Exterior House Cleaning Guide For Homeowners
Learn why exterior house cleaning matters for your home and wallet and the best ways to keep your property clean year after year.
Routine exterior house cleaning promotes the longevity and beauty of your home by eliminating dirt, pollen, insects, and debris that gradually accumulate over time.
The more exposed your house is to UV rays, the elements, and pollutants, the more essential exterior house cleaning becomes.
But for many homeowners, cleaning your home’s exterior is often an afterthought. After all, it requires a lot of energy and effort! However, making this task a regular part of your annual home maintenance checklist will save you more time, effort, and money saved on repairs.
Keep reading to learn how to wash the outside of your house. And remember, while you can do exterior house cleaning yourself, it is best to hire professional cleaning services.
Exterior House Cleaning Best Practices
Before you grab the power washer, make sure you understand the best exterior house cleaning practices to avoid damaging your home.
How To Clean Wood Siding
Wood siding gives homes a rustic feel that many homeowners appreciate. However, maintaining this type of siding can be demanding.
For one thing, as the wood naturally expands and contracts, it can create gaps or cracks that require continuous monitoring and caulking. Plus, you have to stain or paint it every five years to seal the wood and protect it from exposure.
Lastly, this type of siding also requires yearly cleaning to maintain its condition. Luckily, it’s a simple process.
Here’s how to clean wood siding:
- Use soapy water and a soft bristle to wash your wood siding.
- To remove mould, algae, and hard-to-wash stains, scrub with a mixture of water and bleach. For this, you’ll need to combine 4 parts of water and 1 part of bleach.
- Avoid using pressure washers on your wood siding. While it’s faster, the pressure of the water usually harms wood in the process. Soft washing is recommended for most exteriors.
How To Clean Brick Siding
Civilizations have built brick homes for centuries. While people chose bricks because they typically last a lifetime, today’s homeowners love brick siding for its stately appearance and historical characteristics.
You can improve the durability and increase the longevity of your brick siding by cleaning it every year. The process is simple and involves thoroughly spraying the siding.
NOTE: Before cleaning brick siding, make sure to repair any chips and flakes. You should also check for cracks or crumbling mortar.
Parts of your home that receive little exposure to sunlight can have trouble staying completely dry, leading to excessive moss, mildew, and mould growth.
Here’s how to clean brick siding:
- Mix one cup of bleach and a gallon of water.
- Pour the mixture on the area and let it soak into the brick.
- Using a soft-bristle brush, scrub the bleach and water into the brick to break up organic growth.
- Spray the debris with a hose or soft washer.
How To Clean Stucco Siding
Like brick, stucco is an ancient material that homeowners have used for centuries. Today, stucco is made by combining sand, Portland cement, and either gypsum or lime.
Stucco is a popular siding choice, thanks to its versatility. It comes in various colours and textures for any style and taste. However, this material’s rigid composition makes it prone to chipping and cracking.
And while those brave DIYers fill those cracks and chips with stucco fillers from the hardware store, it’s best to hire a professional (particularly for larger areas that require more work). That’s because stucco application requires skills that most professionals gain only after years of work experience.
Here’s how to clean stucco siding:
- Mix warm water and enough soap to create suds.
- Spray the exterior with the mixture, starting at the foundation and working upward.
- Spray in a vertical motion on all sides until clean.
NOTE: Stucco is porous and highly absorbent. Starting at the base of your home prevents the stucco from absorbing as much dirty water.
How To Clean Vinyl Siding
Vinyl siding is virtually maintenance-free, making it ideal for those without the time and energy for routine home upkeep.
Vinyl is also a popular choice because it has the aesthetic and charm of wood siding without the stress of maintaining it. And unlike other materials, vinyl is not susceptible to many harmful factors like rot and pests. Even so, regular cleaning is necessary.
Here’s how to clean vinyl siding:
- Mix warm water and soap to create suds
- Spray the siding with the mixture, working your way from the top of the exterior down to the foundation.
How To Clean Concrete Driveways And Walkways
Did you know that concrete driveways and walkways can lose their shine within two years if not properly maintained? But with regular cleaning, you can preserve their appearance much longer.
Here’s how to clean concrete driveways and walkways:
- Scrub your driveway with a concrete driveway cleaner and a stiff broom.
- Using a garden hose, spray clean water on the driveway to clean soapy water.
- For stubborn dirt, use a pressure washer.
NOTE: Do not use a pressure washer if you aren’t a professional or haven’t used your equipment for a while. Power washers blast water up to 3000 PSI (or 50 times the force of a garden hose). This high pressure can etch the concrete or accidentally harm you or someone else.
How To Clean Windows Without Streaks
What’s a room with a view if the windows are dirty? Clean windows don’t just look better; they let in more natural light, which can make your home appear more spacious and airy.
Here’s how to clean windows without streaks:
- Get a commercial cleaning solution from any brand you trust. Avoid ammonia or alcohol-based glass cleaners. While they seem to clean better than most solutions, they also leave a thin film that attracts dirt and moisture and leaves streak stains.
- For tougher stains, use a solvent like acetone or rub alcohol on a clean cloth and wipe the fabric directly on the spot. Wipe it dry afterward.
- Do not use a blade to scrape off stains as they can leave permanent scratches. Always use soft, lint-free cloths on your window. And if you can, use a microfiber cloth or a clean paper towel to clean your window.
- To avoid streaking, rub in circular motions from multiple directions.
- Rinse with clean water to remove leftover streaks and residual cleaning solution.
Exterior house cleaning is essential not only because it keeps your home looking beautiful but also saves you money and stress on future repairs.
While you can clean your home’s exterior yourself, it’s better to hire professionals with the necessary experience to do exterior house cleaning. Call 604-441-4427 or contact us to get a free quote for your exterior house cleaning needs.
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- Balogh, Anne. “Driveway Cleaning – How to Clean a Concrete Driveway.” The Concrete Network, Concrete Network, 24 Aug. 2021, www.concretenetwork.com/concrete/concrete_driveways/clean.html.
- Boyle Schwartz, Donna. “How To: Clean Exterior Siding.” Bob Vila, BobVila.com, 29 Sept. 2020, www.bobvila.com/articles/how-to-clean-exterior-siding/.
- Pella Windows & Doors of Portland. “How to Clean Windows Without Leaving Streaks.” Pella Windows & Doors, Pella Windows & Doors of Portland, 18 May 2021, www.pellabranch.com/blog/global-blogs/how-to-clean-windows-without-streaks/.