Home exterior maintenance is an important component in keeping your house protected from the elements, the effects of water damage, and expensive repair costs. Since we’re five weeks away from the beginning of spring, now is a good time to inspect the exterior of your home. Knowing what needs to be fixed will help you plan ahead for any home exterior repairs that need to be scheduled by professional contractors.
Begin with the Roof
The safest way to inspect the roof is with binoculars or a digital camera (zoom function tends to be more versatile). If you do use a digital camera for roof inspections, get into the habit of taking pictures every year; you’ll be able to compare last year’s pictures with the current year to better see how the roof is aging.
Check the roof for any signs of water damage such damp patches, mold or mildew growth, and rot. Also look for missing roofing shingles, missing or damaged flashings, and worn or damaged areas around the chimney, vents, and skylights or roof windows.
The Gutter System
When inspecting the gutter trough, look for rust spots, stains such as tiger striping, the build-up of debris that could potentially form clogs, and standing water, which is often an indication of poor gutter slope.
Wherever two sections of gutter or downpipe are joined together, make sure seams are not worn or leaking.
Downspouts and gutter sections must be securely fastened to exterior walls and to the fascia. Ensure all downpipes aren’t clogged and the gutter outlet at the top of the downpipe is free of debris.
Examine exterior walls for cracks, holes, rot, damp spots, damaged siding panels, and flaking or peeling paint. Around the foundation, see if puddles have formed or the soil has been washed away.
If the façade of your house is stone or brick, check for loose or damaged stonework or bricks.
Exterior finishing elements such as door frames, window frames, soffit, fascia, and barge boards are typically made of wood. Look for cracked panels or boards, rotted wood, damp areas, and mildew or mold growth.
Plan for Repairs
After inspecting your home’s exterior, prioritize what needs to be repaired. Moisture-related issues such as soft spots on a roof or rotted siding can lead to serious structural damage and should take priority over removing tiger stripes from the outside surface of the gutters. Keep in mind, everything doesn’t have to be done at the same time; this will help budget for major roof repairs, replacing the gutters, or installing new siding.