As we’re now well into the new year, you may have put together some goals for the new year. Is doing a better job of your home maintenance on that list? Admittedly, maintenance around the house is not the most fun part of home ownership, however, when you properly maintain things, they last longer and end up costing you less over their life. To help you out, we’ve put together an easy to follow home maintenance list for your home’s exterior.
It’s been cold. Brutally cold. Have you noticed your HVAC system running almost constantly and wonder if there’s anything you can do about it? There may be, especially if your windows are to blame. If you haven’t checked the caulk on your windows recently, you should. Over time caulk dries and cracks. When that happens, cold air comes into your home.
A properly sealed window will have a continuous bead of caulk around the entire window on both the inside and outside. All you need for this easy maintenance is a caulk gun and a few tubs of caulk. Make sure to purchase exterior caulk for the outside and don’t do the work if it’s going to be below freezing for the 24 hours following installation. Also make sure to choose the right color caulk for both the inside and outside. Of course, older single pane windows can only provide so much insulation against the elements and you may want to consider replacement windows for increased energy-efficiency.
Once the winter weather is over and the trees finish their “pollening” you should plan on cleaning your gutters. While you’re cleaning them, be sure to inspect them. If you have older gutters, they likely have seams which are a big fail point. Make sure the seams are secure and if they’re not but your gutters are still in good shape, get the caulk gun you used for your windows in the winter and some waterproof silicone caulk. Seal the joints as well as any holes. Also make sure your gutters are firmly attached to your home.
Since you’re already up on a ladder look at your soffits and fascia. Your soffits are your attics intake vents and will help keep your home cooler in the summer. Any cracks or breaks are the perfect entry point for pests, both the flying kind and crawling kind. If you want to keep bugs and rodents from your attic, make sure your soffits are in good condition. Fascia often holds your gutters to your home and is the connecting point of your roof and siding. When it’s in poor condition, your gutters can fail and your home doesn’t look good.
Now that the leaves on the trees are full and your shrubs have likely grown from the spring rains, walk around your home and see if any branches are touching your home. You don’t want a tree branch to rub on your roof’s surface as that can remove the granules from your shingles. If you notice any rubbing, first trim back the branches, and then call your local roofing contractor for a roof inspection. They’ll be able to let you know if the damage requires replacing the shingles or even if there is other roof damage.
Although your siding may not be damaged by your shrubs rubbing against them, it does have other detrimental effects. Depending on the type of siding you have, you may notice worn paint, scratches or even mildew growth. Even worse, when your landscaping touches your siding, you’re providing a bridge of sorts to crawling insects. Trimming them back will help.
Also, be sure to walk around your home after every major storm. Whether you heard about hail in the area or it was just a strong windstorm, you should be diligent about checking your home’s exterior. Hail can put holes in siding and strong winds can lift it away from your home. Hail damage is one of the most common storm damage insurance claims for both siding and roofing. If you think your home has storm damage, you only have a limited time to file a claim so call your adjustor and your local roofing contractor for a repair estimate.
Once the leaves have fallen from the trees, it’s once again time to clean your gutters. You should also make sure that your gutter system is still collecting the water and funneling it away from your home’s foundation. While you’re up on the ladder, make sure to clean your roof’s surface too. Rotting leaves and other debris will lead to faster shingle aging than a clean roof. The faster your shingles age, the sooner you’ll be calling your local roofing contractor for a roof replacement.l
If you notice staining or streaking on your shingles, use a mixture of 50% water and 50% bleach in a garden sprayer. Let it sit about 20 minutes and then rinse. This will help kill the algae although you may need to reapply depending on how bad the staining is. Be careful not to get the bleach and water mixture on your plants and when you rinse it, make sure to protect your plants. Never use a pressure washer or high-pressure hose. New stain fighting technology in many brands of shingles today helps prevent this unsightly staining. If it’s time to start thinking about a roof replacement, ask your local roofing contractor about shingles that help prevent algae growth.
Cooley Roofing & Construction Can Help
We’re more than just a local roofing contractor. Our services include siding, windows and gutters as well. If, at any time during the year, you notice that your roofing, siding, gutters or windows may need to be replaced, call us. We’ll be happy to discuss our services and the options we provide. When you feel a home makeover is necessary but not in the budget, talk to us about our financing options. We’ve been a local roofing contractor for decades and providing complete exterior renovations with quality products for nearly as long. Call us today for your no obligation consultation at 366-766-6488 or fill out our contact form.