If you are a do it yourself homeowner tired of looking at stains on homes exterior trim and eaves, read this before renting that pressure washer. This simple tip will save you time and money. A pump sprayer and bleach solution is the ticket. Most DYI homeowners think that when it is time for that long overdue exterior spring-cleaning, that pressure washing and repainting is in order. Often a pressure washer will create more problems that they repair. A simple solution of one part liquid bleach to two parts water in a three gallon pump sprayer accomplishes most exterior cleaning tasks with much less effort and no damage to your wood. Old clothes, latex gloves, a brimmed hat and goggles are all the safety gear you need.
Painted wood eaves and soffits rarely need to be repainted if bleached instead of pressure washing. Apply the bleach solution liberally and evenly to the surfaces. After letting the solution soak for 10 minutes, just hose the treated area with plain water. Insect webs and cocoons wash away in an instant. Mold and mildew staining disappears, leaving the surface looking surprisingly renewed. Don’t forget the windows and doors, while you have the chance. Evenly bleach all similarly painted surfaces for uniformity. With the freshly clean surfaces you will be better able to tell if a new paint job is needed or just a little touch-up. Regular cleaning with bleach, every two years, will help prevent wood damage. Mold and mildew will damage your wood. Keep mold and mildew at bay with regular bleaching and touch-up painting.
Asphalt roofing can benefit from bleaching, saving even more money. While not on most DYI project lists, the roof does need a little maintenance. A mold-discolored roof doesn’t help the look of your home. Bleaching your shingles keeps them looking fresh and uniform. First sweep any leaves and debris off the roof. Start the bleaching in areas with the heaviest mold first and work away from that point. If leaves have been on the roof for an extended period, a little help with a stiff broom may be required. Let the solution set as before and rinse the mold away. This is a good time to check for loose or damaged shingles and repair as need. Inspecting your chimney flashing and other flashing can save you a lot of costly repairs in the future. Roof cleaning and inspections don’t have to be performed very often, every five years or longer. If you notice staining, that is a good time to inspect. Over hanging tree limbs are often the culprits causing the problem. Prune limbs back to allow for some sun to hit the molded area and the staining should reduce.
Car porches, driveways and walkways benefit from bleaching also. Removing rust stains, mold and just general sprucing up their appearance adds curb appeal. A simple pump sprayer and some bleach can save the DYI homeowner a lot of time and money.