As the afternoons get longer and the sunshine finally makes an appearance, it’s the perfect time of year to be wrapping up the spring clean and making your home ready for the summer season. Although some of us might have already pulled out the lawnmower and scrubbed the back of the kitchen cupboard, there’s one part of our homes that doesn’t always get the same love and care: the outside!
Our walls, doors, windows and roofs have been facing the elements to keep us warm and dry all winter, so as the weather warms up it’s the perfect time to check for any necessary repairs and replacements. By following out simple, six-step checklist you can make sure your house is solid for winter and your friends’ venue of choice for BBQ season.
The most important part of your house can often fall under “out of sight, out of mind”, but can lead to expensive surprises if problems go unchecked. Have a look on your roof for any loose tiles, debris (like tree branches or next door’s frisbee) and clear any moss while you’re up there. If you have a flat roof or roof terrace, a quick shower with a hose will help identify any sunken areas that allow water to pool – potentially leading to damage if it seeps through the surface – and will allow you to check that the drainage is working properly. Have a look at the materials covering your roof: check for cracks, mould and gaps that might allow water through, or loose material that could get caught in high winds.
- Gutters, Soffits and Fascias
Working your way downwards, regular roofline cleaning and maintenance can also save huge expenses later down the line, and also give your home’s curb appeal a huge boost! Clearing gutters of leaves, debris and moss will help to prevent leaks and water damage to your walls, and looking after soffits and fascias will make sure your roof stays properly ventilated (keeping the timbers free of damp and rot).
These areas are also popular places for wildlife to build their nests, so keep an eye out for evidence of birds, bats, wasps and squirrels, which may require relocation by a professional. While a ladder may be sufficient for giving your roofline a quick once over, you might find cherry picker hire much safer and more convenient for thorough cleaning and repair work – especially if you’re combining it with other jobs on this list.
Be honest about the state of your walls – could they do with some TLC? If they’re in a good condition under a few coats of dirt, a pressure washer can produce outstanding results. However, if you can see patches of paint that are peeling, chipping or fading then it might be time for a fresh lick of paint – just make sure that you still give your walls a thorough clean beforehand so your new colour looks professional and lasts as long as possible.
It’s surprising how quickly windows can start to look a little unloved – especially if you live near a busy road or on the coast, where pollution and sea air can really take a toll on exterior panes and frames. Check that the window frames, seals and hinges are all working properly, and inspect and retreat any woodwork as necessary. Condensation between panes of glass is an easy-to-spot sign of worn seals, and is best to fix early on. Once you’re sure everything is working properly, it’s time to grab a squeegee and get washing!
5. The Front Door
The front door is your first chance to make a statement to visitors. Just like the windows, make sure the door itself is in a good condition, still hangs correctly and doesn’t let in a draught or damp. If you have a wooden door, be careful to check for rot, and cast an eye over the paintwork for any peeling or cracks – now could be the ideal time to re-treat the wood and give it an exciting new colour at the same time! Make sure your hinges are well-oiled and free of rust, and don’t forget to give your handle, letterbox and door knocker a good scrub and polish.
6. Balconies, gardens and patios
The final touch for any summer soiree is, of course, the garden. Whether you’re a flower fanatic or prefer a minimal approach, you can give your outdoor space an instant lift by cleaning tiles, concrete, fences and railings (that pressure washer from earlier might come in handy). Even for the less botanically-inclined, there are some easy-care outdoor plant options to create a welcoming feel, and can be grown in hanging baskets, pots or planters for small spaces or rented properties. Add some outdoor lighting, grab the BBQ and you’re good to go!