April 13, 2016 (Gephardt Daily/Family Features) — Months of harsh weather conditions can take their toll on your home and outdoor features, such as decks, sidewalks and even your lawn furniture. Often all it takes to get these items spruced up and ready for spring is a serious scrubbing with little more than a pressure washer to remove dirt and grime, says website Family Features.
When you gear up to wash away the winter, take stock of the entire outdoor area to make your plan of attack:
Windows and siding. Storm after storm leaves plenty of dirty residue on your home’s exterior, glass surfaces and exterior walls alike. Before you begin, inspect windows and siding for dents, gaps or holes that may allow water to enter. Rather than climbing up a ladder to clean second-story windows — a dangerous endeavor — a pressure washer with second-story capabilities is a smart solution. Exercise caution, as too much water pressure can damage windows, seals and siding. Start by standing farther away (at least 5 to 6 feet) from your home and aim toward an area without windows to test the pressure of your spray. Hold the nozzle at a 45-degree angle, spraying down toward the window if cleaning at ground level and up and to the side if spraying the second level so you avoid getting wet.
Driveways, decks and patios. Concrete and brick driveways, sidewalks and patios, as well as wood decks, can take a real beating from the ice and snow, as well as shoveling and any chemicals you use to remove them. Before you can identify damage and make repairs, it’s a good idea to thoroughly clean the surface. Use a power washer in high-pressure mode, starting at a distance and moving closer until the desired effect is achieved.
Grills. Nothing signals warmer weather like the smell of dinner on the grill. Get ready for your taste of the new season by scrubbing away months of buildup. For gas grills, disconnect the tank and any electric lines before you begin. Open the hood, remove the grates and treat the entire grill with a degreasing solution, following the manufacturer’s instructions. Work from the top down to rinse away residue. Let the grill dry thoroughly and coat it with a nonstick oil to prevent future build-up.
Outdoor furniture, planters and play-things. Left outdoors, patio furniture, planters and children’s outdoor play sets acquire layers of dust and grime during months of disuse. A power washer with variable nozzle settings such as the Briggs & Stratton POWERflow+ units allows you to safely transition from heavy-duty cleaning to more items such as glass-top tables and light-weight chairs, flower pots and toys without damaging or blasting these items across the yard.
With a little elbow grease and the proper tools, you’ll quickly find your home’s exterior fresh and ready to enjoy for another season outdoors. Find more tips to help wash your way to spring at Briggsandstratton.com.