When you own a home, it seems like there’s always something to clean. And while spring is the traditional time for a deep cleaning, there are some jobs you really should tackle before winter hits to keep your home cozy and tidy in the cold months to come.
Has the long, hot summer left your house’s exterior coated in pollen, dirt, droppings, spider webs, mold and other grimy debris? Luckily, a pressure washer turns giving your house a bath into a weekend DIY project. Start by checking the manual to make sure you select the right spray setting and distance for your type of siding, then test a small area to make sure the pressure doesn’t cause any damage. Hold the wand at a 45 degree angle and work from the bottom up, spraying small sections at a time, until the entire exterior is clean. As you work, keep the spray stream level to avoid driving water behind the siding. Tougher stains may require the use of a detergent.
Gutters can keep water flowing away from your house and prevent the build up of ice dams that can damage your roof… but if the gutters are clogged with leaves they can’t do their job. Frost King’s Gutter Scoop makes cleaning out your gutters an easier task. While you’re cleaning the gutters, take a minute to make sure they are securely attached all along the length of the roofline. Once you’re done, stop leaves from entering the newly cleaned gutters by installing our guards and screens on gutters and downspouts. If the outside of your gutters are dirty, they can be cleaned with a pressure washer as you’re washing the siding – just be sure to test first to make sure the water pressure doesn’t damage your gutters.
Give yourself a clear view of the outside this winter by crossing window cleaning off your do-to list. To clean outside windows, hose them down thoroughly to loose dirt and debris. Fill a bucket with clean water and add a few drops of dish soap. Apply the soapy water to the window with a sponge mop, then spray with a hose to remove any soapy residue. Working from top to bottom, use a squeegee to wipe the window dry; be sure to wipe the squeegee dry between each pass. To clean inside windows, mix one part vinegar with two parts water in a spray bottle. Spray the inside of each window thoroughly, and wipe clean with a soft, dry, microfiber cloth. And pro tip: save this job for a cloudy day, when it’s easier to see streaks on the glass.
It’s not enough to just turn off your air conditioner for the winter. To extend the life of your unit, you should also prep it for winter. To do so, locate the on/off switch and flip it to “off” to cut the power supply. Remove leaves, twigs, and grass clippings from around the exterior of the unit, then use a garden hose to rinse any bugs, dirt, dust, or bird droppings from the surface. Allow the unit to dry completely. Wrap exposed pipes with Frost King Tubular Foam Pipe Insulation to prevent freezing. Cover the unit with one of our Central Air Conditioner Covers to seal out leaves, dirt, and dust and to protect the exterior from rusting. Remember to check the unit throughout the winter and brush off snow, ice, and debris that may have accumulated on top of the unit. If you have any window air conditioner units, this is a good time to remove or cover them for the winter. Check out our blog post for easy step-by-step directions on how to protect window units during cold weather.
Before you even think of lighting a fire in your fireplace, hire a professional to clean and inspect your fireplace and chimney. A professional chimney sweep will remove creosote build-up from past fires, as well as any bird nests, critters, leaves, twigs or other items that may have collected in your chimney over the summer. The chimney pro should also check the firebox, chimney liner, flue and exterior for any damage. To maintain a clean fireplace, you should only burn dry, seasoned wood. Place the largest logs on the bottom and arrange smaller logs on top to build a hotter fire that creates less smoke.
Dust, dirt and pet fur can get stuck in the crevices of radiators and heating vents. Use the crevice attachment to vacuum away debris, and then wipe with a microfiber cloth. If your heating system distributes heat through ductwork, you may want to install Frost King Heat/Air Deflectors on your newly cleaned vents to make the distribution of heated air more efficient. Watch this video for simple step-by-step installation instructions. And take a look at your furniture placement. If any large pieces of furniture are blocking vents, you may want to move it to keep air warm air flowing into your rooms.