Owning a home and property is the American dream. Owners soon realize that houses require significant maintenance. Whether your home is old or new, every home will require some maintenance. Some of the easiest to neglect and forget about are any exterior home maintenance.
Some of the least exciting exterior home maintenance to complete is caulking. Caulk is an amazing glue-like substance that turns hard after drying. It’s elastic properties makes it easy to fill in cracks where heat or air may escape around windows, doors, pipes and other areas.
My husband and I just purchased a home built in 1977. Fortunately, the original owner replaced the windows in the last 10 years, but the caulk around most windows and doors has dried up over the years. Caulk, even a good quality tube, is typically less than $10 a tube. A gun to apply the caulk is $4, and wet rags are the only supplies needed. It is a job that can be hired out, but caulking is one of the cheapest and easiest DIY tasks to take on.
Most homes have some areas that require paint or stain. It could be the door, trim, or siding. Fortunately, paint jobs can last for years. Keeping the home painted on a regular basis will help protect the underlying wood or siding from the elements. In addition, paint colors can affect the curb appeal of a home.
Gutters are easy to ignore because they are up high and out of sight. Gutters are important to divert rainwater away from the house and its foundation. We had neighbors suffering from water intrusion through their basement foundation wall. After consulting professionals, it was discovered that their gutters were misaligned and improperly diverting water towards their foundation. After proper placement, the water intrusion was eliminated.
House gutters full of leaves and debris can also prevent proper water diversion away from the home. In addition, gutters packed full of debris will foster water to sit in the gutters. Standing water in gutters may foster mosquito breeding and/or ant colonies. We would occasionally have black ants enter our home and exterminators informed us that our gutters were likely full. Every time we had ants enter our home, our gutters were full and a simple clean out eliminated the ant problem.
Because roofs generally last 20 years or more, it is easy for homeowners to neglect important maintenance. While the shingles or other roofing material may last a long time, there are elements on the roof that only last approximately 8-10 years. Pipes through the roofline generally have a plastic boot around them that goes under the shingles. Hot sun and other weather elements will break down the plastic over the years and can result in cracking and a leaking roof. Checking a roof is generally not an easy DIY project but a good roof company can assist a homeowner with basic maintenance.
Homes new or old will likely have a landscape that needs regular trimming. Our home came with solid and healthy bushes. After a wet winter with rain, spring encouraged all the bushes to grow 6 inches taller. Bushes will remain healthy and full looking if regularly trimmed for the life of the plant. Allowing landscape to overgrow may result in bushes that appear unhealthy and in need of replacement.
Completing these simple exterior home maintenance tasks could save homeowner headaches and extend the life of expensive exterior structures.