Spring is quietly rolling in this April and there is no better time than these warmer months to get a leg up on exterior home maintenance. The exterior of your home not only serves as the face of your home to your community, but it is also a key indicator of the overall health of your home. There are several areas you should check on a regular basis to ensure you are taking the right, small steps year-to-year, rather than discovering a major issue that requires a lot of maintenance down the road.
On the next warm day, grab a pen and paper (or your iPad), take a trip outside, and follow our basic exterior checklist.
- Checkpoint 1: Siding - If you have wood siding or trim, you want to do a thorough job of checking for rotting wood. Rotting wood is typically indicated by dark spots or concentrated areas of peeling paint. A small spot can actually continue to spread and affect the siding around it, so it is important to tackle rot immediately. All areas affected by rot and moisture will need to be treated to ensure the integrity of your boards. Any visible rot at the bottom of exterior doors is particularly concerning and if left unaddressed, could contribute to degrading sill plates and rim joists.
- Checkpoint 2: Windows - Since windows are inset on the exterior of your home, they are more likely to attract dirt and grime which builds up over time. Periodically vacuum and clean any accessible dirt from window sills and channels to prevent sticky windows. Your windows are a critical component to the health of your home and if left neglected, can lead to water damage and energy loss.
- Checkpoint 3: Roof & Gutters - Inspect the roof and gutters as best you can from the ground, or by looking out a window that overlooks a roof area. Check for cracking or peeling shingles, and if you find any bits of broken shingles around the yard, it is a good indicator it might be time for a new roof. Also, make sure gutters are draining properly and that leaves and dirt are not collecting in the valleys and corners of your roof, such as against a chimney or dormer.
- Checkpoint 4: Landscaping & Decks - No, the actual landscaping around your house is not 100% critical to the integrity of your home, but you want to check for vegetation growing close to or on your home. Organic material such as dirt, mulch, or leaves left in long-term contact with siding and trim will accelerate rot. Also, check all patios, porches and decks. Make sure decks and porches are regularly sealed to prevent rot.
If you suspect any trouble spots, you can find many DIY articles and videos online to empower you to repair independently. If the job is too much of an undertaking, let us know how we can help.