Easy Cleaning Tips for Your Home's Exterior

Make your home sparkle — starting at the curb. Try these simple ideas for cleaning the driveway, gutters, garden beds and more.

Power Wash Brick Exterior

Washing Off Dirt and Debris

Some pressure washers come with an assortment of color-coded spray tips. Each one has a different spray, from the high-pressure pinpoint spray to a wider, low-pressure spray. Siding can be cleaned with a low-pressure spray tip. Pressure-washing is also useful for removing algae stains from fencing.

©Purestock

Cleaning the Deck

Pressure-wash your deck with a tip that produces a spray about the width of a two-by-four with medium pressure. The trick is to keep the spray moving. Don't rest in one spot for too long or it could permanently damage the surface. Then apply a wood preservative to help prevent water damage and discoloration.

Seal Concrete in Driveway

Spotless Driveway

Pressure-wash the driveway, then help prevent future stains by applying waterproof sealer. Using an extender pole on a paint-roller handle, start in the middle of the driveway and roll the sealer to all edges of the concrete. Allow 24 hours before parking on surface.

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De-Junk the Gutters

Removing debris isn't only a fall chore in some yards; many trees such as black locust, oaks and maples drop litter in spring and summer. While you're clearing the gutters, also check for cracks in the seams. Use an old chisel to scrape the old caulking out and dry the area thoroughly. Use new bead silicon sealing to keep water from getting behind the gutters and rotting the boards.

Deadheading Plants DK - Simple Steps to Success: Containers for Patios © 2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Remove Faded Flowers

Deadhead spent flowers in your planters and container gardens. Removing faded blooms does more than neaten things up; it directs the plant's energy away from making seeds and into producing more foliage and, in the case of many species, more flowers.

Herb Maintenance DK - Simple Steps to Success: Herbs © 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Haircut for Herbs

Cutting back herbs keeps them from becoming leggy. It's okay to remove as much as half of the stem.

Organic Mulch Used to Retain Plant Moisture DK - How to Grow Practically Everything © 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Quick Fix to Beds

The fastest way to give a crisp, clean look to your garden beds is to add a fresh layer of mulch. Or, if the mulch layer is still about three inches deep, lightly rake the surface to get rid of that weathered, compacted look.

Potting Shed Garden

Home for Gardening Gear

Corral your gardening tools and repotting projects into an attractive structure, like RMSer MeadowSweetDays' garden shed.

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