Spring clean your property

It’s been a long, long winter. As warmer weather starts to arrive, here’s what you need to know about maintenance for your yard, home exterior and landscaping features

By Jennifer Murray

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Pond patrol

Before you start up that pump, remove the leaves that overwintered in the pond. “On some of the jobs we go to, we just pull all the rocks out of the bottom and wash the whole thing down,” Hofstetter says. While he admits it’s time-consuming, it does have its benefits: Not only do you get all the rotted leaves out of your pond, therefore avoiding a mucky bottom, but your pond will smell better, too. “Before long you’re going to get water that smells like a toilet or a sewer pipe, because the leaves are rotting,” he says.

Unfortunately for your fountain, if any of the plumbing is cracked or leaking, you’re going to have to replace it. You might get away with tightening the joint if it’s held by a hose clamp, but Hofstetter says, “The bottom line is, if the fitting is leaking, you probably have to replace all the ABS fittings at that point.”

Watch your wood

If you have arbours, fences or other wooden features in your yard, it pays to maintain them properly: “Procrastination costs a lot of money: You can say, I’ll paint it next year, and then next year say, I’ll paint it next year, and before long the wood’s rotted and you can’t paint it!” Hofstetter says. Inspect all wooden surfaces (including your deck) annually and repair or replace as needed.

Now that all your spring maintenance is done, all that’s left to do is watch your garden come back into bloom. “A garden is a labour of love; you’re constantly, year after year, in love with your backyard because you’re never going to stop!” Hofstetter says. And with our handy property maintenance tips, your back garden will look lovely from your newly level patio or refinished deck–once the pond from the eavestrough evaporates, anyway.

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