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Getting Your Home Summer Ready

Topic: Seasonal Prep

Who’s ready for summer? Whether you’re grilling out or relaxing inside, make sure your home is as ready as you are for warm weather recreation. We’ve got a list of DIY tips to get started.

 Exterior Home Improvement

Cleaning Gutters Made Easy

This essential chore is often ignored, but keeping your gutters clean offers several advantages – it keeps your siding in great shape, protects your lawn and landscaping, and prevents your home from suffering (potentially thousands of dollars worth of) water damage.

The reason many folks fail to clean their gutters is simple – they make the job too hard. Do this instead:

  1. Use a quality, extendable ladder – and watch out for power lines!
  2. Grab a gutter scoop or a toy beach shovel to scrape out debris.
  3. Drop debris onto a tarp below instead of the bare grass.
  4. Rinse out your gutters and downspouts with a garden hose.

Boom, you’re done! If you don’t mind spending the extra money, check your home improvement store for speciality hose attachments that reach up to your gutters without the need for a ladder. You can also invest in quality gutter guards to help keep things free from leaves and other debris.

Power Wash Your Deck

You may not own one, but renting a power washer is a worthwhile investment each spring – especially if you have a deck. Keeping all that wood clean will add years to your deck’s life. When using a power washer, always remember to protect your feet and eyes from those powerful water jets. Remove all items such as furniture and plants from your deck. When spraying, use a fan nozzle if possible, and set the washer on its lowest usable water pressure setting. Keep an eye on the wood … if it starts to splinter or the fibers begin to erode, you’re either spraying too close and/or using too much pressure. Spray in gentle, even motions and keep an eye on the color of the wood – lighter means cleaner.

When you’re all done, consider refinishing the wood with a good all-weather sealer and stain. Also, while you still have the washer, give your outdoor furniture and even your home’s siding and walkways a good spray down, too!

Keep Mosquitoes Away

What’s the most annoying way to kill a backyard barbeque? No, we’re not talking about your nosy neighbors. We mean mosquitoes. These whiny bloodsuckers have been around for millions of years – far longer than us – but we can’t get rid of them fast enough. If you don’t want to cover your family and pets with bug spray, try this simple DIY citronella candle recipe instead. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Glass jars
  • Wicks
  • Soy wax
  • Citronella oil
  • Duct tape and scissors
  • Crayons (optional)

Start by collecting a few glass jars. Mason jars, pickle jars, pasta sauce jars – it doesn’t matter as long as they are rinsed and dried out. Next, you’ll want to cut the wicks to match the height of the jars, and securely tape them to the inside bottom of the jar. Add wax (typically sold in bars and flakes) to a pot or pan and gently warm until melted. Once the wax liquefies, add a few drops of citronella oil (we like to use three or four drops per cup of wax). Stir the mixture. At this point, you can toss in a few crayons if you wish to add color to your candles. Carefully pour the wax into your jars, making sure to keep the wick as centered as possible. Let your candles cool and dry, then snip the tops of the wicks about an inch above the surface of the wax. Take outside, light, and enjoy a pest-free evening on your freshly cleaned deck!

We’ve Got Your Back All Year Long

The folks at Van Rooy Restoration in Indianapolis raise a glass to a fun summer. But, if scary weather should strike, we’re here to help. Learn more about our many disaster restoration services and home improvement solutions. Also, be sure to check out our blog archives for lots more tips to protect your family and your home from Mother Nature.