Talk dirty to me: spring yard care tips

CONTRA COSTA COUNTY , CA — It’s that time of year for getting dirty in the garden but take note as you move those bags of soil or mulch out of your garage.

If you find rodent droppings, it’s a sign the animals may have taken to the warmth of your garage. Also keep an eye out for any chew marks or droppings at crawl space vents. If you spot trouble, it may be time to call in pest control.

Next up with the “dirty talk” are wood/dirt contacts.

Wooden decks and fence posts should (but don’t always) have concrete footings to protect against this potentially damaging interface. But even with footings, soil or debris can build at the bottoms or sinkage can occur – introducing water to the wood and resulting in rotting.

So, while you are out there planting, look for any rot or soft spongy areas in the wood.

Safe at HomeLastly, vegetation on your wooden fence is beautiful, but it also causes wear on the wood. This can lead to bowing and warping. Out-of-control vines can tangle within the hinges and closures, causing rust.

If you love the look, at least give it a good trim in the spring to minimize your exposure.

Scott Denslow is the owner of Safe at Home Inspection Service. He is an InterNACHI and ASHI certified inspector who has 59 five-star ratings on Yelp. ­Contact him at scott@safeat­ For more info visit