How to clean up your outdoor spaces
With the long days and warm nights of summer comes the irresistible urge to be outdoors! Whether it’s sitting on the porch with a cool glass of sweet tea, hosting dinner on the patios as you listen to the cicadas, or even playing water games with your kids in the yard, there are so many reasons to be outside this summer.
When you go outside, you know that you should protect yourself against the sun and elements: slathering on sunscreen, wearing a hat, donning sunglasses, and, for some of us, taking allergy medication to combat all the pollen. If you know to protect and care for yourself in the summer, shouldn’t you also be taking care of your home?
Follow our guide to clean up your outdoor spaces so that you fully enjoy your home this summer!
Pollen removal allows for maximum comfort.
Pollen can really build up in your outdoor spaces! This layer of pollen not only ruins the furniture and porch, but also ruins your mood if you have allergies! It’s crucial to be able to effectively clean pollen from outdoor spaces. For general pollen removal, wash your porch and furnishings with a hose and then go over all spaces with a rag and a combination of warm, soapy water.
For stubborn pollen stains on textured wood in limited areas, use a vacuum to try and clean away most of the pollen and then place a piece of clear packing tape over the pollen to remove the remaining pollen particles. If the pollen stain remains, use a mixture of equal parts white vinegar and water to gently rub it away.
Cleaned concrete patios means more time spent outdoors
Concrete is durable and long-lasting but it can look ugly and ultimately bring down the value of a home if not properly cared for. Cleaning concrete can take a little bit of elbow grease but pays off in the long-run when you spend more time on the patio and it increases the exterior image of your home.
To generally clean your patio, first sweep away dirt or scrape away lichen that has grown in the cracks. Then, mix white vinegar with hot water and a little bit of salt, pour over your patio and let sit for about twenty minutes. Take a clean brush with stiff bristles and scrub your patio clean. The best way to finish this process is with a power washer that can be rented from your general store.
For oily spots, we suggest using an alkaline degreaser and water – this can be found at your local hardware store. Just be aware to use protective clothing and follow the instructions on the bottle before using.
Moss, lichen, and mildew oh my!
A tough challenge you may face when you decide to clean up your outdoor spaces is keeping your porch, patio, driveway, walkway, and siding clear of moss, lichen, and mildew! Moss, lichen, and mildew grow in damp spaces so folks in the south or Pacific Northwest might be particularly interested in our tips for battling these green, slippery nuisances.
There are several ways to get rid of moss, lichen, and mildew but it also requires that a homeowner be attentive and prevent re-growth through continued cleaning. Try spreading washing soda over the affected area and leaving for two days. This will dry up the offending greenery and make it easy to sweep or scoop up. Washing soda can be caustic so use proper precautions when spreading it such as wearing gloves and ensuring there is no wind so as not to inhale it.
Another method is to use bleach to kill the green stuff: four parts water to one-part bleach. For smaller patches, white vinegar mixed with warm water can also do the trick.
Remember, taking care of your home on your schedule saves you nasty surprise maintenance issues in the future and allows you to fully enjoy the beauty (and market value!) of a well-kept home. Clean up your outdoor spaces to enjoy your home today. When you are ready to go from outdoor cleaning to indoor, make sure you leave the hard work to Maid Right.