It’s time to prep your house and yard for warmer weather. Target these 12 trouble spots and DIY upgrade opportunities to slash utility bills, boost curb appeal, and up your comfort all year long.
Why Now: Sunlight degrades the lignin that bonds wood fibers, allowing water to penetrate and causing the surface to gray. A semitransparent stain fortified with UV blockers can halt damage while giving pressure-treated pine a warm tone that mimics pricey hardwood.
How to Do It: Knock debris and flakes off the wood with a broom. Brush on a nontoxic deck cleaner, then rinse and let dry. Use a landscape pump sprayer to evenly apply a penetrating stain, such as Penofin Verde (about $56 per gallon; decksdirect.com). This high-tech finish, made from Brazilian rosewood oil, comes in 18 colors, offers 99 percent UV protection, and has zero VOCs, so it’s safe for you and the environment.
The Payoff: Extend the life of your fence, and get the look of cedar for about half the price.
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