Spring has officially begun and you may have already started your indoor spring cleaning checklist! But the interior of your home isn’t the only thing that needs cleaning. Our outdoor spring cleaning tips will help your home’s exterior match the sparkling interior. Begin with phase one and work your way through phases two and three to tackle every inch of your outdoor space.
Phase One: Clean Exterior
Take a walk around your home and evaluate the overall condition of the exterior after a long winter. There are a few places you could begin your outdoor spring cleaning!
Start by getting rid of all the loose dirt and leaves on your porch, deck, and patio. You can utilize a shop vac to get rid of any cobwebs that may be hiding in the corners!
2. Clean the Gutters
Use a ladder to climb up and check the inside of your gutters. The gutters of your home are often over-looked and become clogged with debris from several seasons. To avoid a leaky roof or water damage, remove all leaves, sticks, or any other build-up. Be sure to check for cracks or leaks at the gutter joints and repair them with sealant.
3. Check the Roof Shingles
While you’re on the ladder to check your gutters, take a good look at your roof shingles! Identify any curled, missing, damaged, or aged shingles. Any of these factors can cause roof damage due to weather or poor ventilation. If you find any of these problems with your shingles, be sure to immediately contact a professional to fix it.
4. Power Wash
Give your home a deep clean with a power washer. If you don’t own a power washer, you can rent one from a local home improvement store. Begin by washing the siding of your home from the top, down. You can add detergent to the reservoir to get rid of stubborn dirt. After you have finished the siding of your home, use the power washer to clean your deck, patio, and porch!
If your porch, patio, or deck is made of wood or another soft material, be aware that the high pressure of the power washer can cause damage. To avoid damage, be sure to keep a decent distance between the hose and the surface you are cleaning. In addition, avoid holding the hose over a certain spot for an extended period of time. If there is mold or mildew on your surface, use a mixture of 1 part bleach to 4 parts water and let soak for 15 minutes before rinsing off.
5. Protect & Seal Wooden Areas
Once your deck, patio, and porch are dry after cleaning, apply a sealer to protect the material from further water or sun damage. Consider touching up the area with stain or paint to make it look new again! It is recommended to re-stain your wooden areas every year to every other year to prevent rotting and deter pests from making hives or nests.
6. Clean Windows
Clean the outside of your home’s windows to get rid of dirt and water stains. You can use a 50/50 mixture of water and vinegar for a natural window cleaner, or pick up outdoor cleaning products at your local supply store. Don’t forget to wash and repair your window screens as well. To clean your screens, soak them in a large bucket with soapy water and gently scrub with a soft brush on a flat surface. To repair small holes in your screen, use several coats of clear nail polish.
Phase Two: Clean Accessories
If you didn’t store your outdoor accessories in an enclosed area during the winter, you may have some cleaning to do! Since they’ve been exposed to the elements for so long, they probably need additional TLC.
1. Wash Patio Furniture
If your patio furniture has been exposed to the harsh seasons, it’s likely covered in leaves, dirt, and grime! To clean your patio furniture, use a dry rag to remove loose grime. Then, spray down your furniture with a garden hose. If your furniture still looks dirty, wipe it down with an all-purpose cleaner and a cloth.
If you have cushions on your patio furniture, remove them and wash with dish soap and warm water. If you can remove the fabric from the cushion, you may be able to machine wash them and let air dry. Check the label on the cushions for recommended instructions.
2. Clean Grill
If you forgot to clean your grill before you stored it away for the winter, there are a few things you should clean before you use it again. Using a degreasing agent and a wire brush, wash the grates of the grill to remove excess build-up. Be sure to remove and scrape debris out of the drip pans or replace them if necessary. If you are using a propane grill, check the level of the tank to see if it needs to be replaced.
3. Wipe Down Light Fixtures
To improve the clarity and effectiveness of your light fixtures, use a glass cleaner to clean the outsides. Wipe off the lightbulbs with a damp rag, or replace them if they’re looking dull! Be sure to keep water away from any electrical sockets.
Phase Three: Freshen Up Your Yard
After a long winter, your yard may have faced some damage! Work on revitalizing your outdoor space in a couple steps!
The snowfall during the winter months has likely caused your grass to flatten and become matted. Give your lawn some life again by gently raking it to pick up dead grass and give it some volume.
After you’ve finished raking, consider hiring a professional or renting the proper equipment to aerate your yard. The aeration process creates openings in the soil to allow water and air to reach the roots of the grass.
Fertilizing your lawn will provide it with the proper nutrients it needs for a successful spring growth. You can purchase fertilizer at your local garden supply company. It is important that you distribute it evenly across your yard which you can do with a broadcast spreader. For the best results, you will need to repeat this process in the summer when the sun soaks up the grass’ nutrients.
Begin cleaning up your garden by clearing away any dead weeds, leaves, or debris from your plants. Trim back any existing perennials that may need some tidying up before they begin growing new buds. Be sure to add fresh soil to your garden, take an inventory of current plants, and think about what you would like to add.
4. Clean Your Shed
If you have a shed or a garage on your property, there’s a good chance it became crowded with supplies when you put things away last fall. Begin by sorting through your storage space and getting rid of any unnecessary clutter. Move your outdoor cleaning tools to an easily-accessible spot to avoid the hassle of digging them out each time you need them this season.
After you’ve completed cleaning the inside of your shed, don’t forget to spray down your structure to get rid of any dirt or debris. You can wash your shed or garage doors with dish detergent and warm water to get rid of any tough spots.
5. Reseal Your Driveway
If you notice any cracks or stains in your driveway, it may be time to get it resealed! Just like many parts of your home, your driveway is susceptible to wear and tear, and after a harsh winter, it may have water damage. Resealing your driveway will prevent further water damage, oil stains, and corrosion. Consider contacting a professional to have your driveway resealed every one to three years.