Home Fix: Time to change gasoline in all equipment

C. Dwight Barnett
Tribune News Service

This spring has been different from most I remember. There has been heavy spring snowfall in the East, rain in the Midwest and drought relief and flooding in the West. If the weather is uncooperative, it’s hard to plan for spring cleanup and repairs.

When it comes to preparing your tools and home for spring, regardless of the weather, it’s time to change the oil and filter in your gas-powered lawn mower, tiller, power washer, etc. Remove the leftover gasoline in your hand-held, gas-powered lawn trimmer, blower, vacuum, etc. and add a fresh supply of gasoline to all your equipment. Change air filters for your riding mower’s engine and replace older or worn belts.

Check stored garden hoses for cracks or leaks and repair or replace as needed. The hose can rot when improperly stored or can suffer freeze damage if the hose was not fully drained and then stored in an unheated area.

Clean and oil shears and all garden tools. Each time a garden tool is used it should be cleaned, dried and wiped with oil before storage. The oil helps to control rust and wear. A lightweight oil such as “Three in One” or even a vegetable oil will help to preserve the tool.

A wet winter can cause the soils next to the foundation to settle, and runoff water can enter the foundation of the home. By adding and compacting the new soils next to the foundation you can redirect the water away from the home. Seed and straw the new fill to hold the soils in place.

Gutters need to be cleaned, and the downspouts should be directed at least 6 feet away from the foundation. If you have buried downspout drains, use a garden hose to flush the drains to ensure the pipes are not blocked or clogged with debris.

It’s also time to clean, caulk and seal windows and doors. Winter weather can cause caulking to crack or come loose. A tight seal will ensure a cooler, dryer home.

C. Dwight Barnett is a certified master inspector with the American Society of Home Inspectors. Write to him with home improvement questions at C. Dwight Barnett, Evansville Courier & Press, P.O. Box 268, Evansville, Ind. 47702 or e-mail him at d.Barnett@insightbb.com.