Owning a home is a big responsibility, and it is often difficult to know whether or not you are doing everything you can to properly maintain it. But you don’t have to stress. Take the time to follow our exterior checklist, and you can feel secure that your home is properly maintained and repaired.
Your roof is the ultimate protection from the exterior world, so you will want to inspect it at least once a year for signs of roof damage. (If possible, do an inspection after each change of season or severe storms.) Look for these signs of roof damage:
- Lifted, loose, or curled shingles
- Discoloration on the interior ceiling
- Leaks in the attic
Secure any loose shingles after an inspection. Regularly caulk around skylights, chimneys, and flashing to keep water from making its way into your home. (You should also have your chimney inspected and professionally cleaned.) Remove all debris from the rooftop and remove any moss, mold, or algae growing on its surface.
Use the proper safety precautions when climbing onto your rooftop, or contact a professional. If you notice roof damage, have a professional perform any roof repairs immediately.
Gutters and Downspouts
Gutters help protect your roof and the exterior elements that lie beneath it, especially the foundation. Make sure to clean your gutter and downspouts regularly to keep them from backing up or becoming clogged. Assess your gutters for cracks, sagging, holes, indentations, or broken areas. If you notice damage, you should contact a professional for repairs, and check out our guide for signs you need replacement gutters.
Gutter guards are a great low-maintenance solution. They keep leaves, twigs, and other debris from building up and clogging water flow. And they save you from continually needing to clean out your gutters.
Siding protects your home from wind, weather, pests, and temperature changes. Therefore, your siding should be inspected at least once a year. Depending on the material, paint can chip and the siding can crack, leaving it exposed to further damage.
To protect your siding, you should regularly (or as needed):
- Caulk joints and exposed areas
- Clean at least once a year
- Trim plants at least a foot away from its surface
- Paint at least every 5 years
If you notice any siding damage, take immediate action. Contact a siding repair company to inspect and repair the damage.
Windows and Doors
As the points of entry into your home, windows and doors should be checked to ensure they can properly open, close, lock and unlock without any hiccups. Remove and replace all old or damaged caulking to help properly seal windows and doors. Look for cracks in the frames or condensation between panes. If you notice either of these issues, contact a professional.
Stain or paint wooden doors, frames, and window panes at least once a year.
A foundation supports the weight of your home, keeping it upright and intact. When your foundation fails, the rest of the home will follow. So it is important to regularly inspect your foundation for signs of cracks, pooling moisture, and sagging.
Roof repairs and working gutters are some of the best ways to aid in the soundness of your foundation. Too much water can be absorbed into your concrete and expand and contract with the weather, causing cracks and other issues. Do all you can to keep excessive water from pooling near your foundation.
If you notice any signs of damage, contact a professional immediately.
Many homeowners think that because driveways are typically made of concrete, they are indestructible and don’t need care. This is not true. Concrete should be properly sealed every year with a penetrating sealer. Because your concrete is porous, it can still absorb water. A sealer will help keep water from soaking through the concrete and resting underneath it. This maintenance should be done preferably before the winter months to help keep the salt from your cars from penetrating the driveway surface.
Seal up cracks and control joints annually. These areas allow resting water to pool under the concrete if not sealed.
Yard and Lawn Care
Finally, it’s important to maintain your yard and lawn. Lawns are essential to the beauty of your home’s exterior. But yard maintenance also plays a role in protecting your home.
Trim any tree branches that overhang the roof. This aids in the prevention of mold and mildew as well as roof damage from fallen branches. The same goes for brush along the side of the house. Trim bushes at least a foot away from your home’s siding to prevent scratching, damage, or mildew growth.
Regularly mow and fertilize your grass. Unkempt lawns can hide unwanted rodents or snakes. Keep your lawn trimmed and beautiful. Having a healthy lawn also helps prevent erosion as grass roots set into the soil, holding it in place.
Make sure to inspect the specialty features of your exterior as well. Not every property is the same, but specialty items can include:
- Swimming Pool— Tune up the pool’s heater. Remove all debris from the pool’s surface and vacuum it out. Shock treat your pool as needed. Watch for cracks in the structure.
- Fence— Clean and then stain or repaint your fence annually.
- Deck/Porch— Annually clean and stain your deck. Remove all clutter. For wooden surfaces, check for signs of termite damage, especially since these structures touch your home’s siding directly.
- Gazebo/Shed/Other Structures— Inspect, clean, and seal or paint these structures annually.
Home Responsibility Made Easy
With all you have on your plate as a homeowner, the last thing you need is to stress about your exterior. And you don’t have to. If you are in need of a quality roof, gutter, or siding repair, schedule a free, no obligation consultation with our team to see how we can help check these exterior maintenance items off of your list.