With summer around the corner, now may be a good time to prepare the outside of your house for the season by giving it a good cleaning and making some repairs.
Danny Lipford, host of "Today's Homeowner," visits The Early Show to give some ideas on cleaning outside surfaces and making easy small repairs.
Cleaning Outside with a Presser/Power Washer
An increasing number of homeowners are investing in pressure washers to help maintain their homes. New homeowner-friendly models of pressure/power washers allow even the most novice homeowner to clean any exterior surface. Power washers are now available with a rotating nozzle that is perfect for cleaning siding, deck, walkways and even outdoor furniture. All you need to run the power washer is a garden hose and a power source. Lipford advises to be careful when using a power washer to prevent damage to yourself and the surface that you are washing. Also, you may want to remove your window and door screens prior to pressure washing so that they doi not tear. Using cleaning solutions available from your home center will make cleaning any surface a success.
Husky 1750 PSI Power Washer
It is available at The Home Depot.
Replacing Deck Nails and Patio/Sidewalk Cracks
During the cleaning process you may discover small repairs are needed such as nails protruding from your wood deck or cracks in your patio or sidewalk. You can easily remove a deck nail by using a flat bar and a hammer. After removing the nail, replace it with a coated deck screw.
When repairing cracks in your patio or sidewalk, a concrete repair tube works well. The repair tube includes a sanded acrylic formula that blends in with the color and texture of the surrounding concrete to fill in the cracks. Simply cut the tip off the tube and it is ready to use. You won't even need a caulk gun.
5.5 Ounce Squeeze Repair Tubes
Available at local home improvement stores or local home-retail stores.
For more information, go to Quikrete.com.
If you have blistering and/or peeling paint on your wood siding, first scrape the paint away and then sand the area until it is feathered out. After that is done, apply a coat of primer, allow it to dry thoroughly and then add two coats of top coat. To blend your new paint with the existing colors, you may need to paint from one end of the board to the other.
To discourage flying insects, who are attracted to light bulbs, from greeting you when you arrive home at night, you can get a light bulb that contains a special coating which makes lights invisible to insects. The GE product is called "Bug Lites."
Cost: $3.50 to $10.00
Health news reports about mosquito-related illnesses have more people being cautious about protecting themselves from getting bitten. To keep mosquitoes at bay, consider using one of the new traps that rely on carbon dioxide.
American Biophysics Mosquito Magnet Liberty
It is available at The Home Depot.
Many homeowners rely on opening their windows during the summer, which makes their screens more important than ever. A torn screen can be repaired for less than $5 by removing the rubber spline that holds the screen in the frame and purchasing a new piece of screen. Cut the screen to fit and reinstall the spline by using a spline tool that is available at any home center.
Repairing a Sagging Fence Gate
Fence gates endure a lot of wear, particularly in summer when there is a lot of traffic in and out of a yard. If you have a sagging gate, it only takes a little a short amount of time and a small amount of money to fix it. Your local home center should carry hardware kits that attach to the backside of the gate. This is also a good time of year to apply a spray lubricant to keep the hinges and hardware on your gate working smoothly.