For many of us, the upcoming spring season means cleaning out our closets and reorganizing our dresser drawers. The inside of your home is not the only part begging for a little love. Don’t forget to spruce up and clean the exterior of your house this spring season.
Focus on these often neglected areas when cleaning the outside of your home.
1. Yes, You Need to Clean The Gutters
Gutter maintenance is a must! Failing to remove debris and otherwise clean gutters regularly can lead to some pretty big consequences, like cracks in your foundation or–in rare cases–even structural failure and water damage. Protect your home from these problems with a few simple steps:
- Grab two buckets. One will be for debris, especially larger pieces and big, matted clumps of twigs, dirt, and leaves. Use the other bucket for tools. Be careful. Attach the buckets to the ladder, and climb up ladders with one bucket at a time, always watching your step.
- Gather the right tools. Here is what you’ll need: gloves, a big scoop or trowel, a ladder, and a hose. You can purchase specific attachments for your hose to make the job easier.
- Get hands-on first. Use your hands and handheld tools first. For most debris, you may be able to simply reach into the gutter, remove it, and put it into your waiting bucket. If debris is wet or packed down, use a scoop or trowel to loosen and remove this debris.
- Break out the hose. This is the fun part (if there is anything fun about cleaning gutters). After making sure downspouts are clear, position the hose at the opposite end and flush gutters to removing remaining dirt and particles.
- Know when it’s time to let go. There is a possibility that cleaning may not be enough. It may be time to think about purchasing new gutters. According to Angie’s List, it is time to replace gutters when you notice any signs of cracking or splitting, your gutters show signs of considerable rust buildup, there is water damage close to gutters, or the weather- and wear-resistant paint on gutters begins peeling.
2. Get Up On The Roof
Ideally, a professional should take a look at your roof and thoroughly inspect it at least annually. Biannually isn’t a bad idea. Even roofs inspected for signs of critical wear and tear can accumulate a lot of dirt. Some stains may just not look right, while posing relatively low risk to the structural integrity of your roof or home. Others are warning signs of decay and potential damages. Keep an eye out for moss, in particular.
Moss can lead to excess moisture and mildew. It can also absorb surrounding moisture, pulling up roof shingles, damaging shingles, and ultimately negatively affecting the longevity of your rooftop.
Wash away moss using bleach and water. Bleach is a harsh chemical, and it can damage your roof too! To protect your roof from bleach or bleach-based cleaners, make sure it accounts for 50% or less of cleaning solutions. Environmentally friendly cleaners or professional roofing services can also help you remove moss and unsightly stains.
3. Remember You Need To Clean Windows From The Outside!
Cleaning the exterior of your windows can be simple and relatively painless! This Old House suggests that it should take just five to 10 minutes per window and total supplies can cost as little as $25.
One of homeowners’ biggest problems stems from the way they’re approaching the task. Paper towels, a run-of-the-mill glass cleaner, and scrubbing so furiously your arms hurt is counterproductive. Windows look most clean using long strip applicators, squeegees, and just a little bit of dishwashing soap. Using paper towels can actually leave static behind, attracting more dirt.
According to the American Cleaning Institute (ACI), a surprising 91% of us embrace spring cleaning. Do it the right way–by looking at all parts of your home, including the outside. Remove debris from gutters, get rid of moss on rooftops, and squeegee windows for a perfectly clean home.