Warm weather is here to stay! While it feels great to shed those winter blankets, turn the thermostat to A/C instead of heat, and put those boots into long-term storage, sunny days bring a few chores with it as well. If you’ve owned a home for a while, you probably have a spring cleaning routine to spruce up the interior. But it takes extra motivation to tackle the outdoor spaces too. Here are some tips for taking that spring cleaning outside to make sure you reach every nook and cranny.
Squeaky Clean Windows
Harsh winter storms and salt from the roads can leave behind dirty windows in the spring. When it comes time to clean them, the main thing to remember is to clean the outside first, then the inside. Just cleaning the inside of your windows won’t make much of a
difference to people on either side of the glass! You can find
window cleaner at any home goods store, but a 50/50 mix of white vinegar and water makes a great natural window cleaner. When you get outside, make sure to work in the shade to keep the cleaner from drying out too quickly. But it’s not just the glass that needs a
cleaning – the screens need attention too! You can clean screens with a gentle hosing or soap and water. If they need more TLC, leave them to soak in a kiddie pool filled with soapy water while you do other cleaning.
Jerry tip: Try crumpled up newspaper, instead of paper towels, to clean and dry your windows.
Perhaps the least desirable outdoors chore, clearing out the gutters, is a must-do for homeowners. De-cluttering gutters of leaves, twigs, and debris will prevent flooding and roof damage while increasing the longevity of your home. There are gutter-cleaning services and contraptions to make the task slightly easier. However, most homeowners will take the low-cost route and do it by hand. You’ll need a pair of gloves to protect against sharp and dirty debris along with a large container nearby to dump all the junk. Be sure your ladder is stable before climbing too high, and if possible, ask someone to steady the ladder for you while you clean. Jerry tip: Create your own gutter scoop by cutting the top off of a narrow container like a soda bottle or anti-freeze jug.
Give Your House a Bath
After months of snow, salt, and dirt, your house might look a little dark and dingy. The extent to which you can clean your house depends on the siding, but the easiest and fastest way is to go over everything with a pressure washer. This includes siding, fences, and decks. If your garage door is looking a little dingy, put some dish soap in a water bucket, wipe the door down, and then rinse off with the pressure washer. If you’re really feeling ambitious, a new coat of paint will freshen things up even more.
Jerry tip: If there is a spot giving you particular trouble, add detergent to the reservoir on the pressure washer machine to get the job done faster. Be sure to use a cleaner that is made for pressure washers and intended for the type of surface you’re cleaning.
Ready Your Outdoor Entertainment Area
One of the best parts about summer is the time you get to spend outside with your friends and family. If you entertain often, getting your outdoor space ready is just another item to add to your spring cleaning checklist. Use a hose to spray off any durable patio
furniture or a pressure washer if possible. Put seat cushions or fabric in the washing machine while you work. For more delicate furniture, you may need to get out the old wash rag and scrub by hand. Afterwards, sweep loose debris off the deck and power wash that too if the surface allows. Last but not least, get the grill ready by burning off any excess gunk from last year, scrub the grates and sides, and clean out the burners.
Jerry tip: Prolong the life of your patio furniture by laying down a towel to avoid contact with lotion or sunscreen. Cover the furniture when not in use or bring cushions inside. Covering or wrapping cushions in plastic invites mildew. Instead use canvas or tarp.
Bugs Be Gone
Unfortunately, you aren’t the only one who enjoys being outside this time of year. Mosquitoes, fleas, and ticks are only some of the pests who might try to crash your summertime fun. It always puts a damper on the evening when guests are swatting through the air and go home with dozens of bug bites. Keeping the grass cut as short as possible and clear away any kinds of containers that might hold collected water (tubs, barrels, lids, etc.) in which mosquitoes love to breed.
Jerry tip: Mosquitoes hate lemon scent. Spray entire yard with equal parts of lemon dish soap, lemon ammonia, and lemon juice. Do this every two weeks with a 20-gallon sprayer, and you won't be on the mosquito menu this summer.
~ Your friends at JB Home Inspection
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