Your home’s exterior
To maintain your home is to retain its value, keeping it in working order not only for convenience and comfort, but also for energy efficiency, aesthetics and to keep it marketable when you sell it. Take a look at the following exterior maintenance tips that will help keep your home in tip-top condition.
Clean and repair them twice annually. Clogged or damaged gutters and downspouts can allow water to accumulate, which backs up into the roof, causing wood-rot damage and ice dams in the winter. Accumulating water also attracts a variety of pests and provides a breeding spot for mosquitoes. Consider investing in a gutter-protection system.
Use caulk or other sealants to seal cracks in your home’s exterior and around windows, doors and pipes. Large openings should be stuffed with steel wool or wire mesh before sealing. Plan to re-caulk once every three years.
Every fall and spring, check your roof. Make sure the shingles and all flashing around chimneys, gutters and valleys are in good repair. Ensure that the area where different materials meet is properly sealed with silicone caulk. Check fascia and soffits for water damage.
Clean your siding and check it for cracks. You can extend the life of your home’s exterior paint by cleaning your siding every couple of years. Choose a wash that will kill mold, mildew and algae, and rinse well after application. Be sure to check that the siding is free of punctures and cracks; if not, replace it.
Check the condition of your home’s exterior paint once a year. Clean the surface and repaint it every 5-10 years.
maintenance inside and out
The International Association of Certified Home Inspectors Inc. identified the following as the 10 most common home maintenance problems. Be sure to inspect your home inside and out to avoid costly repairs.
• Improper surface grading/drainage, which is responsible for the most common of household maladies, including water penetration of the basement and crawlspace.
• Improper electrical wiring, including insufficient electrical service to the house, inadequate overload protection and dangerous wiring connections.
• Roof damage, including roof leakage, is caused by old or damaged shingles or improper flashing.
• Heating systems, including broken or malfunctioning operation controls, blocked chimneys, and unsafe exhaust disposal.
• Poor overall maintenance, including cracked, peeling and dirty painted surfaces; crumbling masonry; makeshift wiring and plumbing; and broken fixtures and appliances.
• Structure-related problems to components such as foundation walls, floor joists, rafters and window and door headers.
• Plumbing, including old and incompatible piping materials, as well as faulty fixtures and waste lines.
• Exteriors, such as windows, doors and wall surfaces, which are responsible for water and air penetration.
• Poor Ventilation, which is often caused by over-sealing
• Miscellaneous, which includes primarily interior components, often cosmetic in nature.
—Information courtesy of the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors Inc.