When many think about cleaning their homes, vacuuming, dusting, and straightening up are the first things that come to mind. The exterior, on the other hand, often remains out of the picture, until you start noticing damaged siding or a prominent film.
Before it gets to that dirty, grimy point, you should have a plan for effectively cleaning the surface. These days, power washing is a popular solution, as the fast blast practically eliminates everything accumulating over several months. However, more delicate materials, such as stucco and brick, are better cleaned by soap and water; long term, high-pressured water causes dents and scratches.
So, for cleaning the exterior, consider these points:
It’s a good idea to thoroughly clean the exterior at least once per year.
Some factors require more frequent cleaning:
- If trees are nearby: More pollen, leaves, sap, and bird droppings will build up on your home’s exterior.
- If you live in a location with frequent heavy storms.
- If humid weather characterizes a large part of the year.
In all of these situations, your home essentially turns into a magnet for dirt, dust, pollen, mold, and mildew, which means damage may potentially occur sooner. Because of these factors, some experts wash their home nearly as much as their car.
When’s the right time? Generally, it’s advised to avoid winter and parts of autumn, as the weather’s too cold. Look for a day, in spring, summer, or early fall, that seems to be mild and sunny and won’t have too much wind.
What to Use
Because of the convenience and efficiency, a pressure washer has turned into the go-to tool. Yet, as easy as it might seem to operate, the system requires some skill. For your home, pick a lower-pressure version, and before you attempt the full job, test out a corner. If you can’t control the flow and find yourself causing damage, bring in a professional.
As mentioned above, sometimes you have to try it the old-fashioned way: With soap, water, and some elbow grease. Brick, wood, and stucco are fairly fragile, so plan to treat them as such.
Comprehensive cleaning helps you extend your home’s lifespan, and is known to add curb appeal. In fact, studies have shown that a good cleanup can increase the value by five to 10 percent.
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