Maintaining the Exterior of Your Home
Although maintaining the exterior of your home may not be the most glamorous homeowner project, it is one of the most important things you can do to ensure your home continuous to be safe, comfortable and attractive. By doing regular maintenance on the exterior of your home at least twice a year, you will be able to catch any potential problems that may ultimately cause extensive as well as expensive damage. Here are some of the most important things you should focus on when doing exterior maintenance on your home.
Inspect & Repair the Roof
When it comes to maintaining the exterior of your home, the best place to start is at the top and work your way down. The roof is an essential part of your home; it protects your family from the environment and keeps your personal belongings safe. The easiest way to inspect the roof is from the ground, with a pair of binoculars. Look for any loose shingles, damaged flashing or dark spots on the shingles. If you notice any potential problems, it is important that you have repairs done as soon as possible to prevent the risk of leaks. Whether you are comfortable doing the work yourself or you prefer to hire a professional, some of the other things to do to keep your roof in good condition include:
- Remove all debris, such as leaves, dirt and broken tree limbs, from the shingles
- Trim all trees to ensure there are no branches hanging over the roof
- Check skylights, pipes and chimney for potential leaks
Clean the Gutters and Downspouts
The gutter system plays an essential role in protecting the exterior of your home from water leaks. It is important to clean the gutters at least twice a year, especially at the end of fall after the leaves have all fallen. Gutters that are clogged with leaves, dirt and other debris can overflow and cause extensive damage to your roof and your foundation. While cleaning the gutters and downspouts, be sure to carefully check for any damages, such as loose drains or cracked gutters and make all repairs as soon as possible.
Clean and Inspect Siding
Depending on the type of siding your home has, it may require various kinds of care, but at the minimum, it is important to inspect the siding for cracks and any areas that may be damaged. If you have vinyl siding or brick, it could probably benefit from an annual power washing and if you have wood siding, it should be sealed about every four years in order to protect it from the elements.
Clean the Deck
In most situations, all that is needed for the deck is a thorough cleaning, but if there are cracks, loose boards or rotting wood, it should be repaired as soon as possible. To inspect the deck for decay, check for wood that is soft and spongy or that doesn’t splinter when you poke it with a screwdriver. Also look for small holes, especially on the underdeck, where insects may be nesting. After power washing the deck, don’t forget to re-stain and seal it, ensuring it will hold up to the elements for several more years.
Along with the larges projects, there are several odds-n-ends that are necessary to maintain the exterior of your home, including:
- Cleaning the dryer vents/exhaust
- Caulking around windows
- Inspecting the foundation for cracks and chips
- Clean and repair the driveway
It shouldn’t take any more than a day or two to thoroughly inspect the exterior of your home and clean a few of the prominent areas. But, if there are repairs that need to be done, it’s best to contact a professional as soon as possible to schedule an appointment, especially if the problem is in an area, such as the roof or the foundation. The sooner repairs are made, the better the chances are that you will catch issues before they get out of control. Although certain types of exterior maintenance should only be done at least once a year, it is recommended that you at least do an inspection of the exterior of your home at least twice a year.