Spring Checklist For Exterior Home Maintenance

exterior home maintenance checklist includes roof repairsUnlike the inside of our homes, we can’t control the weather that pummels the outside of our homes. A home maintenance check list is an important tool that can help you inspect and make repairs to your home. With a home maintenance checklist, you can improve the safety of family and friends, reduce the loss of cooled or heated air, and prevent water damage.

It doesn’t matter if you roll up your sleeves and tackle the work or if you delegate to a landscaper, handyman, or other home professional. What’s important is that you are proactive and stay on top of home maintenance.

To minimize the cost of home repairs, make sure preventive maintenance is done and needed repairs are made in a timely manner. This will free up money so you can make invest in more home improvements. And the first step to good home maintenance is inspecting your house, so here’s a simple exterior home maintenance checklist for your house and yard.

Start Exterior Home Maintenance At the Top

You shouldn’t go climbing up on your roof unless your very athletic and have good balance, and then you should to stay on the ladder. Why? Owning a handyman business, we received two or three calls each year to build ramps for wheelchairs or finish jobs that homeowners tried to do … you get the idea.

The biggest roof problems happen at the seams where two different materials meet. Here’s what to look for:

exterior home maintenance starts with the roof, where there are seams around chimneys & dormers

  • Roof shingles to see if any are missing or not lined up properly which happens with severe winds.
  • Flashing around the chimney and anything else that sticks out from the roof. In addition to the chimney, this means dormers (photo here), plumbing vent stacks, skylights and even and antennas attached to the roof.
  • Valleys where different sections, sloped at different angles, meet. That’s where everything collects from leaves to pine needles to snow and of course, water.

Homeowner Tip:¬†Alternately, you can inspect an unfinished attic’s for black lines. ¬†Those lines show where water has gotten inside your home, and the lines show the path the water takes as it travels down.

The Sides of Your House Need Exterior Home Maintenance Too

Again the focus is on keeping water from entering your home so here are the things you want to check and yes, please check all sides of your home or your exterior home maintenance check isn’t done. Eventually you’ll discover which of the 4 sides takes the worst beating from the weather – wind, rain and sunlight, all of which wear down the materials that make up your home’s exterior walls or envelope.

  • Fascia (vertical facing out) boards and soffits (horizontal underneath overhang) – are just below the roof line. If the flashing installed under the lowest row of shingles wasn’t installed correctly, water will get under the shingles. When fascia and soffits are made of wood, painting promptly will prevent the wood from absorbing water which causes wood rot.
  • Gutters and downspouts – may need cleaning and/or repairs.
  • Siding and trim like corner boards, must be secure and in good condition. Wood siding and/trim needs to be painted to prevent water damage and other materials may need special care like power washing vinyl siding.
  • Windows and doors – may need maintenance, especially when made of wood (remember painting is about protecting the wood). More often though, you need to check the caulking that seals gaps where they meet your home’s siding. And most wood rot occurs where there’s water … on window sills, door thresholds & the vertical kickplate just below a door.
  • Foundation – is where water can get into your basement, crawlspace or slab. The point is concrete is porous and water does come through unless you direct the water away from your house.
  • Decks, porches and stairs – need different maintenance depending on the materials they’re made from, with wood requiring the most consistent care to reach it’s estimated lifetime of 20 years.

Other Items On Your Exterior Home Maintenance Checklist?

  • exterior home maintenance extends out to your mailboxSidewalks and driveways – may have holes and cracks which could cause accidents.
  • Windows – might need a cleaning and again, you might want to hire someone to do the second floor if your windows don’t tilt.
  • Mailboxes – often taking a beating where there’s snow, so it’s one more item on our exterior home maintenance.
  • Lawn care – might mean getting your lawn mower serviced or arranging for professional lawn care.
  • Irrigation systems – need to be tested to make sure they’re ready for the growing season.
  • Yard clean-up – includes cleaning up fallen branches and/or trimming trees and bushes, and adding mulch.
  • Pool and air conditioning systems – aren’t needed yet so beat the summer rush and take care of these early.

 

 

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