Annual Checks Can Keep Your Home's Exterior in Good Repair
Courtesy Malarkey Roofing
Many people put a big focus on their home's interiors, both in terms of how they look and the shape they're in. And while it is important to make sure that your interiors are in good repair and looking their best, it's even more important to ensure that your exteriors are as well. Your home's exterior plays a major role in the curb appeal of your property.
It's also your home's first line of defense against the elements. An exterior falling into disrepair can result in leaks, higher energy costs, and a lowered property value no matter how well kept your interior is. Make sure that you're paying attention to your exteriors so you can catch small issues before they become major problems.
Check the Perimeter
About twice a year – in the spring and in the fall – take the time to walk the perimeter of your home to look for various issues or potential problems. Things to look for include:
- Missing caulk around windows and doorways
- Gaps around your trim
- Rotting, peeling, or chipped siding
- Missing siding, shingles, or trim
- Cracks in your foundation
By checking twice yearly, you'll know instantly if something new appears or if something changes in your home's exterior. This allows you to correct issues in a timely way, before they become larger and more expensive to deal with.
In many cases, you can correct small issues fairly easily, such as adding new caulk around windows and doors, replacing missing trim or shingles, or patching cracks. If you find, however, that the damage is more widespread, or affects a larger percentage of your home, checking on a regular basis can allow you to both monitor the damage and make plans for a larger renovation at the same time. For example, if you discover a lot of rotting wood siding in the fall, you can make plans to have your siding replaced with something more durable, such as fiber cement siding, in the spring to both correct the issue and prevent the same thing from happening again in the future.
Check Your Roof
Roofs are different, however, because your eye doesn't naturally travel to them. So something like curling or missing shingles might get overlooked until you see leaks developing inside. And because water can sometimes infiltrate for several weeks before you actually see it appear in your living room, you could be dealing with a major issue for much longer than you realize.
This is why it's also important to take the time to check out your roof twice yearly as well. This does not mean that you need to get on your roof, it just means doing an interior and exterior examination for common problems so you can make roof repairs before you need a total roof replacement.
Start your check inside your attic by examining your roof deck. Look for signs of water infiltration such as staining, mold, or mildew growth. Next, take a visual of your roof itself. Look for curling, missing, cracked, or damaged shingles. You can also take a look inside your gutters as you clean them out; deteriorating roofing shingles may shed granules that are washed into your gutters by the rain. An excessive amount of granules in your gutters may mean that your roof is aging or damaged, and warrants a more intensive check by a roofing professional.
Your roof is one of the most important parts of your home. So if you notice these issues, it's a good idea to have repairs made in a timely way. If the damage is limited to a small area, a simple roof repair can help stop the damage before it spreads. If the damage appears to be more widespread, however, you may want to invest in a roof replacement.
Because so much is riding on your roof – both the protection of your home and its curb appeal – you may want to invest in a quality laminated architectural shingle to help keep your roof in good repair going forward. Architectural shingles give you options that can help keep your roof in good condition, and prevent future leaks or granule loss over time. By investing in good quality materials for your home's exterior, you help ensure that it remains in good repair for many years to come with less work and maintenance on your part.
Protect Your Home Exterior
There's a lot riding on your home's exterior, so make sure you're taking the time to inspect it twice yearly, and to invest in the right materials when the time comes to make a change. With the right care and the right coverage, your home will look and function well for many years to come.