The longer we put things off, the heavier they weigh on our minds; case in point when it comes to cleaning our decks and siding. No need to be mired in guilt any longer, our work back schedules will show you how easy it is to tick these bore-chores off your to-do list.

Simplest Way to Clean the Deck

When hosting a BBQ, you don’t want guests to feel like they can’t lounge on your lovely Adirondack chair because it’s covered in sap. It takes 3-5 hours to stain most decks, cleaning is half that time! Here’s your work back schedule:

  • Clear everything off the deck.
  • Sweep and hand-scrub your deck with hot soapy water and a bristle brush (not too hard of bristles, or you might remove the stain or paint).
  • Power wash your deck to rinse off the soap (and any stubborn stains).
  • Dump any flower, plant or herb pot debris into a yard bag. Power wash metal planters, and hand-wash ceramic and terra cotta planters.
  • Hand-wash light fixtures and stringed patio lights. Replace burnt out light bulbs.
  • Hand-wash your patio table, chairs, BBQ and any other furniture ensuring algae, mildew and tree sap is removed.

TOTAL TIME: 2 intense hours of labour + 24 easy-peasy hours of watching the deck dry.


Laziest Way to Clean Siding

This is likely in the top five of “zero gratification cleaning jobs”, but it must get done!

Keep in mind that no one’s eating off the siding, so you can cheat it a bit. Here’s how to break this down:

  • You’ll need a ladder and someone to hold the ladder.
  • Power spray small areas at a time; to ensure safety, don’t overreach; only go as far as your arms can comfortably reach. This water-only rinse is to help soften organic build up like flies, bugs and bird droppings.
  • Hand scrub stains as you go. Use soapy water and a bristle brush (not too hard of bristles, or you might remove the paint).
  • If you’ve never cleaned the siding before, you’ll discover algae, mildew, discolouration and imperfections. Don’t try to fix them, just clean them.
  • For very stubborn stains, have a spray bottle handy full of pure white vinegar. Spray on problem area liberally, leave it to soak, then come back to this area later, and use your bristle brush to scrub off the stain.
  • Ideally, you and the person holding the ladder will trade roles every 15 minutes.

TOTAL TIME: 3 hours once a year, or 1.5 hours twice a year (spring & fall).  


Looking to tackle other areas of your home that need some TLC? Check out Home Improved: The Transformational Power of a Work Back Schedule, Part 1.


Photo by Dimon Blr