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cleaning the deck

Summer is Finally Here and the Sun is Out

There are plenty of projects that need your attention, but these six items will make your life easier if you can get them done before the Fourth of July.

1) Clean Your A/C

Even new units can clog up with grit and grime, and if your region has cottonwood trees, the fluff may already be clogging your air conditioning unit. This is an easy fix before it becomes an emergency and will keep your expenses low and your home comfortable.

faucet 2) Check Your Faucets

If you haven't had to hook them up yet, make all the necessary connections and confirm the hoses and sprayers are functioning well. In fact, if celebrations in your neighborhood include fireworks, you might want to have the hose ready to go.

Small lawn and shrub fires are not unheard of if someone gets careless with a firework, and sparks and ashes are not particular about where they land. Some extra watering in the lead-up to the Fourth of July is probably in order if your region is particularly dry.

3) Trim Shrubs

The rose bush in front of the house may be beautiful, but if it's scratching against your siding or window trim, it needs to be tamed. With care, cut back any sprouts or branches that brush the house on windy days. Many plants grow naturally in a globe pattern or evenly branching out from a central root. If your shrubs are too close to your home to allow that, a yearly trim of anything brushing against your home is a good habit.

You won't damage the overall shape of the plant with some judicious pruning. Also, review any vining plants and make sure they're not snaking under the vinyl siding to cause rot or moisture build-up. Once June gets really warm, many plants are too busy blooming to put out new shoots. Early July is an ideal time to check foundation plantings for invasive or destructive growth patterns.

4) Check Out Deck Post and Pillars for Rot.

clean-deckIf spring rains were heavy, moisture damage will start showing up as the lumber dries out. One warped or rotted framing member can influence the stability of your whole deck, so be sure to address any damage you find.

Once the heavy rains have moved on, you should have a stretch of clear, sunny days. This is also an excellent time to clean decks, wooden fences, and any other wooden structures in your yard.

Turn off any automatic sprinklers that may impact your wooden structures, and water seal them to preserve these important features.

5) Building Some Easy Outdoor Seating

If your carpentry skills are a bit more advanced, you might enjoy designing and building a tree bench from scratch. A wrap-around tree bench, placed around the base of an older, established tree, can give you a great spot to sit and read or just enjoy the fresh air.

6) An Outdoor Kitchen is a Great Project to Add Value to Your Home

outdoor livingCurrently, outdoor kitchen trends lean toward permanent structures and high budgets. However, if you've got a grill, a place to store food that needs to be prepped, a place to serve food, and a place to keep beverages cold, you can put together a temporary and very functional outdoor kitchen while you determine the best layout for a permanent feature.

Stay flexible. A reclaimed potting bench can serve as a food storage spot, and dish washing tubs loaded with ice can store salads and other items that need to stay cool. Cover everything with food mesh tents to prevent flies from taking over your party. Dedicate a cooler to transport uncooked food to the grill, and clean it carefully after each use.

Or, if the heat builds up indoors every time you need to prepare a meal, try putting together a solar oven with your kids. The process of cooking outdoors need not include an outdoor kitchen or even a grill. A modified cardboard box can help you reduce temperatures inside while your food bakes under the sizzling summer sun.

The spring is often loaded with planting projects, and August is loaded with back to school plans and vacations. Taking care of a few projects before the Fourth of July will keep your home in tip-top shape, your house cool and your July free for fun and relaxation.

Beating the heat can be as easy as calling the right HVAC professionals for a maintenance check up on your A/C unit. For any Plumbing or HVAC assistance call Laney's Inc. at (701) 237-0543, serving the Fargo, ND area.