As a homeowner in Ohio, seasonal changes have a big impact on your home. From winter freezes to humid summers, your home’s exterior must withstand multiple climate changes. While caring for your home in these conditions can be overwhelming, it is necessary.
Because weather damage can go unnoticed for many years, many people catch it too late. However, there’s no ignoring the effects of water, heat and snow damage on your home’s structural functionality, aesthetics and value. That’s why understanding the impact of seasonal changes and the importance of home maintenance and preservation is essential.
The Importance of Maintaining the Exterior of Your Home
Maintaining your home exterior is vital for extending its structural life span and maintaining your property’s worth. Your home’s appearance leaves a lasting impression on passers-by and potential buyers. Caring for your home’s exterior can create a more comfortable and enjoyable living experience in the long term. Here are some more benefits of regular exterior home maintenance:
- Extend the life span: Exterior home preservation is about more than aesthetics — the more care you put into your exterior, the more you’ll get out of it. Maintaining your home exterior can prevent components like siding, roofs and sidewalks from wearing down over time. These components play a vital role in protecting your house from damage. Maintaining them preserves your structural integrity for longer and extends your home’s life span.
- Prevent costly maintenance: Exterior home care can save you time and money on fixing extensive structural damage. Minor home maintenance and improvements, such as clearing the gutters, can prevent costly damage like roof leaks, mold and structural sagging.
- Boost energy efficiency: Fixing gaps and cracks in your exterior walls, roof and foundation can offer better interior insulation. When you seal holes and openings in your outer structure, you can control warm and cold air leaving and entering your home. This way, you rely less on your heating and cooling systems and minimize energy usage and costs.
- Improve curb appeal: Chipped paint, loose siding and a damaged roof can impact your home’s exterior appeal. Caring for the outside of your home will enhance your home’s aesthetics and make it more appealing.
- Increase property value: Caring for your home’s extrinsic functionality and appearance can add value to your property. When you care for your home, it becomes more valuable and attractive to potential buyers if you decide to sell one day.
- Avoid health hazards: Your home’s exterior can impact you and your family’s health. If you have cracks or gaps in your exterior, cold air might seep in, causing drafts. Roof leaks can lead to mold and mildew growth, causing health hazards and triggering allergies, especially in family members with respiratory conditions like asthma.
- Improve living experience: Exterior damage can impact your home’s insulation or lead to unsightly water stains. When the outside of your home is free from cracks, gaps and leaks, you can enjoy a more comfortable indoor living space.
8 Essential Tips for Exterior Home Maintenance
Exterior home maintenance can include touching up paint, fixing structural components or cleaning. It can also include maintaining your sidewalk, driveway and gardens. Maintaining these components helps effectively preserve your outdoor structure. Here are tips for upkeeping your home exterior:
1. Inspection and Cleaning
Inspecting and cleaning your home’s exterior is a vital step in identifying and protecting your home from damage. You should evaluate the outside of your home from ground level, checking for any damage, decay or dirt.
Cleaning and removing dirt like algae, moss and stains can enhance the look of your home and help you identify damage that might be unnoticeable through dirt. Write down the wear or damage you notice to get accurate solutions.
Check for drafts coming through your interior walls, doors and windows. Air entering these areas can indicate the need for a door or window replacement. It can also signal gaps and cracks in your walls.
You should also inspect your roof, chimney, drainage systems, fencing, sidewalk and patio or deck. Some areas may need upgrading, like your fencing or wall paint, while others require replacements, like roof shingles. Identify any damage you see and reach out to a professional for a proper evaluation.
2. Painting and Protecting Surfaces
Paint creates a protective layer on your home surface, preventing damage from rain, snow and extreme heat. Without paint, moisture from rain and snow can seep into your wood or alternative wall material. Over time, moisture and heat damage might decay or weaken your home’s exterior structure.
Inspecting your paint for signs of wear, like chipping and fading, is essential. If you notice a white residue, it can indicate that your paint is chalking. Excessive chalking is often a side effect of paint corrosion, meaning you might need to repaint or touch up your walls. You should also check the caulking around your window joints for cracks. Cracked caulking can leave your home vulnerable to moisture, insects and structural damage.
You also want to look for yellow or brown stains on your walls, indicating moisture or dirt buildup. Moisture stains often signal more extensive damage, like leaks or rot, requiring repairs or replacements.
3. Roof and Gutter Maintenance
Your roof and gutters are essential home components. Your roof protects your home from the elements and gutters provide a drainage system, filtering water and clearing debris away from your roof. Here’s how to inspect the roof and gutters:
- Ground checks: Inspect your roof from the ground and check for wear and damage like broken or missing shingles and other roof components.
- Roof corrosion: Checking roof corrosion can require inspecting roof shingles and other areas for mold and mildew growth. You can also examine the flashing and chimney for damage. Roof inspections can be a safety hazard and it is best to get help from a professional.
- Leaks: Leaks in gutters can indicate an exterior puncture or a blockage, and you’ll need to clean or repair your gutters depending on the damage.
- Wall and siding damage: Check your walls for moisture damage like rot and decay. If your siding and walls are damp and weak to the touch, it might signal leaking or overflowing gutters.
- Roof pooling: If you notice pooling or stagnating water on your roof, your gutters might be clogged.
Here are some gutter and roof maintenance tips:
- Roof surface cleaning with low-pressure washing: Have your roof surface cleaned with a soft washing technique like water and cleanser to wash away dirt, mold and mildew.
- Cleaning gutters and downspouts: Be sure to clean out your gutters after spring and autumn to remove dirt, leaves and twigs from your gutter and downspouts to prevent blockage, pooling and freezing in winter.
4. Siding and Exterior Walls
Siding offers aesthetic and functional value, protecting your exterior walls from moisture and heat damage. It can also protect your home from insects and prevent mold growth and wood rot. Siding insulates your home in cold weather and cools in hot conditions. When your siding is faulty or worn, it can leave your walls and home vulnerable to the elements.
Inspecting and repairing damaged siding is necessary to maintain your exterior walls, structure and aesthetics. Maintaining different sidings like wood and vinyl can require varying methods.
Wood siding can require intricate and regular cleaning to preserve the quality, while you can clean vinyl siding with water and mild soap to remove stains and dirt. You’ll also need to inspect your siding for cracks and wear and upgrade or repair them depending on the condition.
When maintaining your walls, you must identify and seal gaps and cracks to prevent drafts and moisture damage. A strong, durable exterior paint can reinforce your wall’s surface protection and save you money on costly repairs and replacements later.
5. Windows and Doors
Your windows and doors seal your home and prevent exposure to the elements. Inspecting and maintaining them is vital to protect your home from drafts and maintain your property value. Check your windows and panes for cracks and seal or replace them, depending on the damage. Fogging can mean you have a hole or crack in or around your window or weatherstripping.
Another great way to identify window damage is with proper window cleaning. Cleaning your window removes dirt, enabling you to identify holes and cracks. Holes or rubber that’s lost its elasticity can compromise your indoor temperature. You must also inspect the caulking and the window frame for gaps. You can check window areas for leaks and drafts and seal up cavities or replace the damaged components.
Inspect the bottom of your doors and check the fitting or threshold. The door threshold should seal the gap between the door and the floor, preventing air and leaks. An ineffective or cracked threshold can lead to rainwater seeping into your home during a storm. It can also let in cold air and affect your indoor temperature.
6. Decks and Patios
Maintaining exterior areas like decks and patios is essential to prevent safety hazards and preserve your home’s appeal. Deck boards and railings can come loose and lead to falls and other accidents. Wood decks may also be susceptible to rot over time.
Inspect the sturdiness of your panels and railings and replace them if possible. Some deck and patio damage can be extensive and require a new installation. Whether you have a new or old structure, it’s essential to follow proper deck and patio maintenance.
Use a professional pressure washing service to clean the surface of your deck or patio. Once it’s clean, you can recoat or seal your deck with an oil or wood stain. Maintaining your patio and deck can extend its structural life span and enhance your home’s aesthetics.
7. Driveways and Sidewalks
Your driveway and sidewalk support cars and foot traffic, and maintaining them is necessary to preserve the outside of your home. You can prevent cracking and other damage by washing and sealing your concrete driveway and sidewalks. A professional concrete wash and seal service removes the dirt and residue in your driveway and sidewalks and strengthens the concrete to extend its life span.
If you do notice minor cracks, you’ll want to seal them with a cement premix as soon as possible.
8. Fences and Landscaping
The upkeep of outdoor structures like fences and landscaping helps maintain the home’s look. A broken fence or overgrown garden can leave a negative impression and make your home look rundown. Actions like keeping up with mowing in the summers and replacing damaged fence posts will help your home look its best.
When to Seek Professional Help With Exterior Home Maintenance
While you can maintain some exterior home areas with gardening and hardware tools, a complex task like pressure washing requires professional help. Understanding which job you can do and when to call a professional can save you time and money and prevent safety hazards. Here is what to consider when maintaining your home’s exterior:
Avoid DIY Solutions
Considering the limitations of DIY projects is essential. Tasks like painting a room inside your home may be safe and doable without professional help. However, you must consider the complexity of the task when painting your home exterior. You need professional tools and experience to reach the roof, especially if you have a two-story home. Painting architectural outdoor features or replacing broken roof shingles can be intricate tasks that require professional services.
Some outdoor tasks like pressure washing, electrical work and roof replacement are complex. While you can lightly wash and clean the exterior walls with a garden hose, removing stains and lifting mold and organic material requires special pressure washing. Operating a pressure washer requires experience and technique. Without the proper protocols, you can damage your home areas and compromise your and others’ safety. Damage from incorrect pressure washing can also void warranties and lead to costly repairs.
Be Aware of Safety Hazards
Repairing a roof, painting high wall areas and cleaning windows on the second floor of your home come with obvious safety hazards. These home maintenance activities require skill and experience, which is why it’s best to get a professional when working in high and hazardous areas.
Choose PPW for Expert Power Washing Services
Perfect Power Wash has over 20 years of industry experience, expertise and training to clean and maintain your home exterior effectively. Our team of skilled technicians pays precise attention to detail and uses advanced equipment to ensure your exterior areas are cleaned appropriately. They use safe and professional techniques to ensure you are satisfied with the results.
Contact us online to request a quote for a professional service or call us at 833-868-8873.