Monday, February 14, 2011

Spring is on its way 4 Quick Tips to Increase Curb Appeal

Spring is fast approaching and may have many of you looking outside at your yard and wondering where do I begin? Spring maintenance is extremely helpful in fostering a beautiful and healthy yard that will keep looking great all summer long. It can also help stimulate curb appeal for those with listings on the market or in property management.

1. First Things First—Cleaning Up
 The first thing to do is thorough yard clean up. It is important to clean up any dead leaves, foliage, and branches from the yard. This makes your property appear much cleaner, well managed and makes future maintenance much easier. This also may be a requirement from your home owners association or local covenants. If you are one who hires help for your yard work, completing regular maintenance keeps the costs down. The larger the job, the higher the cost will be to complete it.

2. Aeration and Fertilization
The next important aspect for a spring start up is aeration and fertilization. Aeration levels out any problem areas such as divots or lumps on your lawn as well as promotes better water absorption by the grass throughout the season. Fertilization is very important to jump start the grass for the summer. There are many different kinds of fertilizer and it is important to pay attention to which one you purchase. We recommend 21-4-4 Spring Start-Fertilizer that is very high in nitrogen. Spring start up fertilizer has a quick release formula that is designed to target cold, wet soils that are just starting to warm up from the winter. The high levels of nitrogen and quick release formula are meant to kick start your dry brown lawn into greening up quickly.

3. Sprinkler Systems
For those of you with sprinkler systems, now is the time to start thinking about turning them back on. Colorado weather can be quite unpredictable and sudden freezes can wreak havoc on a sprinkler system. We would recommend waiting until the beginning or the middle May before turning on your system. If you feel as though your yard needs to be watered before that point, it is recommended you do spot watering with a hose and an oscillating sprinkler until it is warm enough to turn on the sprinkler system itself. When it is time to turn on the system, turn on the water and check all lines for any breakages that may have happened over the winter. Also, check all nozzles and heads to make sure they are all functioning properly. Once you can tell the system lines and heads are good, turn on each zone to check the spray coverage. The nozzles and heads can be adjusted accordingly to ensure proper coverage..

4. Lawn Maintenance
The final step in keeping up your curb appeal is regular lawn mowing and maintenance. The regularity of mowing that is necessary depends on how much moisture your lawn gets during the summer. Average homeowners mow the lawn once a week or every other week to keep their lawn looking nice and trimmed.
Keeping up on spring maintenance can be very helpful in property management. “[A] well maintained property produces well maintained occupants. In other words, if someone is given a property with great curb appeal, chances are they will maintain it in the same condition. We always try to have our owners do sprinkler maintenance, aeration, fertilization, etc” says Matt Rogers, Property Manager and Associate Broker for All Seasons, LLC. If your home is on the market, having a well maintained yard certainly will increase the curb appeal of your property and hopefully bring the right buyer to your door.

Oh no! Snow Melt + Sprinkler Water = A Wet Basement!
Prior to starting up those sprinklers in May, it is important to check your basement or crawlspace for seasonal dampness from snow melt and the resulting ground water.  If you are noticing seepage before using your sprinklers, you could experience even more water when you green up your grass! 
Spring is the best time to do a quick check for changes that might have occurred to your foundation or surrounding yard during the winter months.  You might notice a damp patch forming in a particular part of the basement or crawlspace—it could be a cracked sprinkler pipe, or even a gutter that is draining incorrectly.
You may notice that the yard appears to be collecting water in newly formed depressions.  In fact, spring melting and watering cycles can drastically change the grading of your yard and be forcing water toward your foundation!  
Sometimes, a portion of the yard may require regarding in order to keep water where you want it to go.  Other times, a change in how and where you water might resolve the dampness.  A good rule of thumb is not to water within 5’ of your house.  If you have plants near the house, it’s always better to hand water than to let sprinklers run for long amounts of time. 

If changing how your water doesn’t seem to be helping, or the basement goes from damp to downright wet, it’s a good idea to have a foundation and basement expert come in and do an evaluation.  Our systems specialists at 
Peak Structural will do a full evaluation of a home and use our gas leveling equipment to help you determine if your property has experienced settling or shifting during the last season.  We’ll also go through the home itself to see if the foundation has settled or shifted and is the cause of the wet basement


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