Thanks to COVID-19 you may just find yourself around the house — and in your yard — more often than you typically would during a Gulf Coast August (also see how to reduce your air conditioning costs). Whether you have a small patio with a shed, a large grassy area with a swing set or something in between, now is the time to tackle some basic yard maintenance to help you and your family make the most of outdoor living areas during the pandemic.
Inspect your deck. Is it peeling or cracked? Make sure to closely inspect for any signs of rotting or any rusty nails that might ruin a backyard event. In many cases, using deck paint available at any home improvement store can rejuvenate your porch and protect it from the baking sun. Make sure to thoroughly clean your porch before you seal it and test the color before painting all of it. You don’t want to end up having to do double the work if the color dries darker than you wanted. It wouldn’t hurt to scrub the patio furniture and grill, too, while you’re at it. Pavers can also allow you to create a patio space if a raised deck isn’t your style.
Prepare for the water. Whether it’s an afternoon downpour or a leaky faucet, pooling water in your yard can cause anything from a canceled event to the need for a contractor. Check after a heavy rain to make sure water is draining properly away from your home. If you have sprinklers and haven’t used them in a while, turn them on while you’re home to make sure you won’t have a flooded yard. Same is true of any faucets that are prone to leaking or water features that haven’t been used recently.
Beat the heat and bugs. Heat and bugs are as unavoidable here as afternoon showers, but in order to make the most of your outdoor spaces, you’re going to have to at least put up a fight. Make sure your ceiling fans are functioning and purchase any additional types of fans you may need to stay cool. While certain plants or candles with plant-based scents like citronella can help fight off bugs, be sure to stock up on some form of skin coverage, whether store-bought spray or natural repellant, to keep bug bites from ruining your fun. Addressing any standing water should also help.
During a time when every room of your home is likely doing double duty, be sure to also put your outdoor space to good use. Enjoy the fresh air!