5 outdoor home projects you should do every August
As we are rounding the corner to the end of summer, we want to help you make sure the outside of your home is safe, sound and looking good! Many of these tasks are preventative, like having your roof inspected. Other tasks help with that never-ending goal of perfect curbside appeal. Regardless, all these tasks will make your house a happier home.
Repair your roof before you regret not doing It
As we mentioned above, getting a roof inspection is really important before the fall and winter hit. Even in areas with more mild climates, it’s still good to have your roof inspected once a year. Roofers look for everything from a broken shingle to growing vegetation.
While you can DIY a roof inspection, it’s better to leave this to the professionals. Missing a loose shingle now, which someone can repair for very little, could turn into $3000 of water damage later.
Trim trees, clear dead wood
A dead tree doesn’t just look bad—it’s dangerous. Eventually, it will fall. However, many other issues pop up with trees, such as weak branches and deadwood. But don’t stop at the trees. Look at your bushes too, while you’re at it. Now, wielding a chainsaw might make you feel like you have Wonder Woman or Thor’s power, but if you’d rather not risk losing that hammer-wielding hand, call in an expert. Our arborists will make sure that your trees aren’t just safe, but look amazing too.
Pressure-wash your driveway and outdoor walls
This is something you can DIY without much risk, and can be kind of fun too. Let’s start with the house itself. Pressurewasher.com has a detailed page of instructions. Some of it seems obvious: wear goggles, don’t use ladders, etc. But if you have a house from the 1970s or earlier, you need to have the count check for lead-based paint. You’ll also want to check for Asbestos. There’s even a way to pressure-wash your gutters! Dirt, leaves, and debris will come flying out of the gutters, so maybe do those first.
Pressure-wash your driveway last. When you pressure-wash your home, a lot of grime will sink on to your driveway. If you already cleaned your driveway, this will break your heart—and waste money, since you’ll have to rewash the driveway. While washing your driveway helps your curbside appeal, of course, but all those stains and discolorations are signs of future damage. Power-washing every year will keep your driveway looking fantastic and in excellent condition.
This can be a pretty physical (and sometimes dangerous) chore, depending on the size of your home and the amount of debris involved. We suggest hiring a pro if you have any concerns.
Take care of the creepy crawlers and frightful flyers
With August heat come August insects—especially wasps and mosquitos. Insects are also more likely to sting you and your family in August. It’s like their hunting season! First things first, make sure there are no areas of standing water. Mosquitos love still water. This is also when lawn care is most important. According to MosquitoWorld.Net, “During the day, mosquitoes like to rest in tall grass or among shrubs in a moist, shady spot. Keeping the grass short deprives them of a resting place.” You’ll also want to rake any leaves that might have fallen because even one “overturned leaf can hold enough water for a mosquito's eggs, and also give them a place to wait out the day.”
Killing moths and hornets is a little harder. First, you need to do it at night, when the bugs are less active, and they are all at home with the queen. You also need a lot of protective gear. Make sure every part of your body is covered. Treat the nest and wait for the next day. Don’t remove the nest quite yet. In the daytime, with your gear on, remove the nest and treat the connecting areas. Any worker bees who got away will come back to where the nest used to be, eliminating the rest. For wasps, especially, removing the nest isn’t enough—they’ll just come back and rebuild.
Lastly, NEVER shine a flashlight or any light directly onto a nest. This tells them it’s morning, and they’ll become very active. Probably angry too. Who wants to wake up from a deep slumber to bright light and then find out you still had some precious few hours left to sleep?
Or hire a pest control expert if you don’t feel like getting a few dozen hornet stings.
Now is the last chance to landscape your lawn
When fall comes around, the grass starts dying, trees and bushes shed their leaves, and any summer flowers go into hibernation. You’ll have completely new landscaping tasks in just a month or so, but for now, give your lawn one last hurrah for the summer. As we said above, trimming your lawn is essential for pest control—not just for bugs. Snakes and mice love tall grass to hide in. And since you might have to trim your bushes and trees anyway, you’re already well on your way.
But there’s another benefit to landscaping one last time in August—change. You’ve seen your lawns quite a lot this summer, what do you want to change now, while the ground is softer? A stone path? A new Japanese Maple Tree? You should also think about landscaping projects that can befit you and your family throughout the year, or at least most of it. If your last kid is outgrowing the swing set you painfully constructed when they were little, replace it with more something more grown-up.
For example, a fire pit is great for late spring, early fall, and all summer long. You can have great evenings with your spouse, drinking wine by the fire, and your no-longer-children kids will have someplace cool to hang out with their friends instead of the suddenly-embarrassing swing set. With adult supervision, of course. Sit back, roast some marshmallows, and enjoy the last few summer nights.