We share our tips and advice for keeping your home and garden looking good so you can relax and entertain throughout the spring and summer.
It might not have been the most generous of springs, but don’t be fooled by the temperature or the high level of cloud that persists in plaguing our skies – the plants are gearing up for the season and are ready to do their bit, even if we’re not.
Inspect the exterior
Take a slow walk around your property and give it a good inspection for general wear and tear. Check for broken roof tiles, cracks, worn down brickwork and leaking rainwater pipes. Consult a professional if you have any concerns or need any repairs and call Westbury directly if there is any damage to your Westbury Garden Room building structure. A minor repair today could prevent major damage to your property later down the line, saving you both money and time.
It is vital that gutters are cleared of leaves, debris, and dirt on a regular basis, otherwise, rain water will fill the gutters, causing them to overflow, and potentially cause water damage to your home. After scooping out any obstructions, we recommend flushing the area with a hose to wash away any remaining loose particles, ensuring that the downpipes are fully flushed too in case anything has become lodged.
Joinery and paintwork
Take a good look at the wood and its surface coating, paying particular attention to the areas most exposed to the elements. Look for chipped paint, dents and scratches to the timber. Should you spot a defect, address it immediately either by touching it up with the paint colour, or where the damage is to the Accoya® timber, by coating with an end grain sealer to avoid the wood taking on water before painting. For major damage and repair, contact us immediately to ensure that any action taken will not compromise your warranty agreement*.
Windows should be cleaned thoroughly from the inside as well as the outside to ensure the warranty on your windows and garden room. This is best done by a professional window cleaner but can be done yourself using a good glass cleaner, microfibre cloths and a squeegee. Once the glass is clean you may notice that a squeegee can leave a dirty mark on the glazing bars. Use a clean cloth just to wipe over the internal glazing bars to prevent staining over time. Beware of damaging toughened glass, which has a soft coating, so will scratch if not cleaned with care. Ensure that you use a soft clean cloth and not a plastic scraper as this will damage toughened glass. If in doubt contact Westbury and book yourself in for one of our thorough cleaning services to keep your product in warranty*.
Lichens making a return
Great news from an environmental perspective, lichen is coming back, which is indicative of clean air, however the downside is that the conscientious homeowner will need to stay on top of this slow growing garden addition to prevent permanent damage. They are commonly found alongside other moulds, fungi and algae on timber structures, particularly soffits and fascias, in addition to flat roofs, decking and paving. Decking and paving that has been plagued by lichen and other moulds can become slippery, an issue which will need to be addressed for safety reasons.
Although the Westbury paint system means that when properly cared for, our paintwork can last 10 years+ before repainting is required, in order for this system to work, users need to wash down their timber at least once a year to prevent the aforementioned organisms from taking root and causing lasting damage. Pressure washing and brushing away are effective techniques (although be careful not use anything too abrasive on your glass or timber), and you will need to use a fungicide/anti-microbial cleaner. Soffits and fascias are particularly vulnerable to moulds, lichens, fungi and algae, so be sure to give them a good looking over and the appropriate care to avoid long-term damage. Please refer to Westbury’s website for advice on aftercare.
As previously touched upon, decking is another key area that can be affected by moulds, lichens, fungi and algae. Usually you’ll know about this once you’ve slipped across your decking after a rain shower, but don’t blame the rain, because it’s the fungus and not the water that’s making it slippery, which means that you’ll need to take action to get rid of it. Use a pressure washer to give the area a good hose down and brush away any dirt and grit with a stiff broom. If you are still concerned, then a non-slip deck coating is also an option. If you have a decking area in your garden that’s looking a bit sorry for itself, now is the perfect time to bring it back to life. Ensure there are no broken boards or protruding nails, and sand down any rough patches. Top up the sealant and stain using a sprayer, if required, and then follow with a paintbrush to ensure every grain is sufficiently coated.
Nobody wants to do it, but if you intend to maximise the life of your wooden fencing, pergolas and trellises, then they will need to be restained and resealed every year. Benches, chairs, tables and other garden furniture should also be given a little TLC so that you can make the most of them once BBQ season arrives.
Trees and shrubs
The Spring season is the ideal time of year for tidying up your garden and rethinking how each section works. Plants left untended for too long have a tendency to overgrow and find their way into the cracks of your buildings, so give everything a good pruning, clear away the weeds and once it’s dry enough, mow the lawn. Spring is also the best season for planting new shrubs, vegetables, and fruits, and putting in place your new vision for the year ahead.
* Westbury offers a warranty of up to ten years on its garden room and joinery products, covering all key elements such as the joinery, surface coating, glazing, roof and more.