You’ve found your dream home among the beautiful properties built along the 500 miles of shoreline of Smith Mountain Lake. Now you want to keep it looking gorgeous. However, a well-manicured look comes with careful attention to outdoor maintenance so you’ll need to be prepared to put in a little work to keep it looking great. There shouldn’t be any big surprises or repairs if you’ve employed a professional, experienced home inspector, but you’ll still need to stay on top of basic maintenance to retain your home’s value and protect your investment.
Fortunately, the temperate climate of SMH provides beautiful season changes without terribly great extremes so the impact on your property is minimized. It is still important to protect any exterior wood or outdoor furniture with paint or varnish, and a light cleaning or touching up after the winter. Metal furniture may have spots of rust which you can sand down and apply a coat of metal paint if necessary. Ensure that windows and doors are watertight and cut back any shrubs or trees that might damage your roof or foundations if left to overgrow. By keeping outside areas clear of leaves, clutter and standing water it will improve the curb appeal of your home and help you to avoid damaging pest infestations.
Testing the Water
If you have a pool, you’ll want to make sure that it is ready for use as soon as it’s warm. If you take the time to keep your pool clean and do light maintenance all year long, this task becomes much easier. Regular jobs should include cleaning the filter and skimming the surface for debris. It’s also important to be sure the water level doesn’t fall below the center of the skimmer in order to avoid damaging the pump and filter. To prevent the build up of products and contaminants, the floor of the pool should be vacuumed once a week when empty, and the walls brushed and cleaned with a gentle surface cleanser. Once clean and full of water again in warm weather, be sure to keep balancing the pool water chemicals. This is essential, not only to have crystal clear water with no unsightly algae, but also to ensure it is free of bad bacteria and safe for swimming.
Outdoor lighting can provide an inviting atmosphere for the exterior of your home, expanding your outdoor space at night and highlighting trees or architectural features. For your safety and convenience, timed or automated lighting can be installed to illuminate paths and doorways and provide added security to the premises. For a more complete security system, motion sensor lighting can be combined with a camera and alarm.
Preparing for Winter
Fall is a great time to undertake the small but essential jobs that will keep your house secure during the winter months. Clear leaves from gutters to prevent them overflowing and inspect the roof for any needed repairs. Also make sure foundation vents and drainage pipes are clear of debris to avoid problems when it rains. Spotting small fixes like this early can prevent serious damage at a later date. This is also a good time to service your heat pump by cleaning or replacing any filters and checking fluid levels and lubrication to ensure it runs smoothly throughout the winter.
Last but not least do not forget to oil the drawbridge and feed the alligators in the moat. 😉
If you take the time to keep up with these simple chores, your home will make many great lasting impressions and you’ll have the peace of mind when it’s time to relax and enjoy all the pleasures Smith Mountain Lake has to offer.