When it comes to décor, it’s pretty easy to focus on interiors. There’s nothing quite like walking into your home and seeing the beautiful aesthetic you always imagined. For this reason, it’s pretty easy to remember to clean the interior of your house. What is more difficult, is to remember to take care of the exterior. Problems in the exterior of the home can often be delayed. For this reason, these problems are often forgotten until it’s too late. With proper home maintenance, you can avoid cracked foundations, peeling paint, faded windows, and more. This post looks at how to prevent exterior problems as well as how to maintain it so you can have the same enjoyment on the outside as you do on the inside. So without further adieu, here is “The Exterior Home Maintenance Guide You Need”.
The best way to maintain your exterior is to do it right in the first place. This sounds cliché but there are many things that people are missing out on. Here are some preventative care tips to making your life easier down the road:
• Choose the right paint. Painting your exterior and maintaining your paint are the most common maintenance tasks you will run into. For this reason, you need to pick the right paint to avoid some headaches. Picking a paint that is mold and mildew resistant will help out a lot. There are many types of exterior paints. You need to pick one that is high quality. Lower quality paints cause chalking (certain pigments of the paint get broken down and released which causes a powdery runoff down the side of your house). You also need a paint that has good binding (especially if you are painting onto less adhesive sidings like aluminum).
• Follow this pattern: Prime, Paint, Paint. You are going to want one priming coat followed by two paint coats. This will give you the right amount of paint so you don’t have too much (causing runoff) in some areas and not enough in others.
• Paint under sidings, corner boards, and everything. If you paint certain parts of wood and not others, the part that isn’t painted will rot. Paint prevents rotting.
• Caulk the intersections of everything. Some special areas to note: between the window trim and the siding, where siding meets the foundation, anything on the roof where something sticks up (chimney, vent stack, skylight, etc.), exterior trim such as corner boards and columns, any decorations, and lastly where the gutters meet the roof line.
• Paint under the right conditions. Don’t paint when there is a lot of moisture in the air. This will cause immediate peeling or later blistering. Don’t paint when it’s too hot or it will dry too fast and trap vapor causing peeling and blistering.
Sometimes, no matter how much you try to prevent exterior problems, they are going to come up. To overcome this, you need to know how to handle problems the right way. Here are some tips:
• Clean small dirty spots on your exterior with one-part bleach to four parts water while using a scrub brush.
• Clean large dirty spots with a power washer attachment and a hose.
• Every two to three years have a professional come and power wash your home.
• Check window sills and doors once a year. Look for fading and bubbling paint. For fading, reapply one coat of a paint and primer combination. For bubbling, sand down the bubbled area and use the paint and primer combo.
• Touch up your paint every few years to delay having to repaint. Depending on your geographic location, climate, etc. you are going to have certain parts of your house that experience more abrasion and erosion than other parts. For this reason, certain parts of your house will have paint that fades or chips off faster than others. Reapply to these areas as a touchup to avoid having to do an exterior makeover.
• Inspect caulking areas once a year and perform touchups as necessary. You don’t need to caulk once a year, but making sure that your home is sealed from moisture and air will keep your heating bill down as well as prolong the life of whatever materials you are using. If these areas aren’t sealed, moisture and other particles can seep in and cause rotting and breakdown.
• Depending on your location, clean your gutters one to two times a year. This can be done by simply grabbing the debris with gloves. Not many people realize that clogged gutters can cause overflowing during the rainy season. If this runs off your house, it can damage your foundation. Not having the proper house run-off is a big risk and should be avoided at all costs.
• Clean your windows professionally once a year. Most people don’t know that when things stick to your window, they cause erosion. They also damage the integrity of the window itself by leaving stains on it. This will ruin the transparency and degrade the insulation quality.
• Clean your windows once every two weeks with Windex and a soft cloth.
Photo by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Northeast Region on flickr (Public domain)
In conclusion, exterior home maintenance can be an absolute pain. Life will be much easier if you prepare your exterior the right way the first time. If something doesn’t go as planned, however, you can save huge on heating bills as well as material costs if you take the right maintenance steps. Making sure that your house is properly sealed, and that the exterior is properly cared for will give your home the security it needs. In addition to this, keeping your exterior clean will improve your home’s longevity as well as the aesthetic. This will give your home the care and look that it needs and deserves.