It's almost time to open the cottage or cabin — and the dreaded Spring clean-up. But there's no reason it has to be all scrubbing and no hot-tubbing.
Here is a short to-do list:
Inspect Your Deck Boards
Bare feet on a splintered deck are no fun. Look for worn or splintered boards. And if you're planning to reseal your wood, be sure to replace the splintered boards first.
Clean Your Deck Or Patio
Mix all of the eating, drinking and cooking that happens on a cottage deck with constant exposure to the elements, and you've got a recipe for moss, mold, mildew, and dirt build-up. Clean it with a ready-to-spray bleach-free cleaner like Scotts Plus OxiClean Outdoor Cleaner, which is biodegradable and phosphate-free, so it won't harm your cottage flora.
Clean Your Outdoor Furniture
No one wants to sit on filthy, moldy outdoor furniture. Give them a good wash with an environmentally safe cleaner.
Clean Your Cottage Exterior
From cobwebs to bird droppings. To remove built-up dirt and stains from mildew, and mold, pair your garden hose with a ready-to-spray outdoor cleaner, and spray from top to bottom to make sure runoff doesn't resoil areas you've already cleaned.
Clean Your Cottage Windows
Have you ever seen a professional window cleaner use the blue stuff and a wadded handful of paper towels? Probably not, because that too-common technique just pushes dirt to the edges of your windows, where it can build up and hasten rotting. To clean like a pro, use warm water, a bit of dishwashing detergent, a rag, and a window scrubber. Use the rag to wipe down window frames, and then use the scrubber to clean the panes, finishing with a rubber squeegee. Be sure to wipe off the squeegee after every pass, and give the window a final wipe with a microfibre cloth when you're finished.
Remove any debris that may have collected in your gutters over the winter and ensure that your [downspouts] aren't clogged.
Inspect Your Roof
High winds and ice buildup can damage your shingles. Look for damaged flashings, asphalt grains in your gutters, and other signs of warping or rotting.
Clear Fallen Branches
Heavy snow takes a toll on trees, and for your first weekend back at the cottage, you can expect to find fallen branches everywhere. The good news is that you've got plenty of firewood for your first batch of s'mores!
Remove Covers From Shrubs And Trees
Once you're sure that Jack Frost is gone for good (or at least until next October), you're free to remove any protective coverings you may have wrapped around smaller shrubs and trees you planted.
Clean In And Around Your Fire Pit And Or Barbecue
Scoop out and dispose of excess ash, clean your BBQ with a hose, some soapy water, and elbow grease, then check the gas hose for cracks. Cut any vegetation that has grown up around or over the firepit so it is not a fire hazard.
That's a great start. Now, there is the inside to deal with! But first, grab a drink, fire up your barbecue, and enjoy your outdoor space. You've earned it.
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