Seasonal Maintenance for Your Home's Exterior
Stay on top of routine maintenance to prevent costly repairs
By Stevie Donald
Keeping your home's exterior in good condition is a vital component of preserving its integrity. Routine seasonal maintenance not only protects your investment, but also keeps your home energy efficient and prevents costly repairs. The key to seasonal maintenance is keeping track of what needs to get done, and making sure that it does, in fact, get done. With so many different things to do, it's easy to lose track of what needs to get done. Stay on top of routine tasks listed below and keep your home's exterior in good shape.
- What You Need to Know
- Call licensed professionals for repairs and maintenance to your home's electrical and mechanical systems.
Protecting your home's foundation is definitely an essential maintenance task. Keeping your foundation dry can prevent termite infestations, dry rot and structural decay. Check the way the land slopes around your house. If the ground slopes towards your house at any point, this could be the source. Every spring check for cracks or signs of dampness. Seal gaps between driveways and the foundation with concrete sealant. Use topsoil and grass seed to fill in low spots in the ground.
Inspect your roof for cracks and loose, missing or warped tiles or shingles in the spring or summer. Look for any signs of damage or rot as well as any spots where water may seep in. If you notice any severe damage, contact a service professional to perform the repairs. Clean out all your gutters and make sure they are in good condition. Check the flashing around your chimney if you have one.
Check the siding on your home for any signs of damage. If you live in an area prone to cold and wind, check for signs of cracking, splintering or warping. Repaint siding as needed. Paint can protect your siding surfaces so feel free to repaint your siding if you notice extensive peeling or wear. Putting this task off will only mean more extensive and expensive preparation and repairs before repainting in the future.
Walk around your home and make a list of all small carpentry and painting tasks that need attention. Fix loose trim, sagging gutters and cracked decking or steps. Tighten or repair any loose or damaged door or window frames and repaint if necessary; tighten and lubricate door hinges and closers. If you plan on painting, late spring and early summer may be the optimal time, before landscaping and bushes near your home grow too high.
Trim landscaping and cut back branches or foliage that is growing too close to the house. Tree branches that hang over your roof or fence can come down in summer storms. Bushes and tree roots growing too close to your home can crack the foundation and should be removed or replanted. If you have an asphalt driveway, look for cracks and remove weeds. For concrete driveways check for cracks and contact a professional if you think you'll need repairs.
Have an air conditioning contractor check your air conditioning unit and perform routine maintenance like lubricating the motor and fan, checking wires and replacing worn belts. You should also have the contractor check your air ducts. Mold, dust and bacteria can all accumulate in air ducts reducing the quality of your indoor air and making life difficult for anyone with allergies.
Check your electrical devices and lighting to make sure everything is in order. Check smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and replace batteries as needed. Make sure all exterior light bulbs are working, and replace them if they're burned out or are over a year old. Consider exterior compact fluorescent light bulbs to increase your energy savings.
About the Author
Stevie Donald is a regular contributor to DexKnows. She has been a painting contractor since 1979.
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