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Exterior Cleaning: Tips for a Spotless Home


A clean and well-maintained exterior not only enhances the overall look of your home but also protects it from the elements. Whether you're a seasoned homeowner or a new one, this ultimate guide to exterior cleaning will provide you with valuable tips and tricks to achieve a spotless home. From tackling different surfaces to using the right tools and techniques, let's dive into the world of exterior cleaning.


Before starting any exterior cleaning project, it's essential to assess the cleaning needs of your home. Take a walk around the house and identify areas that require attention. This could include siding, windows, gutters, decks, driveways, and outdoor furniture.


Safety should be your top priority when it comes to exterior cleaning. Consider protective gear such as gloves, goggles, and appropriate footwear. Use a sturdy ladder and ensure it's placed on a stable surface at the correct angle. If the cleaning project seems too challenging or involves working at heights, consider hiring professionals for the job.


Different surfaces require different cleaning solutions. For example, mild soap and water may be suitable for cleaning vinyl siding, so long as there isn’t a ton of algae present, while a specialized cleaner is be needed for porous concrete driveways. Contact the manufacturers and choose the appropriate cleaning solutions to avoid damage and achieve optimal results. Also ask about the right dwell time, how long to let the cleaning agent sit, before rinsing. Most importantly, consider your pets, plants and the grandkids that might crawl around your yard. 


Tools of the Trade: Investing in the right tools will make your exterior

cleaning tasks much easier. Some essential tools include a pressure washer, soft bristle brush, extension poles, squeegee, garden hose, and a bucket. These tools will help you reach high areas, scrub away dirt, and rinse surfaces effectively.


 Cleaning Siding and Windows: Vinyl, aluminum, stucco, EFIS, stone veneer, and wood siding will accumulate dirt, grime, and mildew over time. Check for oxidation before cleaning. Oxidation is simply failed paint. It is not water soluble and you will leave tool marks if it is not addressed and you do not "soft wash" the home.  Use a soft bristle brush or a pressure washer on the lowest setting to remove dirt. For windows, a mixture of vinegar dish soap and water or a window cleaning solution can be used with a squeegee for streak-free results. But this only possible if you use the correct dilution, too much soap leaves a residue. 



Clogged gutters can lead to water damage and affect the overall integrity of your home. Regularly clean out leaves, debris, and ensure the downspouts are clear. Consider installing gutter guards to prevent debris buildup and make future cleaning easier. Do not install gutter guards on homes that are under a canopy of trees. Absence of light will cause m to build up on the inside of the conduits and clog your gutters over time. Having the screens professionally removed when that happens will just increase the time or cost for the maintenance. 




Outdoor spaces like decks and patios require periodic cleaning to remove dirt, mold, and stains. Use a deck cleaner or a solution of water and oxygen bleach to scrub away grime. Rinse thoroughly and consider applying a sealant (when the surface has properly dried) for protection against the elements.



More on driveway and walkway Care: Concrete or asphalt driveways and walkways can accumulate oil stains, dirt, and moss. Use a pressure washer or a specialized cleaner to remove stains. Never apply pressure or chemicals to concrete poured under two years ago. This destroys the cream and exposes the aggregate. For moss, a mixture of bleach and water is effective. Scrub the stains and rinse thoroughly for a clean and inviting entrance. (Do not scrub moss from asphalt roofing however, the roots can tear the shingles)



   

Don't forget to clean and maintain your outdoor furniture for a polished exterior look. Different materials require different cleaning methods. For example, use a mild soap and water solution for plastic furniture, while teak furniture will require a specific cleaner and oil treatment. Consistency is key to maintaining a spotless home exterior. Create a cleaning schedule and perform routine maintenance tasks such as washing windows, cleaning gutters, and inspecting for any repairs needed. Regular maintenance will prevent the buildup of dirt and prolong the lifespan of your exterior surfaces.



With this ultimate guide to exterior cleaning, you now have the knowledge and tips to achieve a spotless home without causing any harm. By assessing cleaning needs, prioritizing safety, using the right tools and cleaning solutions, and maintaining a regular cleaning schedule, you can keep your home's exterior looking its best. A clean and well-maintained exterior not only enhances your home's curb appeal but also protects it for years to come. Start your exterior cleaning journey with some research about your surfaces, for instance, marble is soft (just a 3 on the Mols hardness scale) but quartzite is considerably harder (a 7 on the scale). Use a scrubbing device that is softer than the

material that you are cleaning.  In sum, once you know the physical and chemical properties and tolerances of your surfaces, and have the right tools and solutions mixed in the correct dilutions you will know how to can clean like a true professional. This will help keep your property and things nice for many years to come.

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