Hard surfaces are durable and maintenance friendly, but like all surfaces, require regularly cleaning to stay pristine. What makes this sometimes difficult is the fact that most surfaces have not been properly sealed. When a surface is poorly sealed, or not sealed at all, it can easily be permanently stained. Thankfully, there are simple, effective ways to clean the hard surfaces around your home.
A dirty and stained driveway can heavily impact your home’s curb appeal. Thankfully, regularly cleaning it once a year is generally all you need to do to ensure it stays clean. For driveways, it is easiest to start with the gentlest methods, then work up to the harder cleaners if need be. For instance, soap and water easily works for general cleaning. If some spots remain dirty, then the next step up would be to use a power washer. If a power washer is not enough, then you may have to utilize harder cleaners like chlorine bleach or trisodium phosphate (found at most hardware stores). Through these methods, common issues like salt damage to concrete, stains, and other issues can be fixed.
Brick has a lot of visual appeal, but its distressed look can lead to a build up of dirt between the bricks, reducing its amazing, rustic look to unattractive, dirty blocks. Other issues like efflorescence can happen, but efflorescence treatment is bad at all.And thankfully, exterior brick is easy, simple, and cheap to clean. First, obtain a tarp, a cleaning solvent, a sponge or brush, and a hose. Then, after covering up anything you wish to protect, spray the brick down. Afterwards, apply your chosen cleaner (we recommend chlorine bleach) combined with water. Finally, wash the brick off with the hose. Your brick should now look as good as new!
In the debate between wood vs composite decking, few people consider the matter of stains and dirt. That may be because both are simple and easy to clean. Whichever deck material you have, first sweep it to get any loose debris off. Next, using a hose with a decent amount of force, wash off the deck. Then, apply your choice of cleaner, making sure that the weather is not too hot (you do not want the cleaner evaporating too fast). As a final step, seal the deck if needed. Through these steps, you can make your deck last a long time while still looking great.
Many people love having wood tables on their outdoor patios and decks, and they look amazing. Yet, one of the most annoying things about wood is the care it requires. For wood tables, the worst thing you could do would be to spill vinegar on it. Other good ways to keep wood tables looking new include washing them after use and oiling them once a month. Although oiling takes some time, the process is pretty simple. First, remove any stains you see; then, wipe down the entire table and lightly sand the surface until it is pretty smooth. As a final step, apply food-grade mineral oil, rub it in with a towel or rag, and let it soak for 20-25 minutes. By flooding these tips, you can ensure that your wood surfaces will stay beautiful.
Fiber Cement Siding
Positively, fiber cement siding is is designed to be durable and easy to maintain. The amount of time needed for cleaning each year depends on your home’s location, as debris, mold, and dirt can build up in different geographic areas. For cleaning, dirt is easy. Simply brush off the siding and use a garden hose to wash it off. With oil or grease, water and mild dishwashing soap is all you need. Finally, for mold, you may need to purchase a fiber cement siding mildew cleaner. With regular cleaning, your fiber cement siding will look amazing.
Matt Lee is the owner of the Innovative Building Materials blog and a content writer for the building materials industry. He is focused on helping fellow homeowners, contractors, and architects discover materials and methods of construction that save money, improve energy efficiency, and increase property value.
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