Winter is over, spring has finally arrived, and everything is filthy!
Well, that just won’t do. Here’s a comprehensive list of 10 ways to get the exterior of your home looking springtime fresh!
1. Clear the Gutters
We’ll start near the top of the house and work our way down. It’s important to take care of this before springtime rains hit, otherwise you run the risk of letting rainwater spill over the edges. That could cause damage to soil and plants below, or it could cause water damage to the house itself. Make sure to, at a minimum, use protective gloves to avoid insect bites and cuts from metal flashing. Some kind of scoop or a pressure washer may also come in handy.
2. Remove Cobwebs from Eaves
Some folks might be tempted to leave spiders alone, since they eat insects that you don’t want around the house, but you don’t necessarily want to host a poisonous spider colony either. Use a brush or duster with a long handle to clear out the dark nooks and crannies under the eaves. You can remove the webs from the duster by brushing it off on the lawn.
3. Wash Windows
Dirt seems to show up more easily on glass than other surfaces, so cleaning your windows will have a major effect on the outward appearance of your home. Consider using a steam cleaner to quickly and effectively remove all the accumulated deposits and dirt, without wasting water or having to scrub.
4. Mend Fences
With wooden fences, it’s important to periodically check for rot and other damage, and to treat the wood for weather protection. Rotten boards are homes for insects that you don’t want anywhere near your house, like termites. They can also be easily broken and allow access to your yard by larger animals, or let your own pets escape. This latter point applies to metal fences, too, if they start to curl away from the ground.
5. Tidy up the Lawn and Garden
You most likely made sure to rake up leaves during autumn, but a few more probably blew in from your neighbors during the winter. They may have been buried under snow, but now they’re visible and the grass beneath them isn’t. Rake them up, and while you’re there, pull up those few stray weeds that have snuck in. Prune dead branches to make room for springtime growth. Make sure to use both arms and avoid unnecessary movements in order to protect yourself from having a sore back later.
6. Pressure Wash
This is the spring cleaner’s best friend. They call water the universal solvent, and blasting it at high pressure makes it even more so! Some specific points about how to use this tool on different parts of the house include the following:
Make sure that the siding can handle the pressure. Some materials can be destroyed under high water pressure, or at a minimum have their paint stripped off. Adjust the pressure accordingly.
Use the pressure washer here to rinse off after wiping the whole door down with soapy water. You may also want to give it a pre-rinse to remove the loose dirt. Just be careful with the paint!
After organizing all of the stuff you have in the garage, and after dusting, sweeping, and vacuuming all surfaces inside, it’s time to blast out the grease. After treating the concrete floor with a specialized water-activated garage floor cleaner, use the pressure washer to sweep it all out.
Get rid of that permanent garbage stink by using the pressure washer to stir up some dish soap and scour the inner surface of each can, especially the bottom.
The same rules apply about being careful with the pressure: you don’t want to strip the wood bare or cut through it. Just wash it with a special deck-cleaning solution before restaining it.
7. Paint Everything
The winter weather has probably done a number on your home’s exterior paint. Now’s the time to freshen up with a new coat. Take the opportunity to change colors too.
8. Tidy Up the Front Porch
This is the first place visitors will likely get close to your house, and so it makes a big first impression. Replace dead light bulbs and clean the dead bugs out of their fixtures. Sweep out corners and the rest of the front steps. Wipe down the front door, and maybe give it a fresh coat of paint, too. Add some new decorative plants to give it a more welcoming feeling.
9. Clean the Grill
Summer is coming, and you want those steaks and burgers to taste great. That means scraping off the old grease and dust. Consider using a grill brush that can also steam-clean using the heat of the grill itself!
10. Shine Up the Patio Furniture
All you need here is a cordless vacuum, a brush, a rag, and a little bit of water mixed with dish soap. Brush off the loose dirt, vacuum the cushions, and wipe down the hard materials with the rag and soapy water. Rinse, dry, and enjoy for the rest of the season!