Spring cleaning the exterior of your home is just as important as taking care of the inside. Chances are, your house has withstood falling leaves, ice, and snow since the last time you tended to it. The landscaping is either over-grown or non-existent, the gutters are full of gunk, and the paint is looking rather dull. The warm spring weather offers the perfect opportunity to clean up what winter left behind and take your home from drab to fab.
Those infamous spring showers actually bring a sign that it’s time to clean out your gutters. The best time to climb up on the ladder is after a steady rain. This way, it’s easier to scoop out the debris and it’s also easier to spot any leaks that are present. However, make sure that surfaces are dry enough to safely setup a ladder and always have a second person outside as an additional precaution.
Pay extra attention to the outlet areas. Remove all leaves and twigs while trying to allow minimal debris to fall down the pipe. If you don’t have one, consider purchasing a gutter wedge to trap anything that could be washed down the pipe.
Once you’ve cleaned out the gutter tracks that line your roof, take time to inspect the downpipes and spouts for any blockage. Check carefully at the bends of the pipes, as that’s where clogs are likely to occur. Cleaning gutters regularly helps maintain an even flow of rainwater that can be redistributed or re-purposed.
Windows and Shutters
Washing out the gutters could easily wreak havoc on your windows and siding, so it’s best to clean them after the fact. Start by a using a pressure washer on the shutters and trim. Aim to remove any cobwebs, dirt, and even chipped paint if you plan to reapply a fresh coat.
Next, clean the glass like a pro with a streak-free cleaning solution and a squeegee. Wipe the cleaner all over the window. Work from top to bottom with the squeegee, never removing it from the glass. After each pass, dry the tool with a lint free cloth. This is the best way to achieve shiny, streak-free glass. Of course, you could also hire a company to do this for you as well.
Once you’ve pressure washed the shutters and window trim, inspect them for any chips or stains. However, this isn’t just a good time to touch up the paint, but an opportunity to update and transform the appearance of your home.
Consider what your shutters would look like if you changed the color from maroon to black. What about lightening your window trim from tan to white? A good way to determine if you’re in favor of an update is to do your research. Look around your neighborhood and determine what you do or don’t like about similar homes. You can also browse the Internet for images of houses similar to yours.
If you’re really looking to make a statement, choose a bold new color for your front door. Pop a bright color like red or yellow to add some serious springtime cheer or repaint it in black or white for a clean, fresh look. Either way, a fresh coat of paint is one of the easiest ways to spruce up your stoop.
New plants and flowers are another great way to add color and curb appeal to your home. There are plenty of simple, DIY tasks you can do to give your landscaping a professional look.
The first thing to do is make a plan. Determine what kind of plants can thrive in your yard depending on the amount of sun or shade it gets. Once you know what types of flowers or shrubs you’d like to implement into your design, it’s best to lay out the space. Better Homes and Gardens offers a free online garden planning tool that allows you to do just that with a built-in drag and drop feature and the ability to plan around permanent structures.
Once you have a plan for your landscaping, clear all remaining plants or containers leftover from last season. Look at your yard like a canvas. Any overgrown vegetation or sun-faded pots will not help you achieve the piece of art you envision. Also, don’t be afraid to consult an expert. Curb appeal can make or break a home’s appearance. It’s better to do it right the first time than fix costly mistakes.