How to Clean Your Home’s Exterior

Your home’s exterior is the first thing visitors see: it should be neat, clean and approachable. It’s not just for the sake of appearances – cleaning the outside of your house removes grime and dirt particles that can eventually stain siding or weaken window glass. Taking the time to make the home exterior look smart is a wise investment of your time.

The Right Cleaners

Select the right cleaner for the job. Even though both are made of wood, the cleaning solution you use to clean the deck might damage the surface of your siding. While a mix of mild detergent with a splash of bleach is great for the gutters, it will leave streaks on the windows.

The Right Tools

There are a variety of tools and pieces of equipment out there to clean the roof, the gutters, siding and the other exterior elements of your home. Match the proper tools to what’s being cleaned. You don’t want the bristle brush applied to the outside of the gutters scratching the vinyl downpipes.

Pressure Wash with Discretion

In some instances, power washing might do more harm than good. Unless you really know what you’re doing, it’s never advisable to use a pressure washer on roofing tiles, especially ones made of asphalt. Pressurized water can get behind soffit, fascia, deck planks, protective sheathing, etc., providing a place for mold to grow.

Be Safe

Take the proper safety precautions. Ensure all the equipment you use is in good repair and working properly. If you’re climbing a ladder when cleaning windows, gutters or the roof, get into the habit of tying off the ladder at the top and securing it at the bottom.

Plan and Schedule

Don’t do everything on the same day. It might make sense time-wise to clean the roof, gutters and siding all at once because it will save you having to haul the ladder out multiple times. Divide your home exterior into zones; schedule a date (and commit to it) for each task on the list. If you plan on cleaning the roof, start there first and work your way down to the ground.