With the final remnants of winter finally leaving our Muskoka Properties, it is time to get busy doing our outside spring maintenance.  This is a fabulous way to renew the feeling of pride of ownership you can feel for your home or cottage. With the crisp and sunny days of early (but very late) spring as our motivation, it is time to investigate the condition of your property’s exterior – everything from the roof, gutters, siding, and foundation to the lawn, shrubs, trees and garden.  Don’t despair, it’s not such a bad task if you get prepared and have the right tools on hand and ready to go.

Here is our list of recommended tasks:

A Good Inspection    Now is the time to see what damage our winter storms, snow and ice may have done to the exterior of your home or cottage. Take this time to carefully inspect the roof; you can do it easily and safely from the ground with a pair of binoculars. Look for loose, curled or missing shingles or ice lifted metal, and any bent or damaged flashing around chimneys. If you have skylights, pay extra attention to the seals and flashing as they frequently cause concern. Have a pen and note pad with you so you can note where repairs are required. Clean out your gutters and downspouts especially if you did not get to it in the fall. Remember with “spring showers” on the way, you need to make sure your gutters are clear of debris so that you avoid leaks and damage.  Don’t forget to inspect your home’s foundation and masonry chimney if you have one. It is important to repair any cracks or crumbles as small fixes now can save you money and headaches later.

Groom and Prune    Your trees and bushes will look and grow a lot better if you remove dead, damaged or overhanging branches. The main thing to remember here is to cut the entire branch off at the branch collar, which is the point where the branch connects to the trunk or another branch. Don’t leave little half branches or big stubs. If you do not have knowledge on how to do this, YouTube can provide great videos on “How To” but you will get the best results using a handsaw or hand pruner, and depending on your garden you may find it worth investing in an extendable pruning saw with clippers.  Remember to wear safety glasses and even a hard hat if you are cutting branches directly overhead.

The Dreaded Cleaning    There is never a shortage of things to clean outside when the spring season hits.  Most of these jobs can be easily done with a garden hose with pressure attachment and a big carwash soft brush attachment with soap reservoir. Remember to use phosphate-free environmentally safe cleaners. Use it to clean siding, windows, foundations, decks, gutters, patio furniture, grills, driveways, pool areas, fences, mowers and more. The spray nozzle head can get into hard-to-reach spots, and a built-in liquid cleaner reservoir can usually be adjusted or turned completely off as needed.

Touch-up painting    Yes we REALTORS® are recommending painting again! However, your exterior paint work takes a beating throughout the year, so touching up those areas of your house, fence or shed where paint is starting to fail is a good way to avoid long-term damage and make everything look new and fresh.

Get Ready for Planting    If you enjoy a beautiful colourful flower garden or a great veggie patch to help feed the family throughout the summer, then you have some prep work to do before it’s ready for seed or seedlings. Removing weeds and leaves, tilling or turning the soil, and adding the appropriate fertilizers are just a few tasks you can start doing now. You might want to consider adding a motorized tiller to your arsenal of tools or you could rent one for a weekend.  If you get a jump on prepping your garden early in the season, you will have more time later to enjoy the fun part — watching your garden grow!

Whether you plan to list and sell your Muskoka property in 2015 or simply enjoy it, at Royal LePage Lakes of Muskoka, we want you to think of us as your “go to” REALTORS®, so call us if you have questions, one of our great team will be happy to help with support or advice.