Your home’s exterior needs a bath.

Just like kids and dogs, your house needs bathing too, and it will probably result in less of a mess than you get bathing kids and dogs.

The first thing you want to do is see how dirty it is. To do this properly, get close. Don’t just look from the street — that’s cheating. Also, put on your glasses (if you wear glasses).


Do you just see dirt, or do you see mold and mildew too? How about algae or moss? Unless you’re growing moss on your walls as part of the popular art form, it has to go.

It’s important to identify what is marring the beauty of your home’s exterior so you can use the right tools to remedy it.


If your house is sporting mold or mildew, you will easily find many products at a wide range of prices that will fix your problem. Which one should you choose? None. Just put some bleach in your wash water.

Try not to splash it all over, since bleach can kill vegetation. Just sponge a solution of one part bleach to four parts water onto the mold or mildew, wait, then rinse off.


It may be best to use oxygenated bleach on wood exteriors, since chlorine bleach could change the color of your wood. Oxygenated bleach won’t work as fast as chlorine, but it won’t ruin your siding either.


If you see just dirt and grime on your siding, some good ol’ soap and water are all you need. Again, you can buy “house wash” from your home goods store, or you can just use a squirt of Dawn or Joy and you’ll be fine.

Put some in a cup with some water and let the kids blow bubbles so they’ll stay out of your hair while you’re working.


Trisodium phosphate removes everything — mold, mildew, algae, grease and dirt. That might make it seem like a scary product, and it is — a little. TSP was a common additive in household cleaners for many years before anyone realized it was hazardous to the environment. It’s the phosphate part that’s dangerous, causing algae blooms (what irony!) in bodies of water that suck out all the oxygen and leave none for the fish.

It also can burn if it gets on your skin. But if you wear gloves and dilute it properly, it’s an effective cleaner. Some advise that if you’re using it outdoors to soak any nearby plants ahead of time to minimize its alkaline effect.

If you scrub and wash and buff and polish and your house still looks dingy, it might be time for a new home exterior. Whether you want wood, vinyl, aluminum, stucco, brick or stone, Renovation by Burbach can do the job for you. Give us a call when you’re ready to look at fresh new exterior prospects for your home.