It’s easy to forget about cleaning the outside of your home. But it’s important. Here are some tips.

Vinyl Siding: The best way to clean most types of siding is to fill a bucket with soapy water and to use a stiff bristle brush on the end of a long pole to scrub it down. Rinse with the hose. The next best method is pressure washing, also known as power washing, where you use a high pressure pump to blast dirt away. It’s important to be familiar with power washers – be sure to consult at your hardware store for information. Plus, power washers will not remove mold or mildew so you will have to do that by hand.

Driveways: Grease stains on driveways can damage the surface layer, and they don’t look very good. To get rid of them, spread sawdust over the stain and let it sit for a few hours to absorb excess grease. Now, sprinkle powdered dishwasher detergent over the stain and pour boiling water over it. Use a stiff nylon brush to clean up the stain, then rinse. Repeat if necessary.

Stairs and Railings: Many people keep their front porch tidy and clean but they forget the most used part (the staircase) and the most handled (railings). Remove all the furniture from the porch. Use the hose to wash the stairs and railing with soap and water. Inspect the finish to see if it requires any other maintenance such as painting.

Window Screens: Rust often develops on window screens. Rubbing the stain with a rag soaked in kerosene may remove the rust. If stains are really bad and you can’t get rid of them, you may have to sand the area and paint with a rust-resistant metal paint. Consult with your hardware store or building supply centre.