How to clean the outside of your house and where to start.
Just like cleaning the inside of a house, the best way to attack things outside is to start at the top and work your way down. The following guide will help transform your house from grim to charming as spring approaches. Now put on your boots, put on those old overalls, and let's get started!
While there are many different types of roofing materials used across the country, asphalt shingles are by far the most popular choice. The cleaning tips below are focused on traditional asphalt roofs, but no matter what protects the top of your home, the general process can be followed.
- Use binoculars to assess the situation or use a ladder to climb up for a bird's eye view.
- Remember to follow the correct safety rules when setting up and using ladders.
- Look for any broken or missing shingles that need to be replaced. Any "sliding shingles" that appear to shift may require new fasteners. If many areas on the roof need repairs, it is best to wait for warmer weather, when the asphalt shingles are softer and less likely to break.
- Once everything is solid and secure, start cleaning the roof, using a leaf blower to blow off the leaves, then removing loose debris and sticks by hand.
- Do not use high pressure water when cleaning the roof. The forces involved in high-pressure cleaning can easily tear or remove loose shingles. Stick to the "high capacity, low pressure" approach.
- If your roof is located under trees or in the shade, you may need to wash gently to remove any algae, lichen or moss without damaging your roof, shingles or tiles.
Regular cleaning of the gutters is an important part of home maintenance. Blocked or blocked downspouts and gutters can cause damage to roofs, panels, soffits and siding. If left unattended for too long, clogged gutters can even damage your deck, rafters, and foundations.
- First, assemble the tools needed for the job: ladders, hoses, buckets, shovels or trowels. Gloves can also keep your hands neat while digging through nature's treasure chest.
- Start by clearing leaves, twigs and branches by hand. Then, use a spatula or spoon to remove the gunk from the bottom. You may find that your hands are the best tool for the job, as it can be a chore to fish out debris from around the gutter fasteners while shoveling.
- Next, using the nozzle on the garden hose, flush the gutters with water. Choose the opposite end of the downspout to start with.
- Finally, adjust the hose to maximum force and direct the water into the downspout. If you find any blockage, climb down the ladder and feed the hose from the ground into the downspout. Any remaining blockage may require a plumber's snake to clear.
Praised for its low cost and ease of maintenance, vinyl siding remains the most popular type of cladding material in the United States. Choosing vinyl for your home not only has many benefits, but it's also simple to maintain it with regular care and proper techniques. For that, leave your pressure washer in the garage. They can damage siding by punching holes or forcing water into places where it shouldn't, which can lead to mold and rot problems.
- Start by mixing 70% water and 30% white vinegar to make your own cleaner. If your siding is particularly dirty, consider adding household bleach to the mix for increased mildew protection.There are also many store-bought solutions available.
- Cover any shrubs or flowers you want to protect, and remove anything that might get in the way of hoses and ladders.
- Close Windows and vents, spray water downward, and be ready to clean the area.
- Next, use a pump sprayer to apply the cleaner, then use a soft-bristled brush to remove dirt and mold from textured surfaces.
- The Vinyl Siding Institute says starting at ground level will help prevent exposure, rather than working from top to bottom. Remember to rinse off any residue as you go.
Windows can get very dirty all year round, as pollen, dust, and debris of all shapes and sizes cling to the glass and become entrenched in those little nooks and crannies. Since your roof and siding are already clean, now is the perfect time to focus on your Windows.
- Start with a general wash of the Windows using a garden hose. This removes most of the adhering dirt and grime. When you mix the cleaner, anything left over gets soaked.
- Fill the bucket with clean water and a few drops of your favorite liquid dish soap.
- Depending on its size, dip a microfiber cloth or mop into the mixture and scrub the entire surface. Soak the area with a cleaner, then scrub with a gentle brush to remove excess stubborn stains. Do not use steel wool.
- Next, clean the glass using your favorite store-bought solution, or make your own using a mixture of water, vinegar, and rubbing alcohol. Paper towels can certainly do the job, but microfiber cloths will perform better and leave less waste in the process.
- Don't forget the screen! Once removed, spray with a vinegar solution and rinse with clean water. Be sure to dry properly in a dust-free environment before reinstallation.
- Keep in mind that these same tips can also be used for vinyl patio doors!
Now that you've hit all the dirt and trash onto the floor, it's time to attack those decks and porches. Grab your materials, cover all the precious leaves, and start cleaning!
- First, be careful with the pressure washer. If you are going to use high-pressure water on a wood surface, be aware that you may chip the wood in the process. To be on the safe side, stick with brushes and cleaners to clean wood, and keep pressure washers to clean stone, tile, and concrete surfaces.
- Before you begin, remove any large debris by hand and use an old putty knife to clean the gaps between the decorative boards.
- Use a leaf blower to blow away any residual dust or dirt. Alternatively, clean the area with a good stiff brush.
- Next, wet everything with a garden hose and apply the appropriate cleaner. There are a variety of options to choose from, depending on the material you want to clean. Always follow the manufacturer's instructions.
- Now that everything is wet and ready, scrub the deck with a long-handled brush. Stiff bristles work best.
- Rinse the deck thoroughly with water and dry it.
- If your deck or porch needs a sealant, now is the time. Most environments require sealing every one to three years, but some areas may require more regular treatment.
Congrats! You already did. Now you can sit back and enjoy your newly clean and protected home for the next few months. If you find that good finishing is no longer enough to make your house shine, consider replacing your Windows, patio doors, siding, or blinds to dramatically increase curb appeal, not to mention peace of mind.