will serve as an outer coating on your siding, which will prevent most moisture from ultimately seeping into your residence. This protective layer of paint also prevents the growth of mold and mildew, which commonly occur in areas where excessive moisture is found and can be very costly to remove. Making the decision to repaint the exterior of your home after a long, harsh winter is key to increasing the lifespan of your siding, protecting your property from damage, and getting your residence ready to enjoy with friends and family throughout the spring and summer months to come.