Westchester Experts on How to Maintain the Exterior of Your Home
Those closets can wait—here’s the rundown on what every homeowner should do outside now.
If bird songs are sounding like threats to your freshly planted grass seed and the spring sun is shining a little too much attention on your cracked driveway, fear not. We spoke to local experts to gauge what you should do to maintain the exterior of your home, how often you should do it, and how much it should cost.
By now, you’ve heard the horror stories about those scary, unidentifiable insects that come out of the woodwork—quite literally—each spring. So now is the time to take preventive action to keep the spring warmth from causing you to wonder what the heck is that crawling up my curtains?
Errol Fisher, owner of Citadel Pest Control in Hartsdale, performs a spring pesticide application along the interior and exterior perimeter of the home as part of a three- or four-season package. Additional advice from the pro: use a dehumidifier in the basement, have your gutters cleaned, remove old mulch, and check weather guards around doors. Preventive pest service should run anywhere from $200 to $250 annually.
According to local expert Jim Capone of Jim’s Driveway Sealing and Paving in Yorktown Heights, homeowners should seal their driveway every two to three years at an average cost of 16 to 20 cents per square foot. Sealant prevents moisture from penetrating asphalt, which causes potholes. It also blocks UV rays, which break down your driveway’s chemical binding. Sealant keeps the driveway looking good, too.
Sealing season begins in April. Bill Jacobson of Castle Driveways in Thornwood says, “the hotter, the better,” and stresses that cracks should be filled with hot tar,
You can power-wash just about anything outside of your home.
According to Lou Da Silva of Da Silva Painting and Remodeling in Ossining, a deck should be power-washed every year—horizontal surfaces require frequent cleaning—and stained every four years. An average power-wash will run $200 to $300, $500 with a stain.
Home siding needs power-washing every two years, but it varies depending on the type of siding. An average-sized home starts at $500. Oxy-bleach in the wash removes mold, pollutants, and algae without removing color. Power-washing can also make your
lawn furniture, pavers, flagstone, etc., look like new.
John Knutson of Lawn King in White Plains divides spring lawn care into two parts:
(1) Early spring lawns need crabgrass control, weed control, and fertilizer.
(2) Late spring requires grub control, spot weed control, and another coat of fertilizer.
Prices start around $80 and can
Trees and Shrubs
William Carey of Master Lawns LLC advises an application of horticultural oil to counter the overpopulation of insects for spring tree maintenance. “We’re expecting to see a lot more insect activity this year due to the mild winter,” he says.