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Top Tips to Prepare Your AZ Home for Spring
With Spring here, it’s time to dust off the cobwebs and giving the corners and nooks of your house a little love. Yes, you might clear out old boxes in your closets and get rid of things that accumulate over the years.
But it’s even more important that you spend some time checking out the exterior of your home. When the weather warms up, spring is the perfect time to give your property a thorough going-over to make needed repairs and maintenance. This will minimize any costly repairs down the road due to neglecting a few simple maintenance tasks.
If you keep reading a bit further down below, you’ll find a list of the Top 8 Tips for looking after your property this spring. But of course, we’re experts in Iron Doors as well as Iron and Wood Gates, so here are a few specific tips for normal care, maintenance and inspection so you’ll have many years of enjoyment of your Iron Products that may have been installed in your home.
Door and Gate Locks: Your locks could jam if not kept lubricated. You should lubricate the internal lock and components when you notice the lock seems to stick or is difficult to turn every 4 months, so spring is a good time to start this schedule. Simply attach the long applicator nozzle to the end of the valve on a can of silicone spray. Spray inside the lock key hole both on the interior and exterior sides of the lock. Test the lock by inserting the proper key and turning the lock. If it still seems to stick repeat the process until the lock has a smooth operation.
Glass: Do not use products containing abrasives, but do use regular glass cleaner. FII suggests using newspaper or an approved squeegee to clean all glass on FII products.
Hinges: Lubricate the hinges on your Door or Gate every 4 months with silicone spray, applying in all of the joints and moving sections of the hinge. The welded hinges have a predrilled lubrication hole or a zerk fitting at the top of the hinge which allows a drip or a spray like application. We suggest saturating all areas of the hinge to ensure full coverage.
Powder Coat & Faux Finish Cleaning: Mix 1 tablespoon of dishwashing detergent in a 5 gallon bucket or warm water. Wet a sponge in the bucket and wipe down the iron. Use a nylon scrubber (be careful not to rub too hard, it may create unwanted scratches on certain finishes) to remove stubborn dirt, or stuck on spills such as bird droppings. Remove soap with a clean damp towel. Dry the iron immediately with towels. Make sure that you dry all crevices and creases. If your iron has dirt stuck in the crevices, use a toothbrush or a small bottle brush with warm water. Add a drop of detergent & scrub until clean. Rinse brush if it becomes too dirty and repeat. DO NOT hose down your iron to clean it, as this will create unneeded wear and potential future issues.
Wood: Redwood is a beautiful, natural, wood that requires continual care and attention. FII suggests an annual cleaning and light sanding (if needed) to ensure the wood is ready to absorb an outdoor approved stain or sealer to protect the life of the wood. FII uses a Minwax Red Mahogany stain or a Thompson’s Seal to protect the natural beauty of redwood.
In General: Cut back plantings so they do not touch Iron or Steel doors, fence, gates, etc. Avoid letting lawn sprinklers reach iron products. Consider drip irrigation for the area around iron products.
As promised, here are some of the top spring outdoor home maintenance ideas that you should consider spending a weekend working on to care for your Arizona Home.
Examine your property Line: Walk the fence-line of your property. If you have a picket fence, make sure that each of the fence-posts are stable. If any are loose, make sure to secure them. Check for any signs of rot or breaks and, if necessary, replace the boards completely.
Check out your gates: This is the perfect time of year to check on the backyard gate you most likely haven’t walked through since October! Check that the hinges swing freely, the latch is secure, and that the lock works properly. If any of these items have issues, fix them immediately.
Clean the Pool: Scrub off winter dirt by brushing down the side-walls and steps. Black algae forms a protective shield around itself that only vigorous brushing can remove. After brushing the pool, run the filtration system for several hours and backwash the filter. Also, check your chemistry! As the temperature heats up, algae and bacteria become more active. The key to winning the fight against algae is to start with properly balanced water. Finally, tune up your pump. A well-tuned pump motor will save you lots of energy and cash. Lubricate the motor if it has lubrication ports.
Clean out those gutters: Break out the ladder and check your gutters. During the winter, leaves and other debris can pile up in these gutters. Improper drainage can lead to water in the basement or crawl space. Make sure downspouts drain away from the foundation and are clear and free of debris.
Examine Roof Shingles: Examine roof shingles to see if any were lost or damaged during winter. If your home has an older roof covering, you may want to start a budget for replacement. The summer sun can really damage roof shingles. Shingles that are cracked, buckled or loose or are missing granules need to be replaced. Flashing around plumbing vents, skylights and chimneys need to be checked and repaired by a qualified roofer.
Refresh your deck: If you have a wooden deck, check the railings, steps and boards to see if any need to be replaced. If you have a concrete patio, inspect it for cracks to see if it needs to be repaired before the cracks spread and cause more damage.
Check Power Equipment: Check your gas- and battery-powered lawn equipment to make sure it is ready for summer use. Clean equipment and sharp cutting blades will make yard work easier.
Service the AC Unit: This is most definitely important for Arizona homeowners. Have a qualified heating and cooling contractor clean and service the outside unit of the air conditioning system. Clean coils operate more efficiently, and an annual service call will keep the system working at peak performance levels so you’re not surprised in July when it breaks down.
A little work now will save a lot later! Once you get through your Honey Do’s, you can enjoy the rest of your spring and summer without worry.
If you happen to have a custom iron gate manufactured by First Impression Ironworks, you can always give us a call at 602-345-7481 to get in contact with our Customer Care Specialists so we can help make the proper adjustments!