Spring has officially arrived in Minnesota, which means warm summer weather and blissful sunny days are just around the corner. After a long, harsh winter, you're probably more than ready to head outside to enjoy barbecues, parties, and relaxing days on the porch.
But before you can really enjoy those barbecues or relax in your yard, you need to do some spring cleaning around your house. Just like the inside of your house needs refreshing this time of year, your home's exterior demands some attention, too.
Your roof, siding, and deck withstood several months of harsh ice storms, violent winds, and heavy snowfall. As a result, they might have accumulated debris or developed cracks. You don't want debris or cracks to compromise your home and affects its value, so we put together the following outdoor spring cleaning checklist to help you out.
Your roof takes a beating during the winter. Extreme temperature fluctuations cause your shingles to expand and contract, leading to permanent damage. Heavy snowfall often creates ice dams, which then seep through your roof and warp your home's frame.
Because your roof plays such an important role in your home, you'll need carefully inspect and clean it once winter weather subsides.
1. Sweep Debris from Your Roof
Chances are good that leaves, sticks, and other debris accumulated on your roof during the winter. Because this debris provides a perfect breeding ground for mold, you'll want to remove this debris as soon as the weather permits. Simply sweep it from your roof with a broom.
2. Clean Your Gutters
You may not think of your gutters as part of your roof, but they play a vital role in your roof's well-being. Clogs cause water to back up onto your roof, which could lead to severe leaks and even foundation damage. Use a leaf blower or broom to clear leaves and debris from your gutters.
3. Inspect Your Shingles
If you have asphalt shingles, look for dark, wet areas. This indicates cracks in the shingles, as well as a potential leak. If you have cedar shakes or wood shingles, look for curled, split, or broken pieces. If you have a slate roof, look for black areas. Dark areas indicate missing slate.
If you find damaged or missing shingles, replace them right away. If you don't feel comfortable replacing them yourself, contact a roofing or construction company in your area as soon as possible. The longer you wait to replace your shingles, the more likely your roof will sustain additional damage.
4. Look for Additional Wear
Even if your shingles look intact, your roof might have suffered damage during the winter. Inspect your roof for areas of heavy wear, especially near valleys next to the gutters. You should also pay close attention to areas near chimneys and vent pipes, as materials in these areas are more prone to damage.
5. Remove Mold
If you detect mold in your gutters or under your shingles, you'll need to remove it right away. First, mix equal parts bleach and warm water in a bucket. Dip a sponge or towel into the solution, then scrub the mold from your shingles.
Whether you have wood, brick, or vinyl siding, your home's siding will benefit from regular cleanings. Not only do cleanings help keep your home looking great, they also prolong your siding's life, ultimately saving you money.
Use the following method to clean any type of siding.
1. Mix Your Cleaning Solution
A mixture of water and trisodium phosphate (TSP) is the safest cleaning solution to use on your siding. For best results, combine Â½ cup TSP with one gallon of water. You can buy TSP at most hardware and grocery stores.
2. Divide Your Siding into Small Sections
The thought of cleaning all your home's exterior walls might be overwhelming. Make the project more manageable by dividing your siding into small sections that are no bigger than nine square feet.
3. Scrub Your Siding
Use a soft-bristled brush to scrub your siding. After you dip the brush into your cleaning solution, scrub small areas and rinse often. To avoid streaks, scrub from the bottom of your siding and work up.
You love your deck. It provides the perfect space to relax and read a book, as well as host family get-togethers and neighborhood barbecues. Because you use your deck so much during the summer, it needs to be in tip-top shape.
Here are a few tips to spring clean your deck and everything on it.
Use a pressure washer to blast dirt and grime from your deck's surface. If you don't have a pressure washer, a garden hose will also do the trick. Just be sure to clear all furniture from your deck before you soak it down.
Blast dirt and grime from your non-fabric patio furniture with a garden hose. This includes patio umbrellas and picnic tables.
Clean fabric-containing patio furniture. Start by vacuuming debris from its surface, then scrub caked-on dirt away using a mild detergent. We recommend a mixture of Â¾ cup bleach, 1 tablespoon laundry detergent, and one gallon of water.
Outdoor spring cleaning doesn't have to be time consuming or difficult. Use these tips to make cleaning your roof, siding, deck, and gutters a breeze this spring.