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Is your home prepared for the spring and summer?

It’s mid-April — flowers are blooming, birds are chirping, temperatures are warmer and spring is definitely in the air.

Before you get outside, though, you’ll need to help your home recover from any damage it suffered during winter and take steps to prepare it for this spring and summer.

Step 1: Clean your yard
Take time in early spring to rake up all the leaves, loose twigs and anything else your yard has collected over the winter. If you own a mulching mower, you can shred the leaves and allow them to compost on your lawn to provide it with important nutrients.

Step 2: Prep your grass and other plants and trees
At winter’s end, you’ll want to ensure your grass, shrubs, flowers and trees are all set to bloom in the spring. Prune all dead and diseased branches from trees with a handsaw and use a strong bypass lopper for pruning smaller bushes and shrubs. Be sure to cut all branches away from you so they don’t fall toward you.

At this time, you’ll also want to prep your lawn for optimal grass growth. Pull up all weeds and crabgrass, making sure to pull up the entire root. Use a shovel to make the job easier. Finally, fertilize and seed your lawn to promote new, healthy roots and strong grass growth in the coming seasons.

Step 3: Clear your gutters
Clogged gutters can cause severe damage to your home. After a long winter, your gutters may be full of leaves, twigs and other debris. Use a gloved hand to clear your gutters of all objects and then flush the gutters with a running hose. This will help you find any leaks that need to be repaired. Also, if using a ladder, be extra cautious to avoid falls and injury.

Step 4: Clean the exterior of your home
It’s time to get the outside of your home looking beautiful again! If you own a pressure washer and already have the specialized cleaning solution to use with it, you’re ready to go. Otherwise, you can rent a pressure washer from a home improvement store, like Lowe’s or Home Depot, and purchase the cleaning solution in these stores as well. Load the washer with the solution and clean the outside of your home with slow movements. Let the solution rest for a few minutes, and then rinse with water from the washer or a garden hose.

Step 5: Prepare your patio
To prepare your patio or deck for spring, check for any damage it may have incurred over the winter. Make any necessary repairs and clean the entire area with a broom, garden hose and/or pressure washer. If there is any mildew growth, use a scrub brush and specialized deck cleaner to remove it. You may also want to reseal your deck if it’s showing signs of aging.

Next, take your patio furniture out of storage and check it over for damage. You may need to wipe each piece down with a damp cloth or wipe. Set up your outdoor rugs, planters, lighting and wind chimes as well.

Finally, prepare your grill. It’s best to remove your grates and scrub them with a wire brush to remove any caked-on debris. Be sure to clean the inside and outside of the grill thoroughly with hot, soapy water and then rinse with water, then allow it to dry before using.

Step 6: Prepare your A/C units
Make sure your home is ready to handle the heat by inspecting your A/C units early in the season. Check your outdoor unit panels, removing all leaves, twigs and other debris that may have accumulated over the winter. Also, check the interior of the unit to be sure it’s clear of any debris that may have blown inside. Finally, it’s a good idea to change your HVAC system’s air filter before you turn it on for the season.

If you do find out that you need a new air conditioner, the house really needs new siding or a paint job, or that deck needs to be replaced, CommonWealth One can help! While we can't send our staff to your house to do yard work, we can help you get a great home equity loan or home equity line of credit to help you pay for that new landscaping.

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