In the summer, it feels like days are forever long. It’s easy to forget that soon it will be getting darker, earlier. So while the sun is shining for longer periods of time, you may want to think about knocking out some of those outside projects you’ve been putting off. Here's a few that may be on your list (or that you may want to add).
1. Fix Your Fence
If your wooden fence is falling over or rotting slowly, you should think about repairing it while you still have extra hours in your day. There could be a number of problems with your fence including damage from storms, rotting, or just normal wear and tear. Rotting is common underground where the base of your fence posts are. If you don’t fix the post, it can eventually tear down your entire fence. If the damage has merely loosened the post, you can reinforce it. If the rot has gotten too bad, you will need to replace the post altogether.
To repair a post:
1. Brace the fence with 2x4s so that the fence does not fall while you are fixing it.
2. Dig a hole around the bottom of the pole.
3. Use a saw to remove the rotten wood.
4. Put a wood preservative on the sawed post to prevent future rot.
5. Cut a new piece of wood and bevel it so it fits nicely against the old post.
6. Then, screw or bolt the two pieces together.
7. Finish off your project by pouring new concrete. Let it set for a few days before removing the brace.
To replace a post:
1. Dig up old post and concrete pieces from the previous post.
2. Stick your new post in the ground where the old one used to be.
3. Ensure your post is level before you pour any concrete.
4. Mix up your concrete and pour it in the hole. Then, check one more time with your level.
5. As the concrete is setting, you can use screws to secure the post to your wood rails.
2. Clean Out the Gutters
Though it doesn’t seem like a fun job, cleaning the gutters is an important one. Without clean gutters, you can be subject to foundation problems, roof leaks, and insect infestation.
1. Get on a sturdy ladder and climb to the point where you can reach the top of the drain.
2. Use gardening gloves to move large leaves and sticks by hand.
3. Clean dirt and debris with a hand trowel.
4. Clear remaining debris with a water hose. Start at one end and wash toward the downspout.
5. While you are up on the ladder, make sure there aren’t any cracks. If there are, you can repair them with gutter sealant.
6. If you have any clogs in the downspout, clear them by feeding the water hose through it and letting the water pressure relieve the blocked area.
3. Pressure Wash Your Home's Exterior
Before the weather changes and it gets too chilly to do yard work, you may want to do some deep cleaning on your house or driveway. Stains from your irrigation system or just wear and tear can leave your home looking dingy, but a good pressure washing will spruce it right up.
To clean the driveway:
1. Sweep away any loose dirt and debris with a broom.
2. Spray degreaser on the concrete and scrub it with a brush.
3. Use the washing tip on your pressure washer. Attach a hose and turn on the water.
4. Spray the soap on the concrete, overlapping a little on each stroke. Let the soap soak in for a few minutes.
5. Change to a 25-degree tip and pressure wash the area once again, but this time with only water.
6. If you really want your job to last, seal the concrete when you are finished with a waterproof sealant.
To clean the house exterior:
1. Use the machine to spray detergent on one side of your house, from the bottom up.
2. Let it soak for 5-10 minutes.
3. Pressure wash the detergent back off the side of your house from the top, down.