Your Spring Yard and Home Checklist, Part 1

Some say that spring in Wisconsin is an oxymoron. Seventy degrees one day, 40 the next. At the very least, it’s unpredictable.

One element never changes: the need to prepare your home and yard for the changes in seasons.

Winter’s snow and cold gives way to spring’s rains and emerging greenery. Opportunities (and work) abound with the returning warmth and sun.

It’s prime time to prepare your lawn and landscaping in Brookfield, Elm Grove and New Berlin, WI. Part 1 of our Spring Yard and Home Checklist, though, focuses on another “must-do”: preparing your home for spring showers.

Spring yard cleanup in Brookfield WI

Water is no friend to houses. Your home’s parts should work in concert to drain rainwater as far away as possible, as quickly as possible. Pull out the work gloves (probably the ladder, too) and check these spots:

  • Gutters: Thought your gutters were clear after the final fall cleaning? Look again. Winter drops all sorts of unexpected debris into gutters. Clean them out to avoid blockages. Water spilling over gutters often lands right next to your home’s foundation – the worst possible place.
  • Downspouts: Take off downspouts (where possible) to check for clogs. You want downspouts to resemble periscopes – easy to see through! Reattach them securely so they don’t fall off. Pay attention to soil grade at the end of downspouts, too. Be sure it drains away from the house.
  • Sump pump: Is it working? This is job #1. Pull up the float arm to see if the motor starts. Try pouring water into the pit until the unit fires up. Afterward, head outside and check the end of the drainage line. Ensure it’s open and the discharge pond has an outlet. If your sump pump needs service, the time to call is before it’s raining cats and dogs.
  • Window wells: Clean out the winter leftovers (just like gutters) and securely fasten covers. Animals are drawn to open window wells as nesting spots. They especially like those filled with leaves and debris. Can you say “uninvited guests?”
  • Grading around house: Has the ground around your foundation settled so that water no longer drains away? Walk around and look. If you find low areas, pull out the wheelbarrow, and add dirt to raise the pitch. Don’t skimp, either – an extended gradual decline drains best.

The work isn’t over yet – not even close. Remember the yard? Oh, yeah.

As grass greens and plants sprout, your job is to gently encourage their reappearance. We’ll cover the “how” next week in Part 2 of our Spring Yard and Home Checklist. Until then, enjoy spring – whether you’re wearing shorts or a winter coat.

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