by Devon Delaney
(last updated June 26, 2017)
Increase Curb Appeal Quickly and Easily!
The average home is a pretty big structure, and -- especially given that the average person is relatively small in comparison—cleaning the exterior can be a daunting task. Of course, one way to ignore the ugly dirt and grime that builds up on brick, wood, eaves and roofs is to simply stay inside—like the old saying goes, "out of sight, out of mind," right?
But since staying inside forever isn't really an option, you'll need to figure out the best tools and techniques to get this job done. And rest assured, there are plenty. For instance, did you know that rust can be completely removed with one easy-to-find product and a bit of elbow grease? Here's how to go about cleaning the variety of surfaces that make up the outside of your home.
How Do You Clean Brick and Siding?
In most areas, modern houses are made of brick, and for good reason: brick is strong, attractive, traditional and weather resistant. Yet brick can get stained and dirty, and the nooks and crannies between each layer of material are great places for grime to hide. When spring cleaning time rolls around, find a sturdy wire brush and a diluted chemical cleaning solution that's recommended for your brick to tackle the job effectively. Remember that brick is vulnerable to stains and can react with a chemical solution, so be sure to wet the surface thoroughly before you get scrubbing. This technique can be used to clean your basic vinyl siding as well. However, I should note that aluminum siding cleaning requires a much softer touch as you want to avoid damaging or denting it.
Alternatively, you can splurge on helpful equipment that may wind up cutting your cleaning time in half. Consider using a pressure washer, which will blast off stubborn dirt from your exterior walls with its powerful stream of water. The best part is that you won't have to lay a hand on a scrub brush to get the gleaming results that will make your neighbors green with envy.
Make Dirty Jobs Easier to Handle
Perhaps the best piece of advice for cleaning the outside of your home is to make things easier for yourself. Prepare for the job! If you get the equipment, cleaning products and protection you need before you even turn on your hose, you'll be thanking yourself later when you don't have to drop everything to run to the hardware store. For specific cleaning problems, be sure to purchase the proper formulas instead of relying on one all-purpose solution: you'll need a mild solution of muriatic acid and water to get rid of mildew (especially in wood trims), kerosene to take care of rust, trisodium phosphate for rocks and masonry, and a glass window cleaner to make your windows sparkle.
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