With summer fast approaching, your family will be spending more time in your back yard, and you’ll likely be entertaining guests there during the warmer months, as well. Now is the time to conduct an inspection of your yard.
For starters, check your lawn and surrounding areas for holes that may have developed. Not only do they present tripping hazards, but if they collect water, it can create an environment attracts mosquitoes or other pests.
Remove fallen tree branches and additional clutter that winter may have deposited on your property. Keep grass trimmed and bushes pruned. Check also for dangling tree limbs that haven’t yet fallen, but are likely to do so soon, and arrange to have them taken down before they can fall and cause injury. If you keep a woodpile for a fireplace or stove, make sure the kindling is securely stacked and check to see that it hasn’t become a home for various critters that might pose a problem for your kids or your pets. Remember, too, that spring is tick season, so take precaution by giving your dog a flea collar and checking him, your kids and yourself regularly after you’ve spent time outdoors.
Examine decks and stairs for warping and splintering that can cause stumbling or falls. Check concrete slabs and steps for crumbling and loose sections. If your deck has not been sealed or waterproofed in a few years, it’s time to apply a new coat to prevent rotting and other damage.
If you have an outdoor grill, give it a thorough going-over to make sure it’s still in good condition. Take care to store combustible and flammable items securely and out of reach of children and pets. The same applies to pesticides or any other chemicals you may have been using.
Finally, if you’ve got small children or a dog for whom the back yard is a regular play area, make sure the fence is in good condition and that winter and winter conditions have not left “escape areas.” If your dog spends prolonged periods of time outside, make sure there’s ample shade available for him during those hot summer afternoons as well as a source of water.
If you’re planning to do some landscaping and to add new plants and flowers, take time to check out the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals website (www.aspca.org) which provides a list of plants that are toxic to dogs (including common things like daffodils, azaleas and more). Before spreading mulch, consult the bag to make sure it doesn’t contain items such as cocoa beans (a frequent component of mulch) which can also be fatal to your four-footed friend.
Following these few simple steps can ensure that you, your family, guests, and pets will enjoy a safe and healthy summer on your deck, patio, and garden.
As always, when help is needed, look no further than your locally owned and operated Handyman Matters. We are here to help you love your home.