Few places bring more nostalgia and romance than a charming porch. Over the years, porches have become more roomy and luxurious, adapting to different functions and entertainment purposes. From screened-in sun parlors to service porches with roofed structures, a porch can add a personal aspect to your home. It’s an outdoor living room, a place to socialize, drink a glass of lemonade, and enjoy a hot summer day in the best way. Here are six tips to help you keep your porch looking brand new!

Routine Porch Tips

1. Every week, sweep the floors with an outdoor push broom; dust the windowsills, door frames, and ceiling-fan blades using a counter brush.

2. Every month, wash light fixture covers. Because insects tend to collect in them, always remove covers to clean them. Rinse and dry thoroughly before replacing them.

Seasonal Porch Tips

3. Sweep away cobwebs and debris from walls and ceilings with a corn broom and wash down the walls with a solution of all-purpose cleaner and water using a large polyester sponge.

4. After thoroughly sweeping the floor with an outdoor push broom, scrub away grime with a long-handled deck brush and a solution of all-purpose cleaner and hot water.

5. Clean porch screens with warm water and a non-ammoniated all-purpose cleaner using a scrub or utility brush, washing the mesh as well as the frame. Rinse the screens thoroughly with a garden hose, and allow them to air dry. Between deep cleanings, whisk away dust and dirt with a hand-held vacuum or a soft counter brush.

6. Wooden porch floors and steps look best and last longer if they’ve had a paint job. Paints formulated specifically for porches and decks are latex or oil-based, self-priming, and are durable enough to withstand the elements. Painting a porch floor is no different from painting any other surface; you must clean and sand first. Because porch floors are usually made from inexpensive wood, however, it is generally not worth investing too much time in meticulous preparation. Priming, for example, is not necessary. Sand the wood to roughen existing paint. Sweep away any debris, clean the floor and steps well with water and an all-purpose cleaner, rinse, and wait until surfaces are thoroughly dry before applying paint.

(Tips Found on marthastewart.com)

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