If it’s your first time in a home of your own, you’re bound to have some excitement and some jitters all at once. After all, buying a home is a huge step in life, both financially and in terms of the responsibilities it brings for home maintenance. What do you need to do to maintain the exterior of your home so that it looks good and functions in a way that contributes to the wellbeing of your home?
1. Check the Building Envelope
If you haven’t done this already, get a home inspector to check your building envelope to make sure that it’s free of leaks or other problems. If there are rotting boards or tiles lifting up from the roof, replace them and check the area underneath to make sure that there is no additional water or insect damage. Arm yourself with information about roofing and other components of the home.
Once you’ve completed any repairs that are immediately necessary, make sure that your building envelope is well-maintained in the future. This includes checking:
- The Siding: Check it for rot. Clean off your siding to prevent discoloration from disguising further problems.
- Windows and doors: These pose potential weaknesses in your building envelope. Look for and repair leaks and rot. Replace them with windows that don’t cause moisture accumulation or leak.
- The Drainage System: Clean out gutters or add gutter covers, look for blockages in downspouts, and repair or replace gutters with seamless gutters that have fewer long-term problems.
- The Roof: Check roof shingles, flashing, and look for valleys in the roof where water can accumulate.The Fascia: According to Home Tips for Women, “if the flashing installed under the lowest row of shingles wasn’t installed correctly, water will get under the shingles.”
2. Do Preventative Yard Work
Some of the work you do in your garden will be for pleasure and beauty, but other work is directly related to the wellbeing of your home and the people who live in it. As you work in your garden, do some preventative maintenance as well.
- Prune trees and bushes that are near the house to give clear sight lines for safety
- Remove any larger hanging branches from areas close to your roof or outbuildings
- Repair steps and sidewalks to ensure that there are no tripping hazards
- Add transitional living areas such as a deck or patio to provide indoor-outdoor spaces that are tidy and add to the look of the house
- Manage drainage problems or add a water garden or rain garden in wet areas, rather than tripping in muddy puddles
3. Manage Your Drainage
One of your goals as a home manager is to make sure that water does not stay anywhere near your home foundation. If you notice that you have a leak in your basement or that there are puddles around the base of your house when it rains, you may need to reorient your landscaping. What can you look for if you have water close to your house?
- Check to see if your perimeter drains are blocked
- Watch where the water from downspouts goes once it moves through the pipe, and send it away from the foundation
- Make sure that in general, your landscaping is designed so that water moves away from the house
- Watch out for overflowing gutters or leaky gutters. Add new seamless gutters or gutter covers to avoid these overflow problems.
4. Focus on Your Indoor-Outdoor Connections
The indoor spaces of your home support the outdoor spaces, and vice versa. Focus on your indoor-outdoor connections, and you’ll find that your outdoor maintenance is easier.
- Make sure that your attic has adequate insulation and no leaks. Leaks into the attic can cause a lot of trouble before you find them.
- Watch for wall or foundation cracks. The Simple Dollar suggests an easy way to track foundation and wall cracks. Place a piece of tape at the end of the crack. “In a few months, check the tape – if you see a crack growing out of the end of the tape, you might have a problem and should call a specialist before the problem gets out of hand.”
- Install transitional spaces, such as a patio awning, a deck, or a mudroom. This allows you to keep your interior spaces cleaner.
At Harry Helmet, we’re here to help you manage your home maintenance. We offer products such as seamless gutters, awnings, roofing, and gutter covers to make your home the most beautiful home on the block: and the most functional. Contact us to schedule a free estimate today.