Your front porch is the first thing you and your guests see, so it’s important to keep it in ship shape. Refreshing your front porch doesn’t have to take a lot of time or money. Just follow these tips. Pressure wash your home with each change of season, at minimum, to keep it looking its best.

1. Power Wash the Exterior The easiest way to refresh your porch is to clean the whole front of the house. Spraying siding with your garden hose or a pressure washer set on medium should be enough to remove dirt and grime. Be careful. While pressure washers make quick work of cleaning siding, fencing, driveways and sidewalks, they also could damage wood surfaces. Always follow the pressure washer’s instructions, and consider these guidelines:
• Don’t use chlorine bleach in a pressure washer; use oxygen bleach instead.
• Use a surface cleaner attachment on your pressure washer when cleaning large horizontal areas.
• Find the distance from the nozzle to the surface that cleans best without causing damage.
• Use a wide nozzle on softer surfaces to reduce the chance of damage.
• When cleaning wood, move the nozzle with the grain of the wood. Watch, “Using a Pressure Washer to Clean the Outside of Your House” for more information. Worn-out concrete isn’t just unsightly; it can cause big problems.

2. Patch Any Cracks You may not think much about cracks on a concrete porch, but don’t just cover them with an outdoor rug. Remember: Small cracks lead to big cracks. Water easily gets into hairline cracks, which expand and contract during freeze-thaw cycles, causing the crack to widen, which leads to bigger problems down the line. Don’t wait another day — go ahead and fix hairline cracks with Quikrete FastSet Concrete Crack Repair. It’s an easy job that will take care of troublesome hairline cracks quickly. After removing any dirt, dust or loose debris from the crack with a can of air or leaf blower, squirt the material into the crack using a caulk gun. It’s a liquid that seeps into the crack before hardening in about one hour.

For deeper cracks, you can use sand as filler or make several applications. Dealing with wider gaps? Then you’ll need a concrete crack sealant. Grab a chisel and hammer and widen the gap by 1/4inch and break away deteriorating concrete. Clear the loose material with a brush, insert backer rod into cracks more than ½-inch deep, and apply Quikrete Advanced Polymer Concrete Crack Sealant with a caulking gun. Let cure and then resurface the top. While you’re at it, patch any cracks on your driveway and walkway for a uniform, finished look!