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Maintaining Common Backyard Items

Wednesday, June 15, 2022   /   by Bell Home Team

Maintaining Common Backyard Items

With every new season, your backyard space is exposed to the elements. Through rain, snow, and heat, the items in that space can take a serious beating.

Maintaining and replacing the things in your backyard may not be fun, but it’s part of the responsibility of having a backyard, right? So look at it this way: Extra hours spent on upkeep will make you want to spend as much time as possible in your outdoor oasis.

“Many people tend to focus on their front yard for curb appeal and resale value, but the backyard is really where homeowners can have an extension of their home,” says Jeff Beck, CEO of Leaf Home. “Focusing on repairing and updating the spaces is a valuable investment in both time and money—be it replacing patio doors, refinishing a deck, or building out a patio.”

So just how long are the furnishings, fixtures, and tools in your backyard supposed to last?

Patio furniture

Stylish and functional outdoor seating is a must, but patio furniture doesn’t last forever.

“In general, a patio sofa should last from 7 to 15 years, a patio coffee table should last from 5 to 20 years, and patio chairs should last from 5 to 15 years, depending on the quality of the item, frequency of use, environmental conditions, and the frequency of maintenance,” says Manuel Munoz, a production designer at Living Spaces. “For instance, patio furniture left uncovered in harsh heat and cold will need to be replaced more frequently than patio furniture used in a mild climate.”

Concrete patio

Concrete tends to crack—eventually. Its life span is determined by weather conditions and how well the patio was poured.

“Expect a concrete patio to last around 40 years in favorable conditions, but that number is cut in half when the concrete is exposed to shifting soil conditions or salt for ice protection,” says Matt Blashaw, TV host and licensed contractor. “I recommend installing pavers instead. Not only do you get so many more varieties of color and texture, but it’s also significantly less likely to get cracks because of the many joints between each paver.”

Mower blades

Keeping your backyard lawn a perfect sea of green is the goal, but that’ll be possible only if your mower blades are in tiptop shape.

“Mower blades should be sharpened every 25 hours of run time,” says Blashaw. “The blades will reach the end of their life span around 350 to 400 hours. At that time, the blades will have tons of wear and tear and be beyond fixing with just a simple sharpening.”

When replacing, Blashaw recommends using high-quality carbon steel.

Patio doors

Generally speaking, it’s a good idea to replace the doors to your backyard before the summertime.

“If you like to entertain outside or have family members running in and out of the house, the doors tend to get some wear and tear,” says Beck. He says you should replace them if they’re hard to open and close, or if they’re cracked and dangerous to the safety of your household and guests.

Patio screens

Patio screens can last anywhere from 5 to 15 years, say the experts.

“The majority of screen frames made in the last 30 years are fiberglass,” says Scott Walker, CEO of Screenmobile. “On top of the base is a vinyl coating, and the sun will break down the vinyl over time. If you rub the frame and white lines appear or the vinyl is coming off, a replacement is needed. 

Walker says gaps larger than the standard holes in the screen also warrant screen replacement.

“Updating the screening before peak season is critical so that you can keep your house pest-free during the summer and fall months,” he says.

Pool pump 

Your swimming pool pump circulates thousands of gallons of water per week through your pool, so it’s important that it is optimally functioning.

“Your pump requires regular cleaning and maintenance to the surrounding area to ensure it’s free of algae and debris,” says Stewart Vernon, founder and chief operating officer of America’s Swimming Pool Co. “Pool pumps older than 7 to 10 years may see frequent breakdowns, and the cost to maintain and repair will outweigh the value of the pool pump.”

If it’s running slower than usual, making noise, overheating, or shutting off on its own, your pump probably needs to be replaced.

Bear in mind that recent U.S. Department of Energy regulations require new pool pumps to meet minimum energy-efficiency standards.

Floodlights and sensors

Backyard lighting brings ambiance and also keeps would-be prowlers away. So it’s important that it’s up to snuff.

“Security floodlights and sensors should be regularly maintained and replaced if they become damaged,” says Charlie Wendland, head of claims at Branch Insurance. “You may also want to consider taking the opportunity to replace your old system and upgrade to a new smart home security system if you haven’t already.” 

Wood fence posts

Wood fences made of rot-resistant materials should last 15 to 20 years, but the actual posts need to be replaced sooner, says Blashaw.

“The posts are typically the first element of a fence that fail,” he explains. “This is due to standing water at the base or insects that enter from the ground and begin to eat from the bottom up.”

If and when you do replace your fence posts, Blashaw recommends using galvanized metal fence posts set in at least 24 inches of concrete. Or, if you stick with wood, apply Spectracide Bug Stop to “eliminate wood-destroying pests like termites as well as hundreds of other harmful insects.”


Article via: Realtor.com