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We always worry about cleaning the home and looking for solutions to improve our environment and have a healthy home. Many times we forget that the exterior of the house also needs some care, not only to see well, but to prevent the appearance of certain problems that may affect the interior of the home over time. Below are a few tip to ensure your home stays in tip-top shape throughout the year.
Clean the Exterior
The exterior cleaning of the house should be done at least once a year. However, the frequency of it depends on the type of environment in which it is located, so if you think it requires it, you can clean the outside of the house 2 or 3 times a year. Caring for a house in the city is not the same as caring for a house on the beach or in the countryside.
To clean the house on its outside requires certain elements that we usually do not have at hand, remember that we are talking about a larger structure which has cleaning needs that are different from the interior. The best way to approach these tasks is to rent or buy some of the accessories so that cleaning will be easier.
The simplest way to clean the outside of a house is to use a hose that has a pressure jet that allows the water to reach great heights, and is effective to help remove dirt from surfaces. To clean the house, you just must start at the top of the different facades of the house and descend as the washing of the walls progresses. This is easiest with a tool, such as a power washer. You can find out which one we think is the best affordable pressure washer of a few of the more popular models. To remove stains and dirt, use elements such as brushes with strong bristles, preferably wire, and others with softer bristles for delicate surfaces. How long it takes to completely pressure wash a structure as large as your house depends on many factors including equipment, available help, and the structure’s dimension and layout.
Chemicals for Cleaning
Although the best way to clean is to use natural cleaning products and avoid the use of chemicals, the outside of the house often requires some chemicals to remove dirt and grime completely. Depending on your needs you can use:
• Bleachers – The chemical used in bleach is ideal for cleaning roofs and gutters, as it can destroy both germs and mold and other elements that can damage the building. You must use it carefully in areas where there are plants.
• Detergents – For a quick cleaning it is ideal to use detergent diluted in water. You should brush it over the surfaces to be cleaned and use the pressure jet to remove it completely.
• Acids – There are cleaning acids that are recommended to get rid of the strongest spots (mold, rust) that can be lodged in certain areas. In this case you can use vinegar to eliminate these spots.
General Maintenance of the House
While you clean, examine the general condition of the house. Check if there are leaks or stains. Also, make sure there are no cracks and that the doors and window frames are tightly sealed. Maintaining cleanliness inside and out will ensure that your home stays in good condition as the years pass. Regular maintenance is essential in keeping the health and safety of our families at the forefront.
Rules for Exterior Cleaning
• Hard surfaces are cleaned with a broom and not with a jet of water. Invest in a hard bristle brush for outdoor cleaning
• Sweep regularly to avoid the accumulation of leaves, twigs and other organic waste that forms molds
• Check for any blocked drainage
• Clean your gutters regularly
• Store chairs and umbrellas in a cloth to protect from moisture and to avoid damage
• Make sure the water in your pond is clean and free from mosquito larvae
• To prevent rust, keep your garden tools in a dry area after each use
• To save space and prevent your garden hose from knotting, hold it on a retractor
Keeping Garden Tools Maintained
• Clean your garden tools after each use
• Treat the wooden handles regularly with a mixture of equal parts of vinegar, linseed oil and natural turpentine
• Clean the metal parts with a damp cloth dipped in linseed oil
• To prevent grass from getting under the mower, apply a layer of vegetable oil to the metal surfaces after cleaning
Cleaning of Outdoor Floors
The cleaning of external floors, often porous and rough, is different from the interior floors. Washing them carefully can be a complex task as consistent exposure to animals and elements can cause dirt/grime to be stubborn. The dirt to be treated on outdoor floors is far more difficult than what is generally seen on the inside of the home. Excrements of animals, resins of plants, soil, and leaves must be eliminated appropriately. Below are a few tips for the best way to clean exterior flooring such as on a deck.
Useful Tools for External Flooring
• large bucket
• water pump
• a mop
• specific detergents for the type of flooring
With these tools it is possible to carry out a deep cleaning, which involves the use of different detergents based on the material used for the flooring, often rough and porous. Let’s see in detail how to make a good cleaning of the external floor based on the type of coating.
The first thing to do, regardless of the type of material, is to pour plenty of water on the surface to eliminate surface dirt in this way. Once this is done, we move on to real cleaning.
Porcelain Stoneware Floors
This material is widely used for both indoor and outdoor flooring. Cleaning it is simple, but to remove the deeper stains, you need to use an acid detergent diluted in water. If, instead, it is an ordinary cleaning, just use a few drops of ammonia, mixed with water.
For cleaning outdoor stone floors what is needed is alcohol, bicarbonate and soap. After dissolving the soap in the water, add two tablespoons of bicarbonate and ten tablespoons of alcohol. Mix carefully and use this mixture as a normal floor detergent. The stone will be shiny and luminous.
Wooden floors require another type of intervention, as they need oily substances to be nourished and appear shiny. Clean the floor well with a brush and some simple water, let it dry for a few days and, only when it is completely dry, use a clean cloth to apply the polishing oil. It is better to avoid this type of treatment during the hot periods of the year: fast drying could damage the wooden floor. An electric pressure washer is a good tool to use to pre-wash the wooden floor. Electric pressure washers normally aren’t as powerful as the gas-powered variety, so you shouldn’t have to worry about stripping paint or sealants. You can check out our Schafter ST5 review for an idea of a good electric pressure washer and how it can help you complete your floors in no time flat.
The materials and products are very different from each other and can easily damage your home. Therefore, we always recommend consulting a professional to ensure there are no problems in maintaining your property. If, on the other hand, hiring a professional is not in your budget, ensure you take your time and do the proper research before attempting cleaning with the suggested chemicals. The damage that can be caused is often irreparable.
Six Exterior Cleaning Motivational Tips
Use an Alarm
Set an alarm for 10 minutes and you’ll see how much you can do at this time. This should motivate you to perform the next steps, and if not, at least you will do some tasks that will bring you closer to completion. Make a deal with yourself that even if you do not like to do this task, you will do it anyway for a fixed 10 minutes. Once you have made some progress, you will be more willing to finish.
Listen to some Tunes
Music not only helps you with cleaning activities, but also helps you with motivation. Choose one part of the home and try to clean it before the current song ends. It will speed up your work and you will be surprised how much you can do.
Switch your Phone to Airplane Mode
Constant notifications are a distraction for many of us. Changing your phone to airplane mode is a great way to ensure you are not distracted while cleaning. Facebook, Google, and all of the other notifications you receive will be blocked until you have finished your task.
Hire a Professional
If you see a job that is just too daunting to attempt, you may find your motivation waning. If possible, consider hiring a professional to take care of this arduous task for you. They have all the right tools to thoroughly clean the offending area. Moreover, you can be sure that the job is done right and there won’t be any chance at damaging your home out of ignorance of the subject matter. While it may not be the most economical solution, it may be the best for you, depending on the situation.