Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Home Maintenance

September 27, 2011 by  
Filed under Blog

Tips for Cleaning Your Home’s Exterior

Maintaining your home is an ongoing project. The exterior requires particular attention, as the weather can wreak havoc on all surfaces. While the weather is still lovely for outdoor projects, take advantage of these tips for exterior cleaning:

  • Once or twice a year, it’s a good idea to power wash your house, particularly if your region has poor air quality or large amounts of dirt deposited by the rain. You can purchase or rent a power washer, which uses your garden hose to shoot a high-pressure jet of water. It’s best to work from top to bottom to push down the dirty water.
  • A solution of 1 tsp. trisodium phosphate dissolved in a gallon of water will clean siding, masonry, rock, wood, and painted surfaces.
  • Mildew can be treated with regular laundry bleach applied with a sponge. Tackle dark or heavy stains with a solution of 1/4 cup muriatic acid in 2.5 cups of water. Use a wire brush and elbow grease. If you have mossy or slimy paths or driveways, water blast or scrub the affected area with a solution of laundry bleach and water (follow instructions on bottle for dilution). Let the solution dry, then hose it off. Don’t water blast your asphalt driveways, as the high pressure spray can damage the surface.
  • Rust on hardware and window screens can be removed with a kerosene-soaked rag.
  • Bring out the beauty of naturally weathered wood with oxalic acid applied with a scrub brush (read the manufacturer’s recommendations for dilution).
  • Keep an eye on trees growing close to your house. Too much shade can cause moisture problems. Trim back branches that can move or damage roof tiles.

  • Plants can cause blockage by growing into drains or weaken foundations by growing under them. Remove or kill these plants to prevent future pro bl ems. If damage has already been caused to the foundations, seek advice from a professional.
  • If your home has foundation vents, keep your plants trimmed back and away from these vents to prevent moisture build-up and allow air to circulate.

While cleaning your home’s exterior, keep an eye out for maintenance problems such as peeling paint, loose bricks or shutters, evidence of excessive moisture, deteriorating eaves and fascia, etc. You should also watch for evidence of pests of all sorts, like termites, spiders, insects, and rodents. They can cause mess and destruction that should not be ignored.

If you are diligent at keeping the exterior of your house clean, it will help you become more aware of problems that might otherwise go unnoticed.


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