Most of us homeowners consider spring cleaning as the project that clears the home’s interiors of winter’s nastiness. You know, the mud in the mud room, the stale odors, the fireplace scent clinging to draperies and rugs.
The home’s exterior rarely gets our spring-cleaning love, but it should, according to the founder of Winkelmann Design & Construction in Akron, Ohio. In fact, he provided Weather.com a list of 10 home exterior cleaning projects that are inexpensive and won’t take up too much of your time.
Is that grime on your garage door?
When the garage is at the front of the home, it’s even more important to keep the door clean – especially if you have an overly-picky HOA or your home is on the market.
Winkelmann claims that about 85 percent of garage doors today are made of fiberglass, an easy substance to clean.
In fact, all it takes is a solution of warm water and a small amount of bleach, a scrub brush and a hose with which to rinse the door after cleaning.
Winkelmann cautions owners of metal garage doors to ensure they follow up the rinse with a thorough drying. Otherwise, you may face rust in the future.
Whatcha gonna do with all that junk?
Your garage, when the door is closed, is a sparkling marvel for the neighbors to behold. Open that door, though, and “all that junk” is exposed for all the world to see.
But, appearances, as we all know, aren’t the only things that matter. A garage is the ultimate storage solution, whether for your autos or for belongings. But it’s useless if it’s cluttered and disorganized.
No, it’s not exactly a fun way to spend a Saturday afternoon, but get it done and vow to keep it organized, and it may just be the one household task you are grateful you performed.
Ew, what’s that smell?
Our HOA demands that our trash cans and recycling bins be kept in our garage. You can imagine what they smell like right around mid-summer after sitting, full of garbage, in a hot garage.
And, if you’re blessed with an HOA that allows your cans to reside outdoors, the stench may act as an invitation to critters. You know, rats, mice, raccoons, coyotes.
Winkelmann suggests, again, using bleach to get rid of the crud and the stench. We rather like the job that ammonia does, especially when it’s allowed to sit for a time.
Then, add water and get to work wiping down the walls. An old mop works well for this job or, purchase an extendable tub and tile scrubber, like this one.
Naturally, you’ll want to wear gloves and a mask when working with either substance – they’re both pretty caustic.
And never, ever mix bleach and ammonia. Ever.
If you just can’t stand the thought of using either substance, consider a powdered cleanser or white vinegar.
Keep spring showers outdoors
One of the best ways to avoid moisture intrusion in the home is to clean the gutters and downspouts. After a blustery fall and winter, they’re most likely full of all kinds of stuff that will impede drainage and end up backed up into the home.
Need some inspiration and instructions on how to get the job done safely? Lowe’s has produced a brilliant video walk-through and you’ll find it on YouTube.com.
Summer is coming
Whether you store your patio furniture indoors or out over the winter, it’s in need of at least a wipe down. We’d wager that it probably needs more, though.
Remove the cushions and, hopefully, they have zippers and are machine washable. If not, grab a can of upholstery cleaner (Car Guys or Resolve are both highly rated) and scrub away the grime from last year.
Then, get to work cleaning the chairs, table and umbrella.
Still have some energy? Grilling season is coming up so tear into that barbecue. Steel wool and scrubbing will get the mess off the grills.
The pros at TodaysHomeonwer.com recommend using aluminum foil and vinegar. You can learn that technique, here.
The best part about exterior spring cleaning is that it can be done in chunks. Save the projects for those spring days that aren’t sunny or warm enough to beckon you out to play.