Make your home sparkle — starting at the curb. Try these simple ideas for cleaning the driveway, gutters, garden beds and more.
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 steps, balusters and fencing. 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. If you have never used a pressure washer before, call in a professional.
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.
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.
Remove Faded Flowers and give hedges a hair cut
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.
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