Every spring, Americans all over the country take advantage of the changing weather and warmer temperatures to clean their homes, inside and out. While nicer weather makes it easier to open up windows, allow fresh air into a home, and streamline the cleaning process for the inside of the home, it’s also a great time to tackle the home’s exterior. This spring you can make cleaning easier on yourself by developing a checklist of every part of your home’s exterior you should clean.
The following guidelines can help you focus your efforts on the parts of your home’s exterior that demand the most attention and potentially save you from extraneous work. “Cleaning” the exterior of your home likely involves much more than just some soap and water. You should plan for close inspection around your home, repairing anything that may have sustained damage during the winter, cleaning, and then preparing for warm weather.
Inspecting Your Home’s Exterior
Winter can be harsh in many areas of the United States. If you live in an area that receives lots of snow and ice, you should take care to inspect your home’s exterior carefully to check for any signs of water damage or physical damage that could eventually lead to water damage. For example, melting snow can seep into siding and cause it to warp or pull away from the walls, eventually allowing water to reach the interior of the home and cause substantial damage. Missing shingles after a severe storm can also lead to water damage; the roof bed will be unprotected against rain if you allow missing shingles to go unaddressed for too long.
Take time to do a thorough inspection of your roof, siding, and windows. Look for missing or damaged roof shingles and pay close attention to any parts of your roof that appear sunken or distressed; these are the areas most likely to leave your home vulnerable to water damage. Check your home’s siding for any bulges or warping that could allow water to enter. If you plan to power-wash your siding, you need to be sure you won’t be blasting water through cracks or gaps in warped or damaged siding.
Windows are another area of your home’s exterior that need attention this spring. While it’s relatively easy to keep tabs on your windows from inside of your home, it may be more difficult to identify issues caused from the outside. Look carefully around your exterior windows, using a ladder if necessary, to check the windows on your upper floors. Look for any gaps or cracks around the edges of the windows. If you notice any problems that you don’t feel confident addressing on your own, contact a reliable window replacement team to inspect them with a professional’s perspective.
Cleaning Your Home’s Exterior
Once you’ve carefully examined your home’s exterior from top to bottom, it’s time to start cleaning. If you notice any significant issues that will require repairs, it’s probably a good idea to handle those issues first before investing a lot of time in cleaning. While you may need to do some spot cleaning around windows you want to replace, any work done to your house could potentially lead to more cleaning, so it’s best to tackle all of it at once.
When you’re ready to clean, start from the top down. If you have a metal roof, it’s a good idea to give it a thorough cleaning to remove any accumulated dirt and debris from the winter precipitation to preserve the metal’s coating. Again, refer to a professional if you have a high roof, so they can handle it safely with proper equipment. Once your roof is clean, start working on your siding before you start cleaning your window exteriors. If you spend the time cleaning your windows before you tackle the siding, you will probably wind up making them dirty again. Clean your siding with a hose or power washer, depending on what type of siding or exterior walls you have. A power washer is ideal for concrete and heavy-duty vinyl siding, and you can also use a power washer to restore concrete walkways around your home’s exterior.
Save cleaning your windows for last. Use a ladder to reach high windows and clean them in stages. Start with soap and water to remove any dirt accumulation. If you plan to use window screens during the spring, make sure they’re clean before attaching them to your windows. Clean inside the windowpane tracks thoroughly and make sure you remove the bulk of the dirt from the outside of the panels. The next step is to use a window cleaning product to remove streaks and give your windows a great shine. Some of these products can also help water bead more effectively off your windows and prevent water spots and streaks from forming during the warmer months.
Finishing Your Cleaning and Preparing for Summer
After you finish cleaning the exterior of your home, you may find a mess of dirt and debris in your yard. If your shingled roof sustained any damage during the winter, you may find missing shingles or pieces of shingles scattered in the grass around your yard. Take care to remove these from your yard before your first mowing run of the spring so they don’t damage your lawnmower.
To finish off your exterior cleaning, determine the best time to cut your grass by looking at the weather forecast. It may have partially died or at least didn’t grow very much over the winter, so you want to wait a bit for it to start growing back in before you trim it to encourage healthy growth. Remove weeds and trim back hedges and trees, making sure they aren’t hanging over your roof. Low-hanging tree branches can potentially cause damage to your home’s roof or fall during a storm, possibly causing damage or injury.
Remember that cleaning your home could entail using ladders, power washing equipment, and specialized tools to clean hard-to-reach areas. If you don’t feel comfortable handling this yourself or are not able to do so, it’s worth investing in professional cleaning services and having a reliable contractor inspect your home’s exterior at least once a year. These professionals can not only help you prepare your home for warmer weather but also help you catch any potential issues as soon as possible so you can address them quickly.