Your 5 Tips for Spring Roof and House Cleaning and Maintenance
Once spring rolls in, it can be tempting to get out and enjoy all those outdoor activities that you had to forego in the winter. However, there is an important job that you, as a homeowner, might have—home maintenance.
The truth is that autumn and winter are hard on homes no matter where you live. The elements take a lot out of roofing materials, exterior walls, and gutters. To keep your home attractive and strong, it is essential that you do some preliminary care once spring rolls around.
Here are 5 tips to help guide you when planning an exterior spring cleaning for your home.
Tip 1: Lose the Debris from Your Roof and Gutters
After the fall and winter, your home is sure to have some debris on the roof and in the gutters. Roof cleaning is not something you can avoid, so start by removing the debris from your roof.
First, we want to note that we don’t recommend that homeowners get on their roofs without some sort of expert supervision. However, if you are just committed to the notion of cleaning your roof, then make sure that you use a secure ladder with another person spotting you at the bottom. Don’t set foot on the roof itself, because any moisture or debris can cause you to fall off.
From the ladder, use a rake or a leaf blower to get rid of debris from the roof itself. You can use your hands (with a strong pair of work gloves) to remove debris from there.
If you have the funds, you can also invest in a gutter cleaner that uses water to spray out your gutters with high-pressure water. This method is much safer than climbing on the roof.
Tip 2: Check Out Soft Wash Roof Cleaning
Once you’ve removed debris, you can add some deeper cleaning to your schedule to get rid of additional debris and other issues like mildew and rot.
Traditionally, roof cleaning companies used (or continue to use) high-pressure washers to remove dirt from rooftops. The issue with high-pressure washing is that it can damage roofing shingles by peeling back the wood, asphalt, or slate shingles and loosening them from the roof itself.
However, the deep cleaning provided by pressure washing is great because it can remove mold, algae, and fungus from the shingles.
The alternative, then, is soft washing. What is soft washing? Soft washing is simply a way for roofers to use cleaning chemicals on a roof combined with lower-pressure water spraying. The cleaner will break up organic materials so that the roofer cleaning the roof won’t need high-pressure water. This means that your roof will take less of a beating while still getting clean. These cleaners are safe for most roofing materials and will not cause them to become discolored or warped during the cleaning process.
Once spring hits, consider a soft wash to remove all the gunk and give your roof a chance to breathe.
Tip 3: Clean Off Your Exterior Walls
Don’t ignore your siding after the winter either. Like your roof, exterior siding can collect dirt and mildew from the environment, which leads to unattractive discoloring and potential degradation.
This type of cleaning requires a little bit of elbow grease. If you’ve got vinyl siding (or James Hardie asphalt siding) then you’ll want to hose it off and, with a bucket of warm, soapy water and a stiff brush, brush out excess mold and mildew from the surface of the siding. Pressure washing is an option, but like your roof, it can be hard on your siding.
Cleaning brick is a different matter… and you should probably never have to do it. If something like paint or a stain gets on a brick surface, sure. You’ll need to either clean or replace that brick. But brick doesn’t usually collect mildew like siding. Also, if your brick really needs a cleaning, then get a professional who can use a diluted acid brushing to remove anything that needs to be removed.
Tip 4: Deep Clean Your Exterior Windows
Cleaning exterior windows isn’t just about throwing up some Windex and calling it a day. Spend some time really cleaning your windows to remove months of dirt and grime.
- Wait for a cloudy day. If you wash on a sunny day, you might end up with streaks (because the cleaner and water dry too fast).
- Use a glass-cleaning solution and a squeegee. If possible, use a stiffer sponge to remove hardened dirt, wash over the window again with the squeegee, and then remove the water with the squeegee.
- Use a newspaper or coffee filters to dry the windows without leaving streaks.
Before you start this process, you can do some light power washing as well, but we don’t suggest it.
Tip 5: Get a Roof Tune-up
The truth is that no matter how much you clean, your roof will take damage over the fall and winter due to falling debris, snow, moisture, and wind. So once spring rolls around and the weather permits, call a local roofing company with the knowledge to do an on-site roof tune-up. This tune-up will usually consist of identifying problem spots on your roof, like damaged shingles or potential leaking spots.
A roof tune-up is the best way to tell if there are issues that are going to cause a problem during a rainy spring season. They can also help you coordinate with your roofer in terms of the kinds of repairs or renovations needed to head off trouble.
Remember that a leaking roof isn’t something to ignore or to wait out. Moisture leaking in through the roof can cause extensive structural damage to your home and invite harmful mold and bacteria to grow in your home. This can then necessitate expensive mold remediation or a complete renovation to remove affected areas.
If you only do one of these tips when spring hits, get a roof tune-up.
Spring Cleaning Will Keep Your Home Vital and Healthy Through Spring
A spring cleaning of your home should always include an exterior cleaning, including your roof, gutters, windows, and walls. Not only does this make your home look great, but it also increases the longevity of the home by limiting wear and tear or damage done by other organic substances like mold.
Make sure that even if you do some of these steps as a DIY home repair person, that you also consult with a professional contractor that can do the more dangerous or vital aspects of cleaning your home. Roof cleaning and tune-ups are critical parts of home care, so you don’t want to cut corners here.
But, if you follow these 5 tips, then we think you can trust that your home will stand strong for many spring seasons to come.