Spring Cleaning – Meet Your Match

7 Things You Need to Wash This Fall

Each fall as the daylight sneaks away earlier and earlier, there are 7 hot spots around my home that require a thorough washing. Popsicles have been dripped on the deck, and the dust and dirt of summer fun have filled the garage. Even if you don’t live in a climate with dramatic climate changes during the seasons, your home can be prepped for fall and the cooler months when you just want to curl up and enjoy the view of colorful leaves.

The windows

Dusty summer days when sand, dirt, and the fingerprints of fun have left their mark, require a thorough window cleaning.

  • Invest in the good stuff – it is not time for $1 window clears and tissue thin paper towels. Purchase a quality window cleaning product and either use high quality paper towels or cotton rags that won’t leave threads straggling behind on the glass.
  • If your windows are difficult to reach, try using a floor mop with a soft sponge swivel head to reach the outside of upper level windows.
  • Take this opportunity to inspect and address any cracks, gaps, and puckers. Fall is one of the best times to caulk and repair these flaws because the air is drier and temperatures more moderate.

The screens

Window screens gather dust and grime that can be hard to see until you actually take the time to clean them.

  • Remove screens as you wash the windows and keep them in order – slight imperfections and nuances can make the difference when it comes to finding the screen’s right home.
  • Place the screens in your bathtub or shower stall (I lean them upright against the side of the tub wall).
  • Use a spray cleaner on the screens and let them sit for 10 minutes. You can use commercial products, but I find that equal parts of vinegar and water mixed in an all-purpose spray bottle works well.
  • Rinse the screens with hot water.
  • Place a washed screen on a beach towel that has been spread across the floor and pat the screen dry with a clean cotton rag. Your screens are ready to go back to their homes!

Wash the vinyl siding

Last year we put new shingles on our roof and the process left random drops of tar goo across our vinyl siding. Between that, the weather, and the remnants of spider webs and bird droppings, our siding is more than ready for a wash.

  • Be wary of power washers. Some siding manufacturers don’t recommend using them, or have limitations on just how much pressure is safe to use.
  • If you use a power washer, don’t spray upward against the siding – only eye level and lower. Spraying at an upward angle increases the chances that water will get behind the siding, which is precisely where you don’t want it to go. This extra moisture can cause mold and mildew.
  • Most vinyl siding manufacturers just recommend a soft rag or very soft bristle brush for washing. I use both, along with a solution of two parts water and one part vinegar for stains.
  • You can purchase cleaners made specifically for vinyl siding or create your own with ingredients such as laundry detergent and mild kitchen cleaners. Just make sure to test a small area first with any cleaners for fading and streaking.

Wood decking

Your wood decking is where you can marvel at the strength of a power washer, but never use more than you need, and never keep the sprayer pointed on one location for too long or you’ll end up with grooves in your decking.

  • Select a chemical cleaner that is appropriate for your decking and your spray washer, and don’t forget to wear protective clothing to guard against chemicals spraying back at you during the washing.
  • Remember to use the pressure washer in gentle sweeping motions for even cleaning.

The garage floor

All summer long the kids are in and out of the garage, skidding their bikes, drawing with chalk, and dripping ice cream cones. Add to that the grease I might inadvertently spill while moving the grill and our garage floor is a mess.

  • Empty the garage of all the toys, vehicles, and household supplies.
  • Thoroughly sweep the entire floor.
  • Starting at the back of the garage, use a garden hose and spray towards the entrance of the garage, pushing any debris out of the space.
  • Use a mop and a bucket filled with hot water and dish soap (it has a mild degreasing agent) and scrub the floor.
  • Rinse the floor by again starting at the back of the garage. Once all of the soap has been removed you can push out any extra water with a clean push broom or use a wet/dry vacuum to finish the process.
  • Don’t replace items until the floor is dry.

The exterior doors and frames

Fall is one of the best times to clean exterior doors and frames because the weather is usually mild and less humid. Use cleaners appropriate for your surface areas, and take time to touch up paints and stains to help offer protection during the extremes of winter months.

The bikes

Before you hang the bikes from the rafters, go over them with rags dipped in warm water and a mixture of mild dish soap. Dry the bikes and add some grease to the chains so you’re all ready to hit the trails in the spring.

When in doubt it is always better to hire a profession to do the job right. To find a professional in your area visit www.servicelive.com.

Article Submitted by Chris O.

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