exterior cleaning checklist

It looks like it is that time of the year again! The quintessential season where winter begins to fade away, the weather begins to warm up, and you sure are excited to start it off on a new leaf, a new leaf of becoming aware of the things you should have been aware of forever ago! Let’s be honest, it happens sometimes. 

If you haven’t caught on, Spring Cleaning is what I’m talking about! During this period of time, it is important to be vigilant in being aware and understanding your exterior part of your property, and the last thing you want to do is have to open up your wallet and shell out hundreds of dollars in preventable damages. 

That being said, listen up!

Today, we are going to give you an exterior checklist to ensure your spring cleaning in a productive, cost-effective way that’ll save you time, money, and a whole lot of heartache! 

Spring Cleaning Exterior Checklist

roofing and gutters near me

Here are 5 things you can do to make your Spring Cleaning productive as can be! 

1. Check Your Roof (or get someone too!)

Your roof is a very delicate part of your home’s exterior, which means that it is vulnerable to a whole host of problems! However, just to get up off the ground to check it is a safety risk in itself, so proceed at your own risk with a well-hinged double ladder firmly planted on the ground and angled on the side of your house. 

CAUTION!: The risk of falling and potential death is associated with this checklist objective, so we would recommend calling a professional to properly inspect and diagnose the health of your roof. No need to take unnecessary risks! 

Here are a few things to check for:

  • Broken/Missing Shingles 
  • Algae/Moss
  • Mold

If you see any of these on your roof or are not sure and need an extra pair of eyes to confirm your suspicions, it doesn’t hurt to get in contact with your local power washing company to check it out. You’d rather be safe than sorry! Soft-power washing is usually the desirable cleaning method.

2. Check Your Gutters and Downspouts! 

One of the things you want to make sure to do is to get up on a ladder and check to see the condition of your gutters! Overtime, your gutters can get clogged by fallen debris including, but not limited to, sticks and leaves. Pests, such as rodents and bees can make their home in your gutters, so being aware is key! 

A clogged gutter can wear down the foundation of the gutter itself, causing water damage to the foundation of your house! Ouch! Depending on your situation, should be an easy fix by hand and only requires to be checked 1-2 times a year (may vary).  

Also, you want to be sure your downspout is not clogged as well, don’t be afraid to check it often. It ensures rainwater to pour down instead of building up in your gutters. Safely detach the downspout to check if any blockage is present and remove it at once. Clear ‘em both out and you’ll be in the clear! 

Read more about the most FAQ gutter questions to help you here!

3. Remove Weeds from Mulch Beds and Yard! 

Landscaping is on everyone’s spring Hunny-do list, sorry for bringing it up again!

But… weeds are the type of pests that just keep coming back year after year and don’t give you a break. However, there is a quick fix to it!

You can use a shovel and/or rake to pry them out of your lawn to allow your plants more breathing room. Afterward, feel free to apply a safe weed killer and top your mulch beds off with a new layer of fresh mulch to be able to prevent weeds from popping up down the road.

These strategies are amazingly simple, and with some concentrated effort on the front end, you’ll be able to save time doing it down the road! 

4. Clean your Exterior Siding! 

Since Winter, the elements sure have not graced the siding of your house one bit! Since we usually are not out and about too often, it is easy to miss the build up of organic matter like mold that can wreak havoc on the exterior foundation of our house.

One of the things that is recommended is to give your house a nice, soft-wash along the exterior to get all that gunk off and protect its health. Contacting a professional is the easiest way to go than going out of your way to buy/rent a power washer, and plus you only have to clean the siding only a handful of times depending on your situation. 

However, take note of the safety risks, a power washer is heated and is highly pressurized, so it can cause harm if it hits your skin! Always use low pressure when cleaning siding (unless it is a brick/stone surface) or you’ll damage the exterior material. You can also contact a power washing company.

5. Check Lawn Equipment! 

Routine maintenance is necessary for lawn equipment such as edgers, lawnmowers, weedwackers, and so forth. When spring hits, so does the growth season of grass and you don’t want to be caught off guard when it gets crazy! 

First and foremost, make sure all are starting and running properly, with blades that are sharpened, and adequate levels of oil and functionality of levers, buttons, and chains. Prepare even though you may not need it now, so you don’t have to repair it when you can’t afford to do so! 

Exterior cleaning checklist:

Real quick, here is a quick exterior cleaning/spring checklist you can use to make sure you’re on the right path:

  1. Check all outdoor mechanical equipment (AC Unit, Pool Pump, Light fixtures even)
  2. Make sure lawn equipment is working & check oil
  3. Check your gutters, roof, siding, windows for leaks, caulk issues, soft-spots or missing shingles
  4. Consider power washing if needed
  5. Edge and cleanout mulch beds, lay down 1-2″ of new mulch
  6. Trim bushes
  7. Deadwood trees every other year
  8. Fertilize preventatively

Final word:

Spring cleaning is coming around sooner than later and although it may not be the one thing that’ll get you fired up and out of bed, but it’ll sure motivate your wallet who won’t have to take a beating because you decided to prepare in advance. 

Take some time out of your day to assess your situation, bring attention to issues that you’ve noticed, and never hesitate to reach out for help, especially if you’re not a professional (think getting on your roof). Small steps do make an impact if we are willing to work toward the future. 

gutter questions

You’re a homeowner, not an exterior contractor. So we get it if you have a few gutter questions pertaining to your home!

Whether you are looking into how to clean your gutters, what your options are when it comes to replacing your home’s gutters, or you simply just love learning – about gutters – in this article we aim to help you accomplish the following: 

  • Become informed when it comes to gutter care and gutter replacement
  • Answer all of your most common and FAQ gutter questions
  • Determine whether or not gutter guards are needed and more!

Let’s get right to it by answering the most common gutter questions!

The Most Common Gutter Questions Answered

Other Gutter info you might find resourceful!

1. Why do I need gutters in the first place?

Gutters are not something you notice unless there is a problem. Your home’s gutters take the “Out of sight, out of mind” saying to a new level simply because we don’t pay attention to them.

However, your rain gutters are vital when it comes to protecting your home from rainwater. In fact, your home’s rain gutters protect your home by preventing rainwater from draining down the side of your home and causing leaks. They (gutters) also prevent erosion and flooding around the base of your home!

Your gutters work with your roof system to be sure that your home stays dry. Common gutter problems like clogged or missing gutters lead to more issues than you might imagine. 

On our Facebook page we have a video of gutters that were leaking and causing erosion on the homeowners driveway!

2. What are rain gutters?

Let us first start by asking the most basic question, what are rain gutters?

Rain gutters at troughs that are mounted on the fascia boards of your home where your roof meets. They are installed flush against your home to collect and distribute rainwater from your roof during storms. 

Gutters are essential for rainwater management during storms and they are commonly made out of aluminum, which is hardy and inexpensive overall. Most gutters are “Seamless” meaning they are custom fit for your home and this prevents leaking! 

3. How do I know if my gutters need to be cleaned?

If they look dirty from the ground, it’s probably worse when you get up there! Cleaning your gutters is not always simple but as a general rule of thumb, if you see the following, they need to be cleaned: 

  • Leaves sticking out of gutters
  • Rainwater flying off the roof
  • Sticks in gutters
  • Plants growing in gutters

It is best to make sure you check your gutters at least 1x per year, but ideally 2x to make sure they’re not getting clogged, especially if you live in an are with mature trees!

Bonus Gutter Question: Do I need a gutter repair?

So let’s say you go to clean your gutters and you notice they’re in a state of disarray. You might think to yourself you need a gutter repair. However, in most cases, a new gutter is the better option.

There are some cases where a gutter repair is warranted, but in most cases, once the problem is to the point of repair, it’s simply better to replace the gutters. And as you will see below, they’re not very expensive to replace:

4. How much do new gutters cost?

New aluminum gutters and downspouts are pretty reasonable – $5.50 to $6.50 per linear foot. Slap on Raindrop Gutter Guard for $10 a foot and now you have a lifetime no-clog, self-cleaning gutter system!

On average a seamless aluminum gutter will run the average homeowner anywhere between $5 to $10 per linear foot depending on size, and sometimes color. 

At Top Dog Home Pro we offer custom aluminum gutters in the 5” and 6” variety, running homeowners $5.50 per foot and $6.50 per foot. That means if you needed 150’ of gutters your costs would be:

5 Inch$5.50 x 150 Feet$825
6 Inch$6.50 x 150 Feet$975
Guards$10.00 x 100 Feet$1,000

You can use this gutter calculator tool for free to estimate your costs. Gutter guards are only installed on the gutters, not the downspouts, and keep in mind these prices are with the gutters installed! 

5. Where can I go to buy seamless gutters near me?

You can’t buy seamless gutters at the store, but you can have a local gutter contractor like Top Dog Home Pro install them for you. Seamless gutters are made on-site and are custom fit to the appropriate dimensions. 

Unlike their sectional counterparts, seamless gutters require at least two people to install in most cases and they’re installed with screw-in hidden hangers to prevent them from pulling off the house (this was common with old school gutter spikes). 

If you want to get a quote for new gutters, simply estimate your approximate linear feet and downspout length and use this gutter calculator to get a quote! 

6. How do I find gutter installers near me?

Obviously, if you’re reading this article and you live in the Northern Virginia area you have found yourself a gutter company near you! The steps to finding a gutter contractor near you are simple. 

  1. Click here and contact us if you’re in the Northern Virginia region 
  2. If you’re not, go to a search engine and type in “Gutter Company near me” 
  3. Go to Facebook and “Ask for a recommendation”
  4. You can also use this article which ranks gutter companies in the Northern, VA area!

7. What are the cheapest gutters? 

The cheapest gutters in both quality and price are vinyl gutters. Vinyl gutters are not much cheaper in price, but they are typically the lowest since the material is weak and breaks easily.

That is why we recommend aluminum gutters. Aluminum gutters are fairly priced ($5.50 to $6.50 per linear foot) and they’re extremely durable when installed by gutter professionals.

More expensive gutter options do exist such as cooper or steel gutters!

8. Do gutters come with a warranty?

Some gutters come with a warranty, others do not. When it comes to new gutters installed by Top Dog Home Pro, we offer a lifetime warranty on our gutters. 

Our lifetime gutter warranty includes a labor and material warranty. Additionally, we offer a lifetime guarantee backed by a no-clog warranty when we also install gutter guards.

That said, warranties have stipulations and terms detailed here under our warranty information here because gutters do need to be cared for and regularly cleaned to qualify for a warranty. 

9. What color gutters are there to choose from?

You name the gutter color – we got it! In all all seriousness, gutters come in a wide variety of colors and we have over 16 seamless aluminum gutters to choose from.

Most of the time the gutter colors are simple; either white or eggshell. However, black gutters are very popular too. Just remember, if you live in a neighborhood with an HOA, color changes have to be cleared according to most HOA by-laws.

10. What sizes do gutters come in?

The seamless sections of gutters are custom made in two sizes:

  • 5 inch gutters
  • 6 inch gutters

The downspouts are subsequently matched, with 2×3 inch downspouts connecting to the 5 inch gutters and 3×4 inch downspouts connecting to the 6 inch downspouts.

We always recommend the bigger gutters – 6 inches – because they come with the larger downspouts, thus they can displace more water and do it faster during storms! In fact, the extra inch on the downspouts leads to 400% more water volume, thus preventing gutter issues!

11. Do I need gutter guards?

We are biased, but we always say YES to gutter guards, and here is why:

  1. Gutter guards (like Raindrop) that work are worth every penny
  2. Raindrop Gutter Guards are self-cleaning meaning you don’t have to clean them
  3. You can do away with cleaning but also having to clean the cheap gutter guards others will install
  4. They’re durable
  5. They come with a lifetime no-clog warranty!

But don’t take out word for it, read this entire guide that analyzes the pros of gutter guards! We also have this awesome video to help!

Gutter Questions (Final Take):

We understand that most homeowners want to make the MOST INFORMED buying choice when they’re buying anything for their home. This includes gutters!

Knowing this, we hope this article helped you with all of your questions and we encourage you to check out our Gutter Learning Center here. Our learning center contains more articles and videos to help you learn everything about your home’s gutters/exterior needs!