We understand keeping the exterior of your home maintained can be extremely time-consuming and overwhelming. However, managing your outdoor property is crucial in preserving the structure and longevity of your home.
1. Vegetation. Trees, bushes and other plants can cause damage to your home’s siding and roof. Branches can scrape against your home, causing cracks and damage that can lead to unwelcome pests. Neglected vegetation can also trap moisture along the foundation of your home, leading to mold and mildew.
2. External Faucets. To prevent freezing, be sure to winterize all external faucets during the coldest months of the year. Disconnect hoses, turn off the water supply and finally, drain any water that might remain. This will help keep your pipes from bursting and prevent a ruined water line.
3. Yard. Cut your grass and rake regularly. Dead leaves blanket your yard, keeping it from getting necessary sunlight and precipitation. You should also fill in any low areas to prevent water pooling and possible tripping hazards.
4. Gaps. There should never be gaps between the trim of windows or doors and the exterior of your home. Applying a layer of caulk is an easy way to extend the life of a home’s structure and can drastically improve insulation.
Inspect your foundation regularly for cracks and wear. A few minor cracks may be a normal sign of settling, but depending on the breakage and location, they could indicate a serious problem. For help determining their severity, schedule an inspection with GPI.
6. Outdoor Air Conditioning Units. If your home has an exterior air conditioning unit, make sure its surrounding area is clear and that the unit itself is clean. During the winter months, you should cover the unit to protect against extreme cold and harsh weather.
7. Doors. Routinely check your front door for cracks and gaps. Be sure that it closes and locks properly and completely. There should never be moisture or fogging inside glass panels and all wood trim should be free of rot.
8. Wood. Check for rotting wood siding and paint-peeling around the exterior of your home. Rotting wood should be replaced or, if minor, filled with wood filler as soon as possible to prevent leaks and water damage. Applying a fresh coat of paint to areas in need of touch-ups can prevent future rotting.
9. Dampers and Vents. All exterior openings to your home, such as dampers, covers and vents, should be clean and attached properly with no gaps. It’s especially important that the dryer vent does not have any lint buildup, as this is a sign of blockage and is a serious fire hazard.
10. Gutters. Keeping your gutters clear of leaves and other debris is one of the most important chores on your exterior home maintenance checklist. Clearing your gutters at least twice a year prevents drainage and overflow problems, extending the life of your home’s roof and siding. It also prevents pest infestations.
*Written by Mansour Nasiri, Property Inspector - Global Property Inspections*