May Maintenance Must-Do's for Your Kansas City Home

After fantasizing about it for months, warmer weather has finally arrived in Kansas City! We know: You just want to fire up the grill and start working on your tan—we do, too. But there are a few tasks to address as a KC homeowner before you kick back in your hammock (or pool). The good news? You can still start on that tan since they’re all outside!

“The old adage ‘April showers bring May flowers’ rings true and makes May prime time for landscaping and lawn care in most of the country,” says Missy Henriksen, vice president of public affairs for the National Association of Landscape Professionals.

May home maintenance goes beyond gardening and yard work. Now is the last chance to address the wear and tear of winter and transform your Kansas City home’s outdoor space into something worthy of the host with the most.

The Just Say Home KC real estate experts are here to make it as quick and easy as possible. The handy checklist of home maintenance chores below will help you complete these tasks quickly and return to your pool float as soon as possible. We’ve even provided recommendations to get each task done faster and easier—or with the help of a KC professional.

Inspect Patios and Walkways

Task: As winter temperatures drop to freezing, the cold weather can wreak havoc on hardscape surfaces made of loose (unmortared) brick, stone, and concrete paving materials. Examine these outside areas to see if pavers have shifted, risen, or sunk due to frost heave and erosion. It's important to fix any unevenness for both safety and aesthetic reasons.

Shortcuts: You can repair these hardscape surfaces using a wheelbarrow filled with playground sand and a sturdy trowel. Pry up displaced pavers, smooth the bed with fresh sand, and replace the paver.

Call in the pros: This is an excellent job for a handyman. Kansas City rates start around $30 to $60 an hour, depending on your location.

Feed Your Lawn

Task: Your lawn might look rich and lush after a wet spring. Since Mother Nature did the hard work, you can sit back and relax, right? Not so fast. Now’s the perfect time to add high-nitrogen fertilizer to help suppress weeds and ensure your grass is nutrient-rich, keeping your lawn looking great all summer.

Shortcuts: A push-powered broadcast spreader makes quick work of fertilizing your lawn, and ones suitable for an average suburban lawn cost around $35 to $100. Do you have a cooking compost pile? Substitute home-grown compost for commercial fertilizers.

Call in the pros: KC lawn care companies can spray your lawn with chemical fertilizers for about $40 an application.

Repair Fences and Gates

Task: Repetitive cycles of cold and wet weather can make wood move, twist, and warp, causing garden gates to fall out of alignment and fence pickets to loosen or fall off. Inspect these areas for signs of loose fencing and fix sagging gates.

Shortcuts: Make quick work of refastening pickets and fence supports with a cordless battery-powered nail gun for about $250. It's essential that you only use galvanized nails for outdoor work. A power drill fitted with a screw tip or a hex driver can be used to remove or tighten loose screws and bolts in gates.

Call in the pros: This is an excellent job to hire a handyman—about $30 to $60 an hour, depending on where in Kansas City you are located.

Mulch Flower and Vegetable Beds

Task: Insulating planting beds with 2 to 4 inches of mulch can help prevent evaporation and keep weeds in check.

Shortcuts: A Kansas City landscaping service can deliver bulk mulch. Schedule a "mulching day" and have them leave it where you can easily reach it (like your driveway). A good estimation is one cubic yard of mulch to cover 100 square feet, with mulch 3 inches deep.

Call in the pros: You can also hire this landscaping service to lay the mulch, but it’ll cost you between $300-$600 for 500 square feet.

Wash Windows

Task: You deserve to clearly see spring unfold in your yard as trees come alive and gardens bloom. It’s time to cleanse winter’s dirt and grime from your windows.

Shortcuts: Make this a collaborative task—have a friend or family member clean the outside while you do the inside of the same window. This strategy will help you identify which side of the glass contains lingering streaks and smudges to remove them immediately. You can make this task fun and prevent extra work for missed spots.

Call in the pros: A professional KC window washer will go the extra mile to remove and clean screens and remove accumulated dirt from sliding tracks for $2 to $7 per window.

Service Your Grill

Task: Who wants to eat a rack of ribs with last year’s grill gunk on them? Ensure your first barbecue of the season goes off smoothly by cleaning your grill and ensuring any gas hoses and connections are secure.

Shortcuts: A grill brush or other coarse cleaning brush is a worthwhile investment for any grill. To remove grime, remove the grates and metal plates beneath them, soak them in hot, soapy water for five to 10 minutes, and then scrub hard. Spray them down with your garden hose to rinse. While they dry, cover the area where the grates usually go with foil and use a stiff grill brush to clean grime from the hood and inside walls. Remember to use a cleaner specifically designed for your grill’s surface (e.g., stainless steel, porcelain, or cast iron) to prevent damage, then reassemble all parts.

Call in the pros: If completing this process sounds less than appealing, professional grill cleaners can take your barbecue from slimy to spotless for you. However, it will cost you the equivalent of a few porterhouse steaks. An average cleaning service offers quotes from $185 to $279.

Check Your AC

Task: Now’s your last chance before the heat! Double-check your air-conditioning unit to make sure it’s in good working order before the mercury starts to rise.

Shortcuts: While it may seem small, dust can impact the effectiveness of your AC. Using your garden hose, spray the outside of the condenser to remove any dust that’s settled on the unit and connections. Don’t use a brush, and be careful if you are pressure washing, as you could damage or bend the fins. Lastly, make sure to change the filter.

Call in the pros: For a few hundred dollars, a professional can service your AC system. This service includes cleaning the condenser and lubricating the fan motor.

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