It is time for landscape cleanup as the temperatures start to rise. Below is a ten item check list to get done before spring. With these landscaping items complete, you will be well on your way to having a great looking lawn and landscape.
Top 10 Ways To Cleanup Your Landscape For Spring
Professional Landscape Cleanup
GreenSeasons will have your lawn and landscape looking amazing, just give use a call. We provide landscape cleanup services in the greater Baton Rouge, greater New Orleans, Slidell, Prairieville, Walker, Denham Springs, Gonzales, Baker, Zachary, Hammond and Covington areas. If you need your landscaping cleaned up, just click here and we will give you a call.
If you would simply like some additional advice, please contact us and we will be more than happy to help.
A lot of home owners have a similar question at some point in their lives, "Why is my house turning green and how do i fix it?" Chances are the green on your home is green algae, moss or mildew. The good news is it is fairly simple to clean.
Here's what you will need:
Cleaning Algae from Small Areas
Mix the ratio of bleach, dish soap and water in a spray bottle. Wet the area down with a hose. Spray it with the cleaning solution. Let it sit for three to five minutes. Scrub it with a brush or simply wash it with a hose and repeat if necessary.
Cleaning Algae from Medium Areas
Wear your gloves and glasses. Add water to the bucket. Add in your dish soap and bleach and mix it with your brush. Test a small to make sure there is no discoloration with your particular brick or siding. Spray the dirty area with the hose to loosen the mess. Use your nylon brush to scrub the area on the wall with the mixture. Wait three to five minutes until your see the green starting to run. Spray off treated area with your hose. If there is staining or if there is more algae, moss or mildew, simply repeat the process. You can use this same method on fences also.
Cleaning Algae from Large Areas, Like Your Entire Home
If you have a large area that needs to be clean, like your entire home, do the following:
Either rent a pressure washer with an exterior cleaning solution or hire a professional. Hiring a professional could end of saving you in the long run, especially if you have brick exterior. Bricks and especially the mortar between them can be damaged by using a power washer incorrectly and the repairs on that will be far more expensive than the cost of hiring someone to take care of it for you.
What Causes Algae, Moss and Mildew to Grow On The Side of my Home?
Areas with a lot of sun will be more likely to grow the green stuff.
If the area it is growing is constantly damp, there is your problem. Make sure there are not irrigation nozzles facing your home. Check to see if the area holds water. If it holds water, you may want to create a small trench to drain the area or install some drainage. If it is a continuous problem, you may want to invest in gutters for your roof to divert water away during storms.
Believe it or not, dirt can be the culprit even when everything else has been taken care of. Dirt is able to hold enough water to allow your algae infestation to take hold. If this is your problem, you should look into having your home power washed. A good preventative measure for this would be storm gutters for your roof. Another helpful, and cheaper, option would be mulching the beds near the problem area to prevent rain from splashing dirt onto the wall.
Plants can leave sap and living tissue on your home. Algae loves this stuff. Keep your plants properly pruned away from your home. If you are planning a new landscape bed, try and keep a good distance from your home. One mistake a lot of people make is they plant shrubs and trees a good distance from their home at the size the plant is when they put it in the ground. Unless you transplanted the shrub or tree full grown, you will have a problem with it in a few years.
Areas of your home's exterior without proper airflow usually retain moisture. Keep plants pruned in these areas and try to place structures or decorations where they do not prevent air from moving freely in these problem areas.
Prune and Mulch
It is time for the final pruning of the year when your plants stop growing. This will not only keep the exterior of your home looking great for the next few months, it also keeps your home from getting mildew and fungus on it. By keeping a one to two foot gap between your home and your shrubs, you will help ensure proper airflow and keep the mildew and mold away. It is a great time to trim dead tree branches. You will allow more sunlight to warm your home and you remove the danger of those branches falling due to winter storms.
Mulching after your final pruning will keep your landscape looking fresh for the winter and will conceal any leaves you "forgot" to pick up. It will also prevent splashing from rain hitting the soil which can cause diseases in plants.
Clean Out Those Gutters
Lets be honest, most of us still have leaves in our gutters from last fall. The decomposing leaves in your gutters are home to insects, mold and mildew. They also hold water directly against your house causing wood rot and corrosion. Lets not forget that all the leaves stop the gutters from doing what they were installed to do in the first place.
To remove the leaves from your gutters, you can get a sturdy ladder and a plastic scoop fashioned from an empty jug with a handle. If you have some non-slip boots and a roof that isn't very steep, you can use a leaf blower.
Pressure Wash Your Home
Cleaning your home with a pressure washer will not only have your home looking great for the winter, but also expose openings and chipping paint. Additionally, by removing the excess dirt and grime you will remove the places for algae and water to sit.
After pressure washing your home, you may have areas with cracked, chipped or peeled paint. It is a great time to scrape and sand those areas down and use some touch up paint to shore your home up for winter. Those areas are places where moisture will penetrate the wood and cause rot which will be a much more expensive and time consuming repair.
Wrap your pipes with an insulated wrap. Use insulated covering over all of your outdoor water outlet. This is one of the easiest things to do and can save you the biggest headache, as anyone who has had a cracked water pipe will tell you. If you have a raised house, be sure your exposed pipes under your house are also wrapped. Check your air conditioning ducts for tears or cracks also. Every year there seems to be a rush on these insulated coverings the first week freezing temperatures are expected, so beat the rush.
Seal cracks and gaps
This is the big one. Really searching for and fixing these will save you a ton on your heating bill this winter. Be sure to check anywhere there is an opening in your home: doors, windows, attic pull down doors, garage doors, recessed lighting, and anywhere pipe first enters or exits your house. Weather stripping the bottom of your doors is a great place to start as a worn weather strip is a large area for heat to your home's interior. There is a fabric tent for your attic door that adds additional insulation to keep your home a steady temperature without having to run the heater unnecessarily.
Insulate Your Attic
Check your attic's insulation. If you can see your rafters, you don't have enough insulation. Also, loose fill insulation, like the one shown, lose their insulating ability over time as they settle. If you haven't added insulation in your attic in a while, now is a great time to look into it. More information on insulating and weather proofing can be found on the Department of Energy's website.