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Sharpen Garden Tools
Pruning, clipping and shearing are most useful when clean, precise cuts to the plant are accomplished, and the only way to guarantee that is to regularly maintain your tools. Pruning shears, hedge shears and grass clippers each have two sharp surfaces which are finely ground at the factory to their most efficient angle. Pick up a new 10-inch mill file at your local home center, and file the blades along their original factory bevel. Sharpening the blades along any other edge will ruin an otherwise perfectly good set of shears or clippers. The safest way to achieve this is by clamping the blade firmly in place with a vise. Move the file in one long motion away from you, exposing clean metal, for the best results. Learn more about sharpening garden tools here.
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Check Your Deck
Now that it's the perfect weather to spend free time entertaining outside on the deck, perform an annual inspection on the whole structure to ensure everything is safe and in top shape for your family and guests. While well-built decks will last for decades, some that are 15 or more years old, when building codes were different, or possibly the work of a DIYer who owned the home before you warrants careful inspection for certain key things. Problems to look for are rotted or wobbly posts, weak post connections, properly-fastened ledger boards, and missing flasher ledging. Most of the fixes are inexpensive and you should be able to complete them yourself. Click here for the full inspection checklist, as well as detailed steps to fix each issue.
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Exterior caulking is imperative for keeping water out of susceptible areas around the outside of your home. In the spring, it's a good idea to walk around the outside of the house and look for areas in need of caulk where water may be working its way inside, or signs of existing but failing caulk. When you've identified the problem areas, you'll want to clean out the area and apply either an acrylic or polyurethane formula. Acrylic is easier to use and clean up, and is a good choice for cracks narrower than 1 inch. Polyurethane, which is more difficult to work with, may be worth the effort for concrete, roof, or gaps wider than 1 inch. Once you've picked your product, thoroughly clean the area before application. Learn how to make exterior caulk last longer here.