3 Exterior Cleaning Tips for Your Rental Property

Enhance your Property's Look

June 12, 2020

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Owning a rental property comes with great benefits. One of the best benefits is the ability to make income on the property you own.

While many factors are playing into how much you can charge for rent, one of those is the curb appeal of your home. Most renters, like homeowners, look for a property that has a great looking exterior.

The exterior of a home is the first thing you notice when arriving at a house and first impressions go a long way. A home with a dirty exterior will typically take longer to get occupied and will likely not be able to charge the going rate in your area.

Renters want to know the landlord is taking good care of their property and will be in good hands when they move in. That's why it's important to keep the exterior of your home in tip-top shape. This not only helps with occupying your property, but it helps reduce heavy maintenance needed in the future from property neglect.

We teamed up with First Choice Exterior Cleaning to create three easy but crucial tips on keeping the exterior of your home clean and in pristine condition.

As with any DIY project, be sure you practice all safety precautions with the work you're completing. If the work is too dangerous or doesn't have the proper tools, please contact a professional to complete the work.

Exterior Cleaning Tip #1: Pressure Washing the Driveway

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We're starting our exterior cleaning tips with one of the most common DIY projects - pressure washing your driveway. However, we're going to give you a few professional tips to make your driveway even cleaner!

If you don't own a pressure washer Home Depot or Lowe's are good options to use to rent one for the day. In most cases, pressure washing your driveway should only take a few hours.

Two pro tips for a cleaner driveway

Tip 1: Use a surface cleaner

These devices reduce the amount of time it takes to clean your driveway. It also makes the job much easier!

Tip 2: Use pre and post-treatments

Using a diluted bleach solution allows you to kill and eliminate any organic growth on your surface. While a pressure washer will clean it, it won't kill the growth and it will come back quicker than without treatment.

It also helps eliminate any surface cleaner lines left of the surface. Here are the steps.

  1. Using a 2-gallon pump sprayer, create the following solution:
  • 0.6 Gallons of liquid pool chlorine (10% strength which can be found at Home Depot)
  • Fill remaining with water
  • Add two ounces of a dish soap

2. Make sure you avoid getting any treatment solution on landscaping or your grass. In case you do, water those areas thoroughly.

The Driveway Cleaning Process:

  1. Remove all rocks, mulch, leaves, and other objects from the surface. This helps reduce any damage to yourself or surrounding property. Pressure washers blast out water at a high rate of speed and can be dangerous if it hits a loose object.
  2. Apply pre-treatment. Let it sit for about 10 minutes
  3. Pressure wash the driveway. Start at the low-end of your driveway. Move at a slow pace and work in sections when cleaning your driveway. Always have a slight overlap from the last passing. Complete these steps until the entire driveway has been cleaned.
  4. Rinse the driveway. You want to make sure none of the dirty water remains on the freshly cleaned driveway. Using a garden hose or pressure washing wand/gun, rinse all dirty water off the driveway until all have been removed.
  5. Apply the post-treatment. Using the same solution as the pre-treatment, apply the post-treatment to the clean surface. This helps eliminate anything left behind. Allow at least 30 minutes before walking on the surface.

Exterior Cleaning Tip #2: Cleaning The Exterior of Windows

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Living in Florida means we suffer from the salty air, intense weather days, and hard water. While cleaning the inside of your windows is common, a lot of owners forget to clean the outside as well and this is the part of the glass being exposed to the worse of the elements.

Cleaning the exterior of your windows not only produces better visual results, but it helps keep the windows in better condition by removing hard water and algae buildup on the frames and glass.

Pro tips for cleaner windows

Tip 1: Create your window cleaning solution

Fill a spray bottle with water and add about 1-2 tablespoons of dish soap. This DIY solution will guarantee you get streak-free and better results than using commercially produced window cleaning products. It's also more cost-effective.

Tip 2: Use a squeegee

Most local hardware stores carry basic window squeegees. These window cleaning tools give you the best opportunity at cleaning your windows at a faster pace.

Using a squeegee is faster than wiping with a paper towel but gives you better results. If you have no experience using a squeegee, YouTube is a great resource to learn the basics.

Tip 3: Use steel wool

Do not use this if your windows are tinted. Purchase 0000 steel wool from a local department store. Once you spray your window cleaning solution, softly scrub the window glass with steel wool.

This helps remove any hard water spots or dirt attached to the window. After you steel wool the windows, you can wipe or squeegee clean and allow it to dry for detailing.

Tip 4: Detailing

After your windows have dried from cleaning, follow back up with a microfiber towel. These towels will buff out any imperfections left behind giving your windows a brand new shine.

Exterior Cleaning Tip #3: Cleaning The Gutters

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Routine gutter cleaning is key to keeping them functioning and working properly. Gutters are delicate and often need to be repaired due to neglect over the years from not properly cleaning them routinely.

Having clean gutters allows the water to flow where it's supposed to as opposed to overflowing on the sides which can cause oxidation of the gutter paint.

Pro tips for gutter cleaning

Tip 1: Create a cleaning schedule

It's recommended to clean out your gutters at least twice a year. This gives you the ability to stop any potential blockage from forming. Depending on your location you may need to increase or decrease this number.

Tip 2: Rinse after cleaning

Most people will remove leaves and think that this completes their job. However, rinsing is critical when it comes to gutter cleaning.

This helps remove all the remaining loose dirt left behind so it doesn't begin to form a blockage in the gutters. You can use a garden hose or pressure washer for rinsing.

Tip 3: Use a ladder stabilizer

This device creates better ladder stability and also keeps your ladder from resting on the gutter line.

Tip 4: Clean the downspouts

Once you've finished cleaning and rinsing gutters, clean the downspouts as well. Stick a garden hose or pressure washing wand in the downspout to blast out any remaining leaves/debris stuck in the downspout. This will help create a clean and debris-free passage for the water to exit.

While there are many other exterior cleaning tips, these 3 projects are considered easy DIY projects which require the least amount of equipment or experience. We hope this helps keep your rental property in better condition for your current and future tenants. As always, safety should always be your number one concern and if the work becomes too much, please contact a licensed professional to complete the work.

Innovative Property Solutions

8833 Perimeter Park Blvd Suite 301, Jacksonville, FL 32216

(904) 321-9020

Office hours:

Mon - Fri: 9:30am - 5:00pm

Sat - Sun: Closed