Spring is upon us. Every year about this time, the natural desire to deep clean and freshen things up hits most of us at some point. After all, we’ve come out of a long, dark winter and it’s time to knock off the cobwebs. While most of us associate spring cleaning with beating the rugs and wiping out cupboards, the outside of your house also needs a pick-me-up. Here are some ways to spring clean the exterior of your house.
1. Pressure Wash
The pressure washer is your best friend after the damp winter leaves behind mold, moss, mildew, and grime. But be careful because it can be a little addictive. Once you brighten up one space, the next one might look dingy by comparison—and so it continues. If you don’t own a pressure washer, borrow or rent one.
Note: Be cautious of your settings so that you don’t peel paint or damage surfaces. With wood fencing and decking, make sure not to get too close, which can cause the wood to splinter. When cleaning concrete, however, it's safe to get close to the surface. Also wear appropriate shoes and keep the water stream away from bare skin as it will strip that, too. (Hopefully you’ll just have to trust us on this one.)
Start in the front of your house and pressure wash the driveway from the garage to the street. This has a huge impact on your curb appeal. Next, tackle any stones, your porch, and any raised beds. Also, hit the house with a light spray. You’ll be amazed how much grime runs off! Be sure to include the front door for a clean look. Out back, clean up the deck, fencing, garden boxes, patio furniture, and walkways.
Check the caulking around your exterior doors and windows. Temperature changes can cause caulking to expand and shrink, which can result in cracks or peeling. Since caulking keeps moisture from entering the walls and trim, you’ll want to double-check to make sure things are secure. If the caulking looks deeply weathered, scrape it away and apply a new layer of protection. Make sure that the caulking you purchase is for exterior use.
3. Replace Screens
High winds and general wear and tear target screens. Not only are torn or missing screens unsightly, but you’ll have a hard time filtering out the mosquitos without them. Spring is a great time to see which screens need to be replaced so that you can keep those windows open to allow the air in while keeping the bugs out.
Paint offers preservation for your wood, metal, and other outdoor items, but harsh winter weather can take a toll on its effectiveness. Take a look around at your house's exterior and any painted outdoor furniture. Grab your paint can and start doing some touch-ups. It not only helps protect your investment, but also creates a clean look. The same goes for any stained surfaces such as fences and decking.
5. Replace the Doormat
The doormat is one of the first things you see as you approach the house. It should elicit a smile from you and a welcome feeling for your guests. Ditch the grungy doormat and throw a new one down for a quick front porch refresh.
6. Plant Flowers
Flowers provide a natural ability to brighten any space. If you don’t have bulbs or flowering shrubs coming to life, hit up the garden center for some colorful annuals. Plant them in your flower beds or create some hanging baskets for the porch.
7. Clean Light Fixtures
Either lightly spray the light fixtures on your porches and driveway or wipe them out with a rag and cleaner. For a change, you could paint fixtures a different color while you’re at it. Make sure all of your fixtures have working bulbs.
Spring is the season for new beginnings. By tackling a short list of household chores you can move into warmer weather without the weight of winter trailing you. Plus, your house will thank you for the TLC. Happy spring!