Being that it’s the middle of January here in the upper Midwest, we are in the grips of old man winter. Nonetheless, many of my friends and I have been making our summer plans for camping, road trips, and cutting back our post-holiday waistlines.
Of course, the official start of summer is still more than six months away, so there are few more pages on the calendar to be flipped, before we can get overly excited about the joys of summer time. So, we stay hunkered done and continue to run from warm place to warm place trying to keep our hope alive that summer will be here eventually.
Oh boy, though, once the weather warms enough to enjoy some time outside activities, we hit the door running. For many home owners, me especially, we get outside and our joy is stemmed a bit as we begin to notice how the receding snow pack is reveling how filthy your home became through the late fall and winter. It’s likely your windows have collected dust and dirt from when you picked up the leaves, your concrete driveway is covered in sand and salt, and your siding isn’t looking so fresh from the resident insects or spiders.
Before you get to go out and play, one way to subside the nagging feeling that you must tend to your property, is to hire a professional, like Wash Masters, to take care of it all. If that isn’t possible, then the old adage comes in to play – “If it is to be, than it’s up to me!”, which is what leads me to write this article. I want to share some tips in order to get this work done, with enough time left for you to get out and enjoy the weather too!
Let’s start with cleaning your windows. Recently, I wrote a piece on how to clean your windows like a professional. Please refer to it, as just following those directions alone will free up some decent grilling time on the schedule, plus, you’ll have perfectly cleaned window to watch the trees begin to bud up.
Next up is cleaning the your homes siding. To deliver the best results, I recommend utilizing a pressure washer. Owning a pressure washer has several great uses around your home and the cost to purchase one is more affordable than ever. To that end, you can also rent one for between $50-$100/day. Many units will have great features like inline soap/detergent feeders or foam cannon spraying wands that allow you to achieve some incredible results. Always keep in mind that pressure washers are powerful machines and are capable of causing property damage or bodily harm. Exercise caution when operating it around others.
Many would argue that you only need to clean your gutters out in the fall, after most of the leaves have already fallen for the season. I’ve just not subscribed to that notion, as I know that debris will collect in the gutters all the way through winter. When the spring rain comes, you want your gutters free of obstructions to carry all that water away from your foundation. There are many ways you can clean gutters. Depending on how tall your home is, you might need to use a ladder to reach the highest peaks, as well as hand clean those gutters.
4. Garage Floor
For all of us in the north, we have to deal with snow for nearly a third of the year. Typically you’re having to drive through the snow and eventually you end up tracking much of that road filth all over your garage floor. First vacuum or sweep the floor to collect the majority of the dirt. Then mix a bucket of warm water, along with a little dish soap and a cup of vinegar to make the easiest work of the job and buy yourself a 30″ push broom that has a floor squeegee on it. Your garage is likely slanted from the back to the front, so start in the back and work your way up front. Pour the water in the area you’re cleaning, scrub it with the broom. Once you’ve scrubbed it all, begin to squeegee it away.
5. Walkways & Hardscape
Now that you’ve cleaned your garage, you’ve likely squeegeed all the dirt from the garage on to the driveway. Logically, it would make sense to clean that off next, however I would urge you not to, just yet. Ideally, you’ll want to clean the driveway in a similar way that you did the garage floor – collect all the dirt/debris off the hard surface first, then wet and scrub, then instead of using the floor squeegee, rinse it with the garden hose. While you’re waiting for the driveway to dry, clean your hardscapes and walkways. When cleaning these areas, use just plain water and scrub it with the push broom. For harder surface, like concrete and wood, your pressure washer will come in handy. Make sure to do a small test area, to prevent unnecessary damage.
Although every home is different, by getting out there early and concentrating on these 5 areas, you can get back to enjoying those long summer days, with a house that looks amazing!