Monday, July 8, 2019

Have You Washed Your Home's Exterior Lately? It's Worth Doing!

Yesterday, I cleaned the entire exterior of my home. I washed the vinyl siding, the brick, the shudders, and the soffits. I also applied a weather protectant to the shudders and cleaned the windows and frames. In total, it was six hours of work on my two-story home. According to Home Advisor, the typical cost to have a professional power-wash a home is $220 to $380 -- and that doesn't include shining up windows and treating shudders. So, I saved myself money by doing the work myself. I aim to clean the entire exterior of my home once each summer to keep it looking great and to take care of the home.

A home is an investment -- one that needs to be protected. A little preventative maintenance can go a long way towards keeping your property’s value and avoiding costly repairs. Also, washing a home's exterior can reduce the amount of allergens in and around the home. Overall, washing the exterior not only safeguards your investment, but can also safeguard your family’s health.

Your home’s exterior is exposed to harsh elements all the time. Natural conditions like sun, wind, dirt, ultraviolet rays, insects, birds (not to mention things like acid rain, smoke, pollutants and car exhaust) constantly take a beating on your home and contribute to its soiling, discoloration, and damage. Moisture during the winter can cause damage and stains to your home’s exterior surfaces. If you allow the grime to stay on your surfaces, or the stains to sit for long periods of time, permanent damage can result. Crevices are especially susceptible to the accumulation of dirt, algae, and grime, while mildew and mold thrive in shaded areas and can grow unchecked for years if not properly taken care of.

Want to power wash your home? I suggest a homeowner grade of no more that 1500 psi. Hold the pressure wand 3 feet from the surface to start and move closer to one foot as you watch how much force is required to remove dirt and mildew. An extension wand will make washing easier, especially if you have a two-story house. Use eye protection, be aware of power lines and uncovered external outlets, and be careful if you choose to use a ladder because the push back from the wand may cause you to lose balance and fall.

About 60 percent of my home's exterior has vinyl siding, which is a durable, versatile, and resilient building material. However, it does require some routine care and cleaning. Vinyl siding can accumulate a host of dirt, grime, and stains on account of things like pollen, bird and insect droppings, spider webs and rust. In shady, moist areas, mold and mildew can grow. When cleaning vinyl siding with a pressure washer, point the stream straight at the siding, not at an upward angle. That way, you won’t drive water behind the siding. Use caution when using a pressure washer around openings like windows, doors, and plumbing connections.

So, roll up your sleeves once per year and put some work into the exterior surface of your home. Remember, it's an investment and a little elbow grease will pay off in the long run.

Keep Reaching For Life's Mileposts,

Paul Staso