Spring Cleaning for the Outside of your HomeWith a little effort, spring cleaning outside your home can make it seem like new.  It can also prevent long-term problems that can lead to costly repairs while keeping routine maintenance low.  To start spring cleaning outdoors, begin with the basics.

Trash and Recycling

First things first: remove any trash and recyclables (go green!) from the outside of your home and set it out for residential trash pickup. Use your trash & recycling service, which is probably the easiest way to get your outdoor spring cleaning project underway.  Pull your trash and recycling to the curb and move on to step two.  Remember, after the trash removal is complete, you will want to clean out your trash and recycling bins by spraying them out with a hose and then using some disinfectant.  It is a good idea to let them soak for a short while before you clean them out with a handled brush.

Clean around your house and garage

One good idea is to wash your windows with vinegar or a window cleaning fluid and to wipe down the sills.  Clean the window screens with soap and water and set them aside to dry.  You can use a power washer to clean your siding or, if you prefer to go a cheaper route, you can use a brush and environmentally safe cleaners.  Just make sure no messy tree branches are touching your home before calling this one done.

Check for drafts and leaks 

Check your doors and windows for drafts and leaks, especially near the corners.  Look for gaps, warped sills, peeling or chipped paint.  Seal any openings you find, especially between the frame and the wall to keep out rain which can ruin construction materials.  Small insects can also enter your home through small cracks.

Also, check your front and back doors by closing them from the inside, then taking a few steps back with the lights off.  Do you see any sunlight peeking in around the doors?  If so, you may need to add foam insulation around them to stop drafts.  Be sure to properly adjust your storm door closure so that it closes properly on its own.  The closure on most storm doors has an adjustment screw that allows you to change the tension in the mechanism.  If you forget to do this and your storm door fails to close properly, a gust of wind could force your screen door open, leaving your front door unprotected against the elements and even causing damage to your home as it crashes against your siding or front exterior lights.

Sweep and clean around your Home

Next, sweep and clean your front steps.  In some case, they may require a cleaning solution to remove tough ground in dirt.  You should also check overhead for spider webs, insect nests, and other unwanted guests. Don’t forget to clear your gutters as well.  Then clean any outside furniture such as a picnic table – again, be sure there are no cobwebs or insect nests – with a mild detergent or cleaning solution.

For more tips, be sure to check back with the Brazos Valley Trash Valet & Recycling blog.