Monthly Maintenance Reminder: Outdoor Maintenance Checklist

Monthly Maintenance Reminder: Outdoor Maintenance Checklist

Outdoor Additions
Appraisal and Home Inspection
By Mateos Glen Hayes May 20, 2022

When a lawn is in good shape, it can be a truly majestic sight to behold. Beautiful lawns are vast expanses of well-manicured green fields, tidy shrubs, and tall trees. However, achieving and maintaining this look requires quite a bit of work.

In truth, keeping your lawn in order is a never-ending job, and chances are you’ll need some help to do it right. This might sound overwhelming, and indeed sometimes it is, but the good news is that a maintenance checklist and some experienced help will make everything much easier. It also goes without saying that once everything has been done it is pretty sweet to admire the fruit of your labors and gaze upon an immaculate lawn made beautiful by your hard work.

What is an Outdoors Routine Maintenance Checklist?

Make a home maintenance checklist on your phone.

Make a home maintenance checklist on your phone.

In other words, what should a routine maintenance checklist be for outdoor gardening? Well, the main thing is to divide your tasks by zone and season. As such, you will need to establish a division of labor with a checklist that takes these factors into account. This might sound a bit complicated but it is pretty intuitive and simple in practice.

The tasks you will need to do will be obvious because “nature will let you know” so to speak. For instance, in the fall you will notice that the trees drop immense numbers of leaves on the lawn, therefore letting you know that it’s time to do some leaf clearing. Truth be told you don’t even need to have a physical list per se and can instead have a mental checklist. Of course, writing down your tasks and what you need to complete them is always helpful. 

General Tips for Keeping Your Home’s Outside Maintained 

Some backyard maintenance tasks may need to be done multiple times a year.

Some backyard maintenance tasks may need to be done multiple times a year.

There are two major items in outdoor maintenance that will take up most of your time: gardening and repairing things. Put simply, if you have a lot of plant life, that is going to need a fair amount of attention and care to grow and thrive. As such it is a good policy to keep up with all the trimming, cleaning, mowing, weeding, and sheathing as necessary.

Trees get damaged and their branches sometimes need to be cut for safety or due to sickness. Weeds can smother your plants and so will need to be removed. Grass can grow fast and get pretty high if it is left unchecked. In wetter regions, rain and swamp can cause challenges of their own with water management.

Finally, your home itself will get damaged and worn as it is exposed to the various elements of nature that are acting on it 24/7. The winds can damage your roof and cladding over long periods, the sun can cause paints, plastics, and glass to weaken and become brittle over time, and moisture can cause mold growth and all sorts of damage. Driveways will need filling in, and outdoor lights will require bulbs changed regularly.

The most important thing, therefore, is to ensure that you keep track of all of these action items and ensure that each aspect of your home receives the maintenance required. Proactive maintenance - that is working on things before emergency repairs become necessary - is the best way to increase the longevity of your home’s various parts as well as ensure that all the trees and plants in your garden stay lush and healthy.    

Seasonal Outdoor Maintenance 

Always remember to do your seasonal garden trimming.

Always remember to do your seasonal garden trimming.

One of the most efficient ways to divide up your outdoor maintenance tasks is by season, as this allows you to keep track of them logically and linearly. Outdoor home maintenance in spring, for instance, may involve a lot of gardening.

Summer Outdoor Maintenance

Since this is the warmest time of the year, it is the ideal time to do things that can’t be done easily when it gets colder. For example, pressure washing your driveway and your home is a task best done during the summer as the water will dry and will not freeze. This is also the time to inspect your drywall and sidewall for cracks since this kind of damage can get obscured during the darkness of winter or when it rains/snows. 

This is also the best time to focus on doing work to your porch including any improvements you had in mind since working outside will be easiest absent the cold winds of the darker months. Additionally, you should also take this time to do smaller tasks such as removing lint from dryer vents, completing any exterior repairs required so the home is ready for winter, and cleaning the grill for your upcoming cookouts.

This is also the best time to trim your trees, shrubs, and hedges since this will be right after the spring growth period and will allow you to check any overgrowth before it happens. Just ensure that you pick the time during the summer that is driest for completing these tasks. That way you will avoid getting caught out in the rain. 

Home Maintenance for the Fall

Any roof repairs should be done before winter sets in.

Any roof repairs should be done before winter sets in.

Fall is the time to do some maintenance in preparation for the winter months. As we know, fall is when all the leaves come down, and this can create quite the mess in your backyard that will need to be dealt with as it can cause problems for your home and can even constitute a fire hazard. Leaves will also clog your gutters so this is the best time to do your roof work since you’ll be up there cleaning it out anyway. If you want to have a flower garden and perhaps some other beautiful plants for next year’s spring you’ll need to do the seeding during the fall.

Any overwintering preparations should be undertaken during this time so that you can ensure that all your plant life will make it through the winter and be ready for the sun’s rays in the spring. If you had any superficial summer storm damage this is also the time to do some touch-up repairs so your home doesn’t have any cracks that moisture can get into (and cause more damage when it freezes). This should also help to keep pests at bay

Winter Home Maintenance

Be sure to check that your home is well insulated before winter.

Be sure to check that your home is well insulated before winter.

Winter is a time for staying inside and most of the time that is what you’ll be doing. As such, there isn’t as much to do outside of the home, unlike spring maintenance for example. The main task to focus on will be on covering plant roots with a layer of mulch before the frost sets in. This will ensure your plants are not killed by the frost.

Aside from this, it is also important to winterize any of your outdoor equipment, particularly motorized stuff such as chainsaws, mowers, weed whackers, and the like. These machines have moving parts that must be lubricated and it might be a good idea to add a fuel stabilizer.  

Spring Outdoor Maintenance Items

Each season comes with its own set of home upkeep tasks.

Each season comes with its own set of home upkeep tasks.

Now that winter has passed, you can finally go out, initiate your spring home maintenance and bring your garden to fruition with some fertilizer, by planting annuals, setting up your vegetable garden beds, and watering. Aside from doing your spring cleaning, any damage caused by the winter should be repaired at this time as well. For instance, your deck will likely need refinishing and any leaky outdoor faucets will need attention to reduce water waste. If you have any flowers you want to set up for summer blooming, this is the time to plant them. Make a spring checklist, and get going!

Written by
Mateos Glen Hayes

Written by Mateos Glen Hayes