March Homeowner Tips
- Home Owner Tips
- Tuesday, March 3, 2015
It has been said that March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb. The phrase originates from early settlers who forecasted weather without the luxury of a radar system or the convenience of weathernetwork.com. Early March weather is often marked with cold winter storms, but within a few short weeks turns to warm, spring-like weather. But, not always as Calgary homeowners can attest. March is not quite Winter and not quite Spring, but here are a few things to get an early start on your cleaning:
Clean Up, Gently! You may be tempted, but avoid heavy yard work until the soil dries out – foot traffic and hard raking can compact or disturb soggy soil and damage tender, new grass shoots. Once the soil is good and dry, give your lawn a good cleaning to encourage grass growth and discourage pests and diseases. Remove leaves and fallen debris, and gently rake to fluff up tender shoots. In areas with heavy snowfall, leftover snow piles can smother the grass underneath and foster mold growth. As the weather warms, spread snow piles out with a shovel to encourage melting.
Clean the Garage & Organize Storage Areas. Since the weather is unpredictable, it’s a great time focus on what you can do inside. Sort through your storage items and get ready for your Spring yard sale, or donate gently used items to a charity.
Watch for Wet Snow & Heavy Rains. Check your basement walls for any sign of moisture or cracking. If you detect any moisture, run a portable dehumidifier. If it persists or you find cracks due to frost or settling, contact a professional contractor to discuss repairs. Also test your sump pump to be sure it is operating properly.
Check Your Eaves. In Calgary, we don’t normally have huge accumulations of heavy snow on our roofs to worry about; however, with our melt + freeze weather, it’s equally important to keep an eye out for ice dams and icicles. While they may look pretty, they can cause real damage to your home. While a permanent fix for ice dams usually requires increasing the insulation, sealing, and ventilation in your attic, there’s a simple solution to clear things up for the short term. Fill the leg of a pair of panty hose with ice melter. Lay the hose onto the roof so it crosses the ice dam and overhangs the gutter. The ice melter will melt through the snow and ice, creating a channel for water to flow down into the gutters or off the roof.
Lastly, hold on! Before you know it, Spring will be upon us.