Your home’s roof, siding and windows form a protective envelope against pests and the elements. They give your house the curb appeal you desire while contributing to its energy efficiency too.
With those essential roles in mind, here are things to watch for on your home’s exterior and the steps required to keep your house in great shape and looking its best.
Window Inspection and Repair
Inspect your windows from inside and outside at least twice a year. Key maintenance steps are to:
- Replace missing and loose caulk around the frames to prevent water penetration, heat loss or penetration and an opening for insects
- Scrape peeling paint, prime and paint the bare wood
- Remove minor rot in wood frames and replace it with wood filler
- Replace wood frames with significant rot, warping or cracking
- Add or replace weather-stripping to increase energy efficiency
- Look for moisture within the panes, and have those panes sealed
If you decide to replace your windows, consider new windows with an Energy Star glass package designed for your climate. It is the best way to lower your energy use and the cost of heating and cooling your home.
Home Siding Care
Nowhere is the combination of home protection and appearance more obvious than in the siding. Keep it looking great and performing as it should with these tips:
- Power wash the siding every two years with the prescribed pressure setting and detergent for its type such as wood, vinyl, fiber cement or brick
- Use a stain and sealer combination on wood siding every three to five years, as needed
- Remove and replace damaged siding before it can become a source of water and insect penetration
Maintaining your home’s gutters is also an important part of siding care. When water leaks through damaged gutters or overflows clogged gutters, it falls next to your home’s siding and splashes onto it. Wet siding is susceptible to rot, staining and the growth of algae and mold. Inspect your gutters in the spring and fall, and make any required repairs.
Residential Roof Maintenance
Your roof should be inspected in the spring and fall, after severe storms and anytime signs of a leak appear inside your home. Look for:
- Missing roofing material
- Loose or missing flashing
- Cracked rubber boots around vent pipes
- Signs of age such as cupped or cracked shingles
Any damage should be repaired immediately or at least covered with a tarp that extends over the peak of the roof to provide temporary protection until it is repaired. Even minor damage can lead to significant water penetration that causes rot to the home’s framing and mold wherever it goes.
Roofing maintenance tips that often go overlooked is to make sure your attic has adequate insulation and ventilation. This prevents heat and moisture from inside your home from penetrating the roof and damaging the shingles. That heat might also cause ice dams in cold climates that force water to backup beneath the shingles and into your home.
Maintaining your Home’s Value
A well-maintained home exterior offers better protection for the house, lowers the need for costly repairs, reduces energy waste and sustains its appearance. The bottom line is improved home value and comfort while you own it and a better price if you decide to sell.