How to

How to spring clean your house exterior

Spring is the perfect time to get outside and give your home a little TLC. As a general rule, winter can wreak havoc on your exterior finishes, so a little extra legwork now will have you entertaining al fresco in no time. 

Damp, cold conditions can cause moss, mould, lichen and dirt to build up on paths, patios, decks and driveways, as well as the roof and your home’s precious paintwork. The good news is that Resene has made blitzing all these seasonal situations incredibly easy with its range of outdoor cleaning products, which have each been designed with Kiwi homes in mind. It’s very important to always follow the specific directions and dilution instructions on each product to get the best results.

Resene Paint Experts Patrick Katoa and Murdo Shaw share their top picks and tips for spring cleaning your house exterior with confidence.

Deep impact 

Resene Deep Clean is your saving grace when it comes to cleaning slippery paths, driveways, patios, decks and all of your exterior paintwork. It breaks down contaminants all by itself – once you’ve applied it, nature does the job for you. Patrick recommends using it twice a year on concrete and timber surfaces to keep them looking good. Murdo says, “just dilute with the right amount of water, then spray or scrub it on. I like to use the trigger pack to get the job done faster.” Once you’ve applied it, leave it alone for 4-5 days. It will start to turn a reddish rust colour and it will keep working all by itself in the natural elements.

Apply Resene Deep Clean to slippery paths and driveways and use the trigger pack to make it easier.

Refresh and renew

Resene Paint Prep and Housewash and Resene Bio-Cleaner are both powerful and highly efficient ways to get surfaces ready for painting or to use annually to give homes and buildings a refresh. A regular spring cleaning cycle will keep your house looking great and will extend the life of your paintwork. Dilute the cleaner with the right amount of water, scrub vigorously using a nylon bristle broom or short handle scrubbing brush, then rinse with clean water for an instantly fresher surface. Murdo instructs, “follow the instructions on the back of the container and mix it together.  And then I like to use a backpack to spray it on.” Apply it liberally and use a soft brush to give it a good scrub. Make sure you do all of this on an overcast day. If it’s too sunny it will dry too soon and leave streaks on your house. “When you’re done scrubbing, rinse it down with copious amounts of clean fresh water.”

Spring is the perfect time to clean up outside and Resene has a comprehensive range of outdoor cleaning products that have been designed with Kiwi homes in mind.

Raise the roof 

If you’re planning to freshen up your roof this summer, Patrick suggests first giving it a good clean before applying any paint. Resene Roof and Metal Wash is a specifically formulated cleaning and degreasing agent that is recommended for all new and previously painted galvanised iron or Galvalume roofs, as well as a general cleaner and pre-treatment for repainting. Mix with water then apply by brush or spray, scrub vigorously and rinse with clean water.

Planning to paint your roof this summer? Before you start, prepare it with Resene Roof and Metal Wash.

Break the mould 

Resene Moss & Mould Killer is a very effective means of killing all manner of green stuff that has appeared over winter. Mould left untreated on paint is a major cause of paint disfigurement and can shorten the life of your paintwork. Resene Moss & Mould Killer is also highly recommended for exterior concrete surfaces where mould growth is normally present. It’s a hypochlorite-based wash designed to kill and bleach most common moulds and fungus. Murdo says, “This is easy to use as well – dilute it with water or use a more concentrated mix on really heavy infestations.” Saturate the whole area with a brush or garden sprayer, taking care to keep it off your plants. Then leave it for 48 hours before washing it off thoroughly.

Using a garden sprayer makes applying the Resene cleaning product you’re using much quicker and easier.

Stain remover 

If you have oil stains on your driveway or in your garage, hit them with a dose of Resene Heavy Duty Paint Prep and Oil Remover. This is a great product to have in your garage all year round, as it’s best to clean oil spots when they are fresh. It’s also a powerful, biodegradable, phosphate-free cleaner for removal of dirt and grease prior to painting. Simply dilute the concentrate with water, scrub vigorously and allow the cleaner to remain on the surface for 5-10 minutes before rinsing with clean water.

Oil spots and stains are a thing of the past with a good clean and scrub with Resene Heavy Duty Paint Prep and Oil Remover.

Wood wash

Resene Timber and Deck Wash will help clean off all the builtup gunk that occurs during the winter season. This is also the first step you should complete if you’re planning to refresh your deck or fence with paint or stain. Mix the concentrate with water and saturate the timber surface. Leave wet for 10-15 minutes, scrub vigorously, then rinse with clean water.

A scrub with Resene Timber and Deck Wash will clean all the gunk off your timber so it’s ready for staining or painting.

Murdo’s seven top tips for the best outdoor clean

  1. Clean from the top down. By working this way your new cleaning won’t make an area you’ve already cleaned dirty again. Start with your roof, then clean your house, then finish with your decks and exposed timber surfaces.
  2. Try to clean out of direct sunlight. For most cleaning products, the best days to clean are usually overcast but not wet days. Your cleaning product will stay wet for longer, giving you more time to get the cleaning done.
  3. Don’t mix cleaning products – use the best one for the surface you’re cleaning. While it can be tempting to use one product on everything, chances are you won’t be getting the best clean for each.
  4. When scrubbing, it’s best to scrub with the direction or grain of the surface.
  5. Most cleaners need rinsing off the surface. Cleaning products can etch surfaces so make sure you keep them wet while you are cleaning then rinse well and allow them to dry before applying any paint or stain.
  6. If you’re working in an enclosed space, make sure you have plenty of ventilation.
  7. Remember to wear adequate protection – overalls, gloves, eye protection and suitable footwear while you’re cleaning.

It’s crucial to always follow the specific directions and dilution instructions on each product to get the best results.

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