As the year draws to a close, most South Africans will be thinking of relaxing outdoors and entertaining friends at home. A popular pastime for many will be gathering around a fire to have a ‘braai’ and there are some important steps you can take now, to make sure you are ready to welcome guests.
“Before scheduling family gatherings or stocking up on necessities for outdoor entertainment, inspect the areas and equipment outside your home that need cleaning after the long winter months,” says Emma Corder, Managing Director of cleaning products manufacturer Industroclean.
For example, while you may not have been using your braai, others have been living off the grease and leftover morsels of food. You may think that cranking up the heat or using the ‘auto-clean function will be enough but unfortunately, this is not always the case. It is below the burners where fats and grease usually accumulate, and this area does not get hot enough to kill whatever has been cultivated in these spaces.
When not in use, grills and braai areas make the perfect safe haven for rodents which results in droppings that can spread bacteria, contaminate food sources, and trigger allergic reactions in humans. When cleaning, ensure that the cooking grill is properly rinsed and wiped after cleaning with chemicals to avoid these transferring onto your food when you next use it.
Corder adds that mould is another issue to keep in mind, and this includes your braai area as well as the outside walls. Mould is mostly present in interior walls but it does also appear in exterior walls. It is hard to prevent, and you can take steps to minimise it as it does carry health risks. Over time, mould will eat through materials like drywall and wooden decks causing them to rot which can cause them to collapse posing a safety risk.
It might sound like cleaning up the outside areas can require a lot of time and effort, but you can speed up the job by using the correct cleaning tools. For example, a small high-pressure washer can help you clean larger areas when the old “brush and soapy water” might take too long.
A high-pressure washer is not only meant for industrial use. At home, they can also be used to spray off a wooden deck, wash your car without scratching it, get your mountain bike ready as we get into shape or clean concrete surfaces such as a patio, walkway, or driveway.
Regular cleaning can also help avoid accidents such as insect bites as a result of infestations or a slip on a deck covered in moss. These machines also help reduce water usage. Pressure washing can get rid of some of those hard-to-deal-with soils like grease, tar, gum, wax or even rust, and it is useful for preparing your braai area for summer.
There are specific areas to focus on when using a pressure washer:
Windows: This is no longer a job that needs to be left to the experts, as a pressure washer can help clean these hard to reach areas.
Exterior walls are usually left splashed and stained with mud after winter rains, especially near ground level. Pay attention to recessed areas and the tops of walls where insects like to nest.
Your deck is the area where you will most likely host most outdoor entertainment so pay attention to the areas where you and your guests will be sitting.
Cleaning your gutter can prevent mould growth, avoid pest infestations and ensure that they work properly.
“Cleaning and maintaining the exterior of your home will not only offer guests a hygienic and aesthetically appealing setting but contribute to the general upkeep of your property thus retaining its value,” says Corder.
For more information visit www.industroclean.co.za