We’re all aware of the chores that we have to do around our houses while the weather is still warm. The problem is that we always think that we have plenty of time to accomplish them; but, the next thing we know, it’s the end of July, and August is charging straight at us.
Besides the gardening, yard work, and maintenance, there will be things that are in need of repair. So, while you’re outside, cooking on the grill, sitting in your porch chair, or playing croquet in the backyard, look around and see what needs your attention.
For example, if you have a concrete or asphalt driveway, patio, sidewalk, or pool area, check to see if it is cracked or dirty. Do a thorough inspection, so that you don’t miss any spots that need to be fixed. Move any outdoor dining tables and lounge chairs that are around the pool, and look under your patio chairs, accent tables, and picnic table. Clear all of the outdoor furniture away from the places that you are going to be cleaning or mending.
Use a power washer to clean concrete; and, while you’re at it, observe the direction in which it sends the water off its surface. If it’s causing it to flow toward your home, that could be troublesome. Check around the outside of the foundation for any spots that may be cracked, crumbling, or deteriorating in any way. Next, go down to your basement and examine it from the inside, looking for water stains, or any other signs of leakage.
If you discover that water is getting in, you may be able to change the course of the drainage, by removing or altering the grade of the concrete. If you can’t correct the problem on your own, consult a professional.
To get rid of oil or grease stains on driveways, or garage floors, you can use TSP (trisodium phosphate), which you’ll find at any hardware store or home center. This stuff really works well, but you’ll have to wear rubber gloves when you’re using it. Just mix one cup of it with a gallon of hot water, saturate the area, and let it soak in for a half-hour; then, scrub it with a stiff-bristled brush, and rinse completely.
To patch up concrete, clean the damaged section with a wire brush, then sweep away any residue with a whisk broom. For narrow cracks, use masonry crack filler, which is available in cartridges, so you can inject it into the gap. Fill larger crevices with vinyl concrete patching compound, and smooth them over with a putty knife.
When you’re dealing with asphalt, it’s actually a good idea to look for cracks at least twice a year. If and when you find any, you can quickly eliminate them by using a caulking gun to fill them with asphalt patching caulk, then leveling the surface with a putty knife. Otherwise, they’ll just keep growing wider, and, eventually, growing vegetation.
Sure, you just want to be able to relax on your porch swing and admire the view; but you certainly won’t enjoy watching a bunch of weeds sprouting from – and ruining – your driveway, especially when you know that it’s all your phalt.