Cleaning the outside of your home is a good project for the fall. Summer’s heat and humidity can take its toll on the external appearance of your home. Dirt, algae, and mildew can build up on siding and screens. Here are some tips on how to clean your home’s exterior.
Most advice about exterior cleaning goes straight to the pressure washer; however, such extremes are often not necessary. Unless there is an extreme build-up of grimy dirt, start more gently with an extendable bristle brush, a mild solution of water and vinegar or biodegradable dish soap, and a garden hose. Power washers can damage brick, stucco, and siding and drive water under shingles or inside the siding, possibly causing unseen water damage.
If you must use a pressure washer, set it on a lower pressure setting (read the instructions about what the marks on the dial mean) and always spray at a downward angle. Pressure washers can break windows and bones and even damage concrete. They must be used with extreme caution.
Rinse, Wash, Rinse
Make sure all your windows are securely closed. If you’ll be using any detergent, vinegar, or a siding cleaning kit that attaches to your hose, cover sensitive plants with plastic. Using a garden hose, give the outside of the home a good rinse. Then, using your extendable brush, gently scrub areas that still look dirty. Rinse again.
Wash the Windows
Remove screens and hose off debris and dust. While they are drying, wash the windows and squeegee them clean. Many window systems now allow you to open windows inward and clean them from the inside of the house, making it unnecessary to get on a ladder outdoors. If it isn’t safe for you to climb a ladder, hire a window washing company to do it for you.
Don’t Forget the Porch, Deck, and Pool Screen
Clean other areas of the outside of your home besides the siding and windows. Look up and under the soffits, and dust them off—insects like to make nests or webs under the eaves. Clean outdoor furniture and cover or store any pieces for the winter months when they are not in use. Clean your discolored pool screen enclosure, consider hiring a professional to power wash and seal your deck, and clean stains off your patio and driveway.
A home that sparkles outside attracts admiration and buyers; if you should decide to list your home for sale, that will be a huge perk.