Keeping the inside of our homes pristine, neat and tidy and looking their best tends to take up most of our focus and energy. Therefore it’s not really surprising that the exterior of our homes can look a little neglected and tatty over time. When we think about sprucing up the outside of our homes it can feel like an overwhelming and arduous task and it’s probably because of this that we tend to push it down to the bottom of our to-do list.
Sprucing up the outside of our homes, however, really isn’t necessarily such a mammoth job. Follow our simple steps for the easiest ways that you can ensure your home is looking as good on the outside as it does on the inside.
Clean The Exterior
Whilst we are constantly cleaning the inside of our homes, this is something that we should be doing to the outside of our homes too. You’d be surprised at what a difference cleaning the outside walls and areas of our home can make. As the external facades of our homes are so exposed to the outdoor elements, and all types of harsh weather throughout the seasons, there’s no wonder the outside of our homes can look a little tired over time and become in need of some serious TLC.
Pressure washers are certainly the best way to set about cleaning the front of your house. Be careful when using them however, as all pressure washers, have different levels of power depending on the nozzle you use. Therefore you will need to be very cautious that you choose a nozzle that is just right for the task of cleaning a house and not one that is too powerful and will strip the paintwork and even knock guttering out of place. Some nozzles are actually so strong that they can take the paint work off cars, so they can be extremely powerful machine so take care that you are looking at the lower level pressure nozzles.
Once you have chosen the correct nozzle a DIY pressure washer job is actually pretty straight forward. You should be starting from the top of your home and working your way down to the bottom by cleaning in a side to side motion, all the way down to the bottom. Be extra careful of the gutters and drains around your property. Again, if the water pressure is too high, you run the risk of loosening your guttering over time and then you will have a whole other job to take care of. When it comes to spraying windows you will need to spray around them and take great care not to spray the water on to them directly. The pressure of the water can break and crack the glass of the window so approach this area with great caution.
Guttering & Drains
Outdoor guttering and drains can create problems for our homes, not just aesthetically, but physically, if we don’t look after them on a regular basis. They accumulate a lot of natural build up over time, which obviously looks unpleasant but can also create a lot of practical problems for your home so it is crucial to keep on top of the maintenance of your rain gutters and outdoor pipes. The experts recommend that you clean out your rain gutters at least once a year to make sure that they don’t get overly congested and blocked.
Make sure you are wearing thick rubber gloves to protect your hands. Then using a really sturdy ladder you can set about getting your guttering cleared up, preferably with someone there to help you to hold the ladder steady. A little ladder extra called ‘Ladder horns’ are a really good purchase to provide extra safety and security in ensuring that your ladder doesn’t move around too much and that it doesn’t damage your gutters. Don’t forget to use a plastic scoop to remove all the debris and use a plastic tarp to dispose of it all.
A little Garage TLC
Specialists recommend that homeowners should be replacing their garage doors every 10 years in order to keep your home both protected and looking as great as possible. Click here for more information on the different types of electrical garages available on the market if you are considering updating your current garage doors. If you are happy with your garage door but recognise that it just needs a little TLC then it is time to get the paint brushes out.
As garages are such a busy outdoor area they certainly need some attention from time to time to keep them in good condition and a lick of paint could be all you need to do that. If your garage is looking a little bit shabby then a good old fashioned paint job is a really easy way to bring garage doors back to their former glory. Making sure that you are using a highly durable, outdoor paint for this job, will make sure that the paint weathers well over time no matter the weather.
Garages are a melting pot for all other types of mess and dirt, so if you are really serious about sprucing up the outside of your home then there is certainly more work to be done in this area. Concrete garage floors and driveways can also be a real problem area as concrete holds grease, oil stains, and of course, tyre marks from all the vehicle activity in this space.
So, the best way to set about cleaning up your concrete floors is to start by covering up the area with a drying agent, of which cat litter works surprisingly well. Leave this drying agent on the floor for 24 hours and then remove. You will then need to scrub the stains with a laundry detergent in order to move the stain easily and quickly. There are many products for removing oil stains, on the market, however just a simple laundry detergent, from your laundry rooms, is just as good and costs a fraction of the price.
Rust stains are also a problem in garages and need to be dealt with. They can be treated by applying oxalic acid, and that needs to be in a powdered form. Sprinkle this powder over the rust stains and leave to work its magic for around 5 minutes. Then simply scrub the area and rinse. Unsightly tyre marks can be removed by scrubbing them with a chemical strippper or a degreaser which will remove the concrete sealer. Once the stain has disappeared you will then have to reseal that area again as this process does remove the original resealer.
Pruning & Preening Your Garden
Big or small, all gardens need time and affection when it comes to the outside of our home looking their best. Whether you have a front or a back garden, or even both, you are certainly going to need to put time into your outdoor space to really make the most of your homes.
Of course the bread and butter of garden maintenance is deweeding, so click here, if you are a bit of a novice when it comes to gardening and need a little help on how to go about this. Looking after the shrubs and getting rid of all the weeds and deadheads in your garden is something that you should be doing on a regular basis to keep your garden looking its best. You should be aiming to do this around every 3 weeks, particularly in the spring and summer months when a lot of plants are growing and need extra nurturing. Looking after your beloved flowers and plants will ensure that your garden is looking in peak condition and will help you to have a garden that you really enjoy relaxing and unwinding in.
The furniture in your garden is also really important when it comes to the outside of your garden looking at its best. Old, shabby and dirty looking outdoor furniture will instantly pull down all of that other hard work you have been grafting away at, so it is super important that your outdoor furniture is as clean and as chic as your garden deserves.
Sometimes our garden furniture is just too old and really just needs replacing with new items. However a lot of the time tired looking furniture just needs a little elbow grease and a little hard work in order to bring them back to their former glory. Faded and sad looking wooden furniture can usually be bought back to life with a simple sanding and varnishing job. Just spending an afternoon sanding down wooden tables and chairs and then either just varnishing them or even choosing to paint them in a totally different colour, can make your wooden outdoor furniture look as good as new.
So look around the items in your garden and see what needs replacing and what just needs a little TLC and a weekend of DIY in order to have the outdoor areas of your home looking as relaxing, clean, organised and as fantastic as you and your home deserve.