Helpful Hints for Spring Maintenance

Mar 12, 2014

 

Spring is right around the corner and the urge to get your property maintained and clean for spring is growing.

If you have not already had your gutters cleaned, it is best to do so before the heavy spring weather comes.  Overflowing gutters is not just a nuisance, but can cause serious compromise to your foundation if the soil begins to erode or water gets under the footings.  The thunderstorms and flash floods we often se in the spring can be the culprits for fast progression of this underlying issue.  Additionally, make sure your contractor cleans the downspouts, as these are often overlooked, and are critical for proper operation.  Finally, while you are working with the gutters make sure they are tightly fastened to the fascia.  If water flows behind the gutter, you will certainly find yourself replacing that wood next year.  Hidden fasteners are the most effective, fastest and most economical way to make these repairs.

Another issue that most homeowners will focus on in the coming months is pressure washing  the exterior structures as well as the walks and driveways.  In most cases a decent pressure washer will do the job without any chemicals, this is definitely the greenest solution.  However, if you find yourself with years of buildup that seems only an detergent can remove, make sure you are using something that is safe for the environment.  Look for the Green Seal and read the instructions.  You may find some products are not safe to use around certain types of plant material, and you do not want to figure this out when your favorite hydrangea bush never comes back from its winter slumber.

The warming temperatures often inspire the weekend warriors to break out the brushes and start painting.  Your time is valuable so here are a few rules to remember when planning your next project.

 

  • The cleaner your surface, the better the paint will adhere and the longer it will last.  A good pressure washing will get most of the grime and grit away.
  • All flaky paint needs to be scraped and then apply a primer over the exposed wood.  This will make your efforts much more fruitful.
  • Low quality/cost paint and caulking and  is not worth it if it does not last.  Typically the paint materials are only about a quarter of the total cost of painting; the rest is labor.  Your time is valuable, so do not waste it painting every couple of years.  Spring for the better paint and take a few more years off between paint jobs.
  •  Ladders are one of the biggest cases of injury among weekend warriors and professionals alike.  Make sure your ladder is set on a solid footing directly on the ground.  Never set up a ladder on anything to get the extra couple of feet you need to get that one spot.  Typically you can rent a ladder from your local hardware store for far less than the emergency room co-pay.
  • When you do use an extension ladder, make sure you set the ladder back one quarter the usable height of the ladder.  For example, if you have a twenty foot ladder, the base needs to be five feet back from the wall to remain safely stable.

 

As your to-do list grows, we understand that everyone needs to save money where they can.  I am a big believer in preventative maintenance, Doing a little every year routinely will keep your property maintained and not break the bank.  

This information was provided by Robert Hastings, CMCA, AMS, PCAM, Regional Director Field Services, with Associa / MAMCO Property Management , AAMC

 


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