Alfred Lord Tennyson is famed for penning the words, “In the Spring a young man’s fancy lightly turn to thoughts of … spring cleaning.” Or, at least something close to that. If you don’t love spring cleaning, however, we have some suggestions to make it more enjoyable.
For many of us, the thought of the winter season ending and warmer temperatures arriving fills us with joy. Being able to savor the outdoors once again feels like a burst of freedom. That exuberance, however, can be dampened when we start to consider that there is a lot of work to get our homes and yards into shipshape again.
Perhaps you will feel a bit more excitement when you examine some of the chores that can be accomplished using your outdoor power equipment. This article will focus on some of the tasks that you can perform with your electric- or gas-powered leaf blower.
Let’s look at a few of the undertakings where your leaf blower can come in handy, starting from the highest point.
If you are a regular reader of this blog, you have probably seen the topic of using your leaf blower to clean gutters before. Wind, snow, and rain can deposit bits of tree debris- leaves, twigs, and branches- on your roof, which can then end up in your rain gutters.
If you have asphalt shingles, tiny fragments of grit will make their way into the trough and could cause obstructions.
Using some handy available attachments listed in the previous article linked above, you can safely clean your gutters and downspouts from either the ground or standing on the roof.
When cleaning, be sure to wear proper personal protective equipment: good shoes, eye protection, gloves, etc.
Cleaning Under the Eaves
Working your way down the from the gutters, you’ll next want to pay attention to the part of the house where the roof overhangs the walls. This is a good place to find spiderwebs, wasp nests, and other homes that freeloading critters may have decided to put up.
These are easily taken down with a good blast of air from your leaf blower. Aim at the place where the eaves meet the exterior wall. You may want to test to make sure that the eaves are securely fastened before doing so, as some are held in place mainly by gravity instead of screws or nails. Work your way from inside corners to the outside edges of your house.
A quick note about humanity and safety. You may wish to check that bird’s nest that’s sitting where the downspout attaches to your exterior wall. If there are eggs in, perhaps wait until summer to remove it. Mama Robin will appreciate it. Also, with regards to wasp and hornets’ nests, be sure they are dormant or abandoned before hitting them with your leaf blower. To be safe, spray them with a can of wasp killer ahead of time.
During the course of winter, your garage floor may have collected a few unwanted bits caused by wind blowing in debris, or road salt falling from your parked vehicles. Some of it will have settled in difficult-to-reach spots underneath workbenches and behind bicycles, etc.
Instead of trying to move everything so you can get a broom back there, why not use a low-power setting on your leaf blower and blast it right out the open garage door?
Obviously, you’ll wish to wear hearing protection in a somewhat enclosed space, in addition to goggles. Make sure your aim is low, so that you don’t blow lighter items off of shelves or wall racks.
Cleaning the Lower Parts
Your previous work doing the upper portions of your house may have added to the detritus that winter has already deposited in and behind any bushes alongside your exterior walls. This is a difficult place to sweep or rake, so let your outdoor power tool do the job.
You can make quick work of removing unwanted leaves and trash by directing a powerful stream of air along the lower walls and behind the greenery. Blow that junk right out into the open yard, where it’s much easier to collect.
If your home has a deck or a raised porch, spend a quick minute or two removing any rubbish that may have settled on or underneath. Your leaf blower can do its magic here with much less back-bending effort on your part.
Tidying Outdoor Equipment and Appliances
Before moving on to the yard and driveway, you may wish to spend some time getting your mower, garden tractor, or other power equipment cleaned up for the season ahead. A leaf blower can come in pretty handy in this instance.
Perhaps, like many people, you gave last autumn’s lawn one last cutting before putting away your mower. Maybe it was on a weekend and you rushed inside to watch the football game, meaning to go back out later and clean the clippings from under the mower deck or around the motor. But, like many people, you forgot, and just never got back to it.
Those grass clippings have now dried and partially solidified on your equipment. So roll the mower out into the yard or on the driveway and give it a quick going-over with a powerful jet of air. Remember, a clean machine works better.
While you’re at it, this method works great on BBQ grills, smokers, trailers, and many other items that are used and oftentimes stored outdoors. So don’t forget to give them a bit of love and attention while you have your leaf blower out.
Finally, the Yard
Now that you have cleaned from the top down, you can direct your attention to the yard. Your leaf blower can now help to rid your lawn and driveway of any leftover leaves, dirt, rubbish, etc. Start on one end, blow it to the other end, then you can bag it up for trash collection.
For other uses or more detailed instructions on spring cleaning with your leaf blower, see this article on using your power tool year-round.
Do you have any other chores that you have made easier by using your leaf blower? Feel free to comment below!