Adding Curb Appeal: The Ultimate Exterior Home Cleaning Checklist

If you’re like most homeowners, each year you compile a spring cleaning list near the end of winter. However, one area that’s often neglected is the outside of our homes. If you’re looking to boost your curb appeal, you can’t let anything slip through the cracks. This year, make sure you take care of the exterior of your home and your property as well as everything inside your house.

Not sure where to begin? We’re here to help. Keep reading for a quick exterior home cleaning checklist.

Keep the Grass Cut Short

One of the first rules of keeping up your curb appeal is learning basic yard care tips. An unkempt yard with long grass and weeds growing everywhere presents the idea that you don’t care. That, or you’re too lazy to mow the yard.

However, mowing the yard once every week to two weeks is a simple exterior home cleaning chore with spectacular results. A well-trimmed lawn looks neat, clean, and inviting. It also helps cut down on unwanted pests.

Trim All Vegetation

While you’ve got your tool shed open, you should also take care of all the other vegetation on your property. Weeds, bushes, trees, and other plant life should not be allowed to grow helter-skelter. 

First, no vegetation should be touching your house. Tree limbs can damage your house while other plants can provide pathways for insects and other pests to get on and into your home. 

Take Care of the Roof and Gutters

Whether you’re trying to sell your house or just make sure it’s in great condition, you need to check the roof and gutters. Clogged gutters can lead to all sorts of problems, like water damage, negative drainage, and more. If you don’t feel safe getting up on a ladder to clean gutters, hire some professionals to do it for you.

While you’re at it, it might be a good idea to have your roof inspected for damages. Additionally, though moss and other plant life growing on your roof have a certain aesthetic appeal, it’s really bad for the integrity and longevity of your roof. Make sure your roof is completely clean and free of vegetation.

Consider Adding a Fresh Coat of Paint

Depending on how old your home is and the condition of your exterior paint, it may be time for a fresh coat. If you have faded, peeling, cracking, or chipping paint, repainting will help protect the integrity of the home. It will also be vital if you plan to sell it. 

Take this exterior home cleaning chore as an excuse to give your home a fresh, new look. If your siding is damaged from hail, wind, and other elements, it might be a good time to invest in new repairs/replacements.

Wash the Exterior

Alternatively, if your exterior paint is still in good condition, a good power washing might be all your home needs. We recommend going with a professional power washing service, however, to avoid accidentally damaging your home. Many homeowners attempt to save money on their outside home cleaning and end up causing damage with DIY power washing.

Accentuate Your Front Porch

Nothing adds charm and character to a home quite like a warm and inviting front porch. Start your outside spring cleaning project by restaining or replacing worn-out decking. If not, just give it a good power-washing. 

Then, repaint your front door with a vibrant, stand-out color-pop that fits with the rest of your color scheme. It may also be a good idea to replace the door hardware. This includes the handle, knocker, and deadbolt. 

Lastly, consider updating your house numbers with something more artistic or decorative. You can also add a more traditional touch with a classic mailbox mounted on the home near your front door.  

Get Your Windows Cleaned

Don’t forget about your windows on your exterior home cleaning checklist. Having a beautifully cleaned house will lose its appeal if your windows are left smudged, smeared, dusty, or otherwise filthy. 

If you have a taller home with multiple stories, you may feel uncomfortable getting up on a ladder to clean your windows. If so, think about hiring a professional window cleaning service to get the job done for you. Most people don’t realize how dirty their windows are until they get them cleaned. 

Clear Sidewalks, Walkways, and Driveways

Pathways and driveways were created to make our lives more convenient.

They keep your shoes clean while walking up to the front door. They keep you from tripping over debris in the yard. And they help you avoid things like mud, water, snow, and ice. 

If you haven’t kept your sidewalks, pathways, and driveway clean, now is the time. There shouldn’t be overgrown vegetation creeping onto these paths. Nor should there be any clutter, garbage, yard furniture, or toys. 

Create an Appealing Outdoor Living Area

One thing most homeowners don’t take advantage of enough is outdoor living space. Your porch, patio, deck, and yard are all extensions of your home. Make them feel warmer and more inviting by adding outdoor furniture, like a table and chairs for dining outside. 

You can also incorporate a grill, a porch swing, a backyard fire pit, and more. Ultimately, it depends on what your purpose is for this exterior home cleaning. Either way, you’ll add curb appeal and improve your quality of life at home.

Add More Plants

Though one of your biggest struggles as a homeowner will be keeping the grass mowed, the weeds pulled, and the trees trimmed, adding more plants is never a bad idea. For example, plant flowers along the walkway leading to your front door. 

You can also use potted plants to keep things easier and cleaner. If you really want to connect with nature, plant a vegetable garden.

Planting fruits and vegetables in your own yard and watching them grow is incredibly rewarding. Not only that, but the image of a full garden warms the heart and makes people appreciate life. Be warned, however, that taking care of a garden takes a lot of work and dedication.

Need Help With Your Exterior Home Cleaning?

What kind of homeowner are you? Are you the type that enjoys home maintenance and exterior home cleaning? If not, don’t feel bad, there’s nothing that says owning a home means you have to like doing chores. 

Whatever camp you find yourself in, know that you don’t have to do everything yourself. If you’re looking for help with your spring cleaning list, we’ve got your back. We specialize in gutter cleaning, window cleaning, and power washing, contact us today to see what we can do for you.

How Often Should You Power Wash Your Home?: A Definitive Guide

Is your house starting to look grimy and dirty? Does its facade or siding look faded or mottled? If so, then you need to use a power washing service to add some shine to the exterior of your home. 

If you are thinking of using a power washing service, but are wondering how often should you power wash your house, then have no fear. Below, we have compiled a complete guide with everything you must know about power washing services. 

What is Power Washing?

Power washing is a method of cleaning a surface, in which a high-pressure jet of hot water is fired from a power washing device. This high powered jet strips away grime, dirt, dust, and stains. It is much easier to do than scrubbing away at a surface, and you can usually stand back and get hard to reach places without the use of a ladder. 

There are actually three different methods you can use for home cleaning. Very often, people can get them confused. The three methods are power, pressure, and soft washing. 

Pressure washing is not as intense as power washing. It uses cold water, in contrast to the hot water used in power washing. It is ideally suited for washing smaller items like garden furniture and patios. 

Soft washing is not as powerful as either, and instead of blasting the dirt off with water, it applies a soap solution. This soap solution does the cleaning and is useful for softer surfaces which could be damaged if power washed over a long period of time. 

Benefits of Power Washing

There are a number of benefits to power washing your home. The first is that power washing can actually increase the value of your property and is estimated that for every power wash, you can add between $10,000 to $15,000 to the possible sale price. This is a huge return on investment, as power washing, a house can often cost as little as $100.

Another benefit is that they remove any mold and mildew on the surface of the home. This can show up as white, black, or grey spots. Mold will usually grow somewhere that is damp, so you may get it close to gutters or drains. 

If the mold works its way into your home, it can cause a number of health problems. Mold spores are responsible for exasperating breathing problems and asthma, and they can actually work their way in through cracks, doors, and windows. Make sure you eliminate them as soon as possible. 

Mold is a problem as not only does it look unsightly, it can also contribute to rot and decay in the property. It can also stop blemishing and fading in siding, meaning that you do not have to shell out for expensive repairs and replacements as often. You can even request power washing services for specific areas to keep costs low, such as driveways, gutters, roofs, and walkways. 

Finally, it makes your house look clean and well kept. You will be surprised how well your home looks once it has airborne pollutants removed from the surface. Having a property that looks old and decrepit on the outside, can make people assume it is the same on the inside. 

How Often Should You Power Wash Your House?

How often you should be power washing your home can vary depending on the climate and conditions. The best way to tell is to use your judgment. If your home looks dirty, or you can see the growth of mold and mildew, then it may be time to call in some power washing services. 

There are a few events that may require the need for a power wash. If you have been through a large storm, hurricane, or tornado, you will find your home pitted with dirt that has been carried by winds. Even intense rain, or hot and humid weather conditions, can start to cause dirt build-up in and around the home. 

Another time you should consider a power wash is when you have exterior projects planned. Paint and other surface coverings will adhere better to clean surfaces. Power washing is a great way to give a full clean to the surface. 

Is There a Best Time to Power Wash?

If you are thinking of power washing your home regularly, then you should try to do it at the end of each season. This allows you to strip away any dirt and grime. The most important time will be taking the dust off at the end of summer, and clearing leaves and sap in autumn.

If you are doing it less, try to find a clear, sunny day to conduct your power washing. This allows you to see the job you are doing and also lets the sun dry the house quickly. 

If you occupy a homeowners community, you should always check with the homeowners representative before booking a power wash. Dirt on the roof or siding could constitute an HOA violation, and you may find that there is shared money in the homeowner’s fund to pay for a power wash of multiple properties.

Starting the Power Wash

Now you know how often should you power wash your house, you can begin to find a professional service. Decide on if you want a full or partial wash, and ask for a quote.

My Window Washing is a fully insured and licensed gutter cleaning and power washing company serving Chicago and the surrounding area. With more than 20 years of experience, we use environmentally safe, bio-degradable products to make your house looks shiny and new. Call us today for a quote, so we can get cleaning your property immediately!

This Is How to Pressure Wash a Deck the Right Way

Many people think pressure washing a deck is straightforward. You simply attach the pressure washer to a water supply, fill up the soap container, and blast away. However, pressure washing can go very wrong if you don’t know what you’re doing.

If you aim too close to the wood, you can cause permanent damage. If you don’t get close enough, you won’t remove the grime and will have to do it all over again. The task takes a certain level of knowledge and finesse.

Here, you can learn how to pressure wash a deck the right way, so you can keep your deck looking pristine for longer.

Identify When Your Deck Needs a Pressure Wash

Before you consider power washing a deck, you should decide if it’s necessary. Pressure washers are powerful, and you should only need to use one every few years for your deck. Unless you see serious grime, you can make do by applying some cleaning solution and washing it away with a hose.

That said, if you live in an area that experiences heavy winters or other types of inclement weather, you may need to power wash more often. Keep an eye out for mold buildup and staining from dirt. If it gets to a point where it’s not coming loose easily, it’s time for a power wash.

You should also learn how to pressure wash a deck before staining it. Your deck may not have grime on it, but the color of the stain may wear away. While you can apply a new layer of the stain without power washing, a pressure wash can help prepare the wood to absorb the stain.

It will last longer afterward, and you won’t have to worry about dirt getting stuck under the stain.

Prepare the Deck for Washing

Now that you’ve identified it’s time to power wash your deck, you should take some safety precautions. You may think you can turn on the pressure washer and start washing right away but deck power washing is dangerous. You shouldn’t underestimate the pressure at which the water shoots out.

With this in mind, you should put on some heavy rainboots or other footwear that will protect your feet. You should also wear safety goggles and gloves to protect against any loose debris that may come at your face while spraying. You should also wear pants to protect your legs for the same reasons.

Never point the pressure washer at someone else, and don’t operate it from a ladder. You should treat it as a serious power tool because it is one.

Next, you should prepare your deck by removing any and all objects from the area. Doing so will make it easier to maintain fluid motions and clean in an even layer. You should also cover any objects that can’t be moved, close the windows, and sand down any splinters.

Study How to Pressure Wash a Deck and Begin the Process

Now, you should take the time to scrub the wood before pressure washing, especially if you see grime. Most pressure washers come with a soap dispenser mode, so fill it up with a cleaner that will work for your wood. Switch to soap-only mode, and begin to cover any areas with grime.

Then, you should use a synthetic scrubbing brush to massage the sprayed areas. This step will loosen the grime, making it easier to blast away stains during the washing phase. Make sure you pay particular attention to hard-to-reach areas, like corners.

Now, you can begin the power wash. Switch to a wide nozzle and keep about a 2-foot distance from the wood while using the washer. This may seem far, but if you go too close to the wood, you may strip it.

While using the pressure washer, you should go from one side of the deck to the other for every plank. Use a sweeping motion as you go to ensure you’re cleaning off all the soap and gunk underneath. The sweeping motion will also help you cover each area with even pressure.

If you have a large deck, you may need to split the wash into sections, because you don’t want the soap to dry. Take it slow, and be methodical about your approach. If you need help, look up some videos online and study them prior to washing a deck on your own.

You may need to adjust the distance from which you’re spraying, depending on the strength of the pressure. You should never get closer than six inches to the wood, though. Try to stay consistent with the distance throughout the process, as well.

Maintain the Deck for Longevity

Once you’re done washing the deck, let it dry for 24 hours. It may look good while wet, but you’ll see the actual results after it’s had time to dry all the way. Inspect the deck and take stock of how it looks.

If you’ve done everything correctly, you should see a uniform pattern from the power washing. If you spot any residue or areas where the wash clashes with the grain of the wood, you may want to go over the spots with the pressure washer again. Taking your time is key to power washing a deck successfully.

Now that the wood has been cleaned and stripped of grime, you can sand it and apply your stain of choice. Power washing a deck before staining will allow the wood to absorb the stain better and deeper. After that, you can begin enjoying your deck, but you should inspect it about every year.

Look for damage or mold buildup during your annual inspection. It’s best to do this after winter, so you can reapply stain in the spring and get it looking good for the summer months. With regular care and maintenance, your deck will last for a long time.

Turn to Professionals You Trust

With this short guide on how to pressure wash a deck, you can tackle the process with the information you need to know. Deck power washing isn’t easy, though, and you may want to turn to a professional cleaning service to tackle the job. An experienced team will understand how to quickly clean your deck and leave it in pristine shape.

Partnering with a professional cleaning service will save you time and effort. If you need help, you can learn more about our pressure washing services here. Our team can give your deck the attention it deserves.

Deck Maintenance: How Power Washing and Care Extends a Deck’s Lifespan

Do you have a deck on your home, or are you thinking about having one built? This can really enhance your outdoor living space and add value to your home.

Having a deck professionally installed will run you about $31 a square foot. It’s an excellent investment, but you’ll want to make sure that you take good care of it so that it lasts for years. 

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7 Important Benefits of House Pressure Washing (And the Ugly Consequences If You Don’t)

A mold-covered, mildewy home is far less likely to sell than a pristine, freshly-painted one. Yet, climbing onto a ladder to scrub hard-to-reach places is no homeowner’s idea of a relaxing weekend. Fortunately, the extended reach and spray of a pressure washer can blast away dirt and grime. This leaves you with a squeaky-clean home that’s bound to impress potential buyers.

House pressure washing isn’t a complicated process. And, it’s one of the most environmentally-conscious ways of cleaning a home’s exterior. Residents can enjoy improved health after pressure washing their homes. They can also enjoy increased property values. Keep reading to discover some of the most astounding benefits of an outside house cleaning.

Continue reading “7 Important Benefits of House Pressure Washing (And the Ugly Consequences If You Don’t)”

8 Must-Read Tips for Pressure Washing Vinyl Siding and Gutters

1. Perform an Eye Test

Before anything else, take a few circles around the house and make sure all siding is still in place.

Obviously, with pressure washing, any loose siding will fly off and any cracks will give water access to undesirable places.

Close all of the windows on the house, make sure there aren’t any places where the water can get through. Once everything looks intact, your eye test has commenced! Continue reading “8 Must-Read Tips for Pressure Washing Vinyl Siding and Gutters”

Power Washing Tips

Power Wash 7
Why power wash your home’s surfaces? Overtime your home’s siding, sidewalks, deck and other surfaces accumulates dirt, mildew, mold and stains. This not only impacts your abode’s appearance; it can also impact indoor air quality. Power washing can remove allergen in and around your home Moreover, left unaddressed exterior grime buildup can lead to significant stains and damage. Finally, power washing is the best way to prepare surfaces for paint, stain, sealing or refinishing.

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