Many people look forward to spring to refresh their homes after the winter doldrums, and exterior spring cleaning can be productive and renewing. By adding outdoor chores to your cleaning checklist, not only do you get a cleaner home, but you can enjoy the first breath of fresh spring air.
Why Clean Outdoors
If you dread the thought of spring cleaning, you may wonder why you should bother to clean the exterior of your home as well. While the aesthetic benefits of a clean home are a matter of personal preference, there are other reasons to consider.
First and foremost, your home is a reflection of your personality. By taking care of it and making it fresh and presentable after accumulating months of winter grime, you make a better impression on neighbors and guests. If you plan outdoor activities in the spring and summer, a fresh, clean home is more enjoyable and you'll find yourself wanting to spend even more time outside. Exterior cleaning can also help you convert your lawn, garden, and yard from a dormant winter state to a rejuvenated spring appearance, ready for growth and blooming.
Exterior Spring Cleaning Chores
Just like any spring cleaning list, it is easiest to approach a wide range of chores by dividing them into manageable areas.
For the House
Cleaning the actual structure of your house is easy and will instantly improve its appearance.
- Windows: Washing windows and screens will give you a sparkling view of spring even if it's still a bit too cold to be outside enjoying it as much as you want.
- Gutters: Cleaning out rain gutters is a fall chore for many homeowners, but checking them again in the spring will ensure that no debris has become clogged in them during winter storms.
- Siding: Pressure wash the siding of your home to remove grime. Be sure to start at the highest points of your home to avoid washing dirt down onto clean areas.
- Garage: Cleaning out the garage will give you more space for summer equipment such as bikes, outdoor games, and gardening equipment. This may be a good time to hold a yard sale as well.
For the Deck
Whether you have a deck or patio, a few simple cleaning chores can turn it from a winter-neglected spot into a fun outdoor gathering space.
- Flooring: If you have a wood deck, inspect the wood for signs of rot or decay and make repairs as necessary. Sweep first, then scrub the wood with oxalic acid to kill microbes, and restain the deck if necessary. For a concrete patio, check for chips or cracks that need repair, and scrub away any stains.
- Furniture: If your patio furniture has been out in the weather all winter, it will need to be scrubbed clean. If it has been stored instead, now is the time to brush it off and return it to the patio or deck.
- Grills: If you have a grill, check its connections and operations, following all safety guidelines. Clean the grills and handles, lubricate the lid, and get ready for great barbecues.
- Lighting: If your patio area includes exterior lighting, check that bulbs are snugly screwed in and that all fixtures are working appropriately. Remove any rodent, bird, or insect nests and clean the fixtures so they will shine as brightly as possible.
For the Lawn
Even a beautiful home will look dingy if the lawn is in poor shape. While you don't want to wash your lawn, there are several spring cleaning chores that can help it look its best.
- Litter: The first task is to pick up any litter and dispose of it properly. Remember to check underneath trees, shrubs, and bushes as well.
- Raking: Dormant grass is easily flattened and matted by months of snowfall. Gently rake your lawn to remove dead grass, perk up the dormant blades, and give your lawn a boost.
- Aeration: Over time your lawn can become compacted, making it difficult for water and air to reach the roots of your grass for the lushest, greenest growth. Consider an aeration service to help loosen your lawn and encourage thicker, sturdier grass.
- Fertilizing: A spring fertilization treatment can give your grass a boost of nutrients for strong spring and summer growth. You can apply a fertilizer yourself, or contact a lawn care company for an estimate.
- Sprinklers: If your yard has a sprinkler system, check the condition of the visible pipes and valves, and test the system to be sure it is working well.
For the Garden
Whether you have a large garden, medium flowerbeds, or just a small planted area, you can make it look better in the spring with a few simple chores.
- Weeding: Removing weeds is much easier when they're small and the soil is moist with spring rain. To minimize the reappearance of weeds, consider using weed control fabric or tarp in your garden or flowerbeds.
- Uncover Plants: If you use covers to protect delicate plants, remove them as soon as the danger of frost has passed.
- Pruning: Spring is a fine time to prune trees and shrubs. Consider their overall size and shape when you're pruning, and recycle the clippings in a brush pile for the birds or by creating mulch or compost.
- Insects: Spring is the best time to treat your garden area and flowerbeds for insects to minimize any pest problems.
- Mulch: Rake the mulch in your garden and flowerbeds to mix air closer to the soil and refresh the color of the mulch.
Other Exterior Cleaning
In addition to the chores for different areas around your home, you may have other exterior cleaning chores to attend to.
- Clean the doghouse or pen
- Clean out birdhouses and bird feeders
- Clean and repair the fence and gate
- Check that the mailbox is secure
- Report any roadway problems, such as potholes
No matter what the size and condition of your home, exterior spring cleaning can make it fresh and bright for a new season.