With spring cleaning projects for the inside completed, it is now time to turn your attention to sprucing up the outside of the house, which includes porches, patios, decks and the garage. During the summer months, most people will be spending time outside with family and friends enjoying the warm weather. It is important to have the outdoor areas clean and looking fresh. These areas are usually given a surface clean, but deep cleaning and repairing can be neglected. In order to clean the outside areas of your home, here are a few easy steps to follow:
- Invest in a pressure washer, if you don’t already own one. If you don’t have a pressure washer, you can use a regular hose with the spray attachment. Pressure-wash your deck and patio to remove the layers of dirt, leaves and other items that were left over from the spring rain storms.
- Clean your patio umbrella with water and a mild dish-detergent mixture to avoid stripping the umbrella’s water-resistant coating. Also, make any repairs to the umbrella and make sure that the screws are all tightened.
- There are many different styles of outdoor furniture from metal to wicker. When you are cleaning patio furniture, read the manufacturer’s instructions before cleaning. If you have wicker furniture, vacuum the chairs. If the patio furniture is made of resin, use a scrubbing solution of ¾ cup bleach and 1 tablespoon of laundry detergent mixed with one gallon of warm water. Warm water dissolves grime and dirt better than cold or very hot water. For metal furniture, use a laundry detergent mixture. Keep an eye out for rust on the metal. If there is some rust, sand it down and repaint the furniture.
- Follow manufacturer’s instructions for the cleaning of the cushions and fabrics on your outdoor furniture. Some cushions might just need spot cleaning, while others might have to be entirely cleaned. Thoroughly clean and dry the cushions before placing back outside for use. Damp cushions could cause mildew to develop.
- Check your patio pavers for stains. You can remove the stains by scrubbing them with 1 part bleach to 10 parts water. To prevent future stains, lay outdoor mats around high stain areas like grills, patio tables and garage floors.
- Grills should be cleaned before and after every use. Scrub the grill when it is still slightly warm. A warm grill actually makes it easier to scrape off softened grease of other leftovers. Soak the grates in soapy water for at least 30 minutes and then scrape them clean with steel wool. Always clean drip pans and ash collectors in the grill.
- Decks take a beating from the elements from the sun, humidity to rain and hail. When you are doing your deck cleaning, it is easier to pressure wash the deck first. This will remove all of the accumulated dirt and debris on the patio. It is easier to clean a patio in the spring, before it gets very hot.
- Clean out your trash cans with a dish detergent and a pressure washer. It’s a dirty job, but it needs to be done.
- Sweep your front porch and then power wash the dirt and debris. Clean the lights, windows, your front door and the front steps. Make any needed repairs to the light fixtures. Give the porch a fresh coat of paint. Also, add fresh greenery and plants to your front yard.