As the snow melts, temperatures rise and homeowners in the Midwest finally get outside, it becomes time for some important routine maintenance on our homes. Maintaining the exterior of your home — from your roofing to your siding, gutters and windows — will not only leave everything looking more beautiful, it will help protect the investment you have made in your home.
Where should you begin? There’s a simple checklist that homeowners can follow when it comes to cleaning, inspecting and maintaining the exterior of their home.
Roofing Maintenance Checklist
Residential roofing inspections are not easy, and getting up on your roof can be dangerous. If you are uncertain or unable to inspect your roof, contact a roofing company to come out and make an assessment to determine if any repairs need to take place. When inspecting your roof, look for the following signs of wear and damage:
- Cracked, warped or bent shingles
- Missing shingles or gaps in other roofing materials
- Missing or damaged flashing around chimneys and other areas
- Broken or missing vents
- Damage to flashing or soffit vents
Thankfully, your roof does a good job of keeping itself clean. One thing homeowners want to look for is signs of extensive moss or algae growth. It’s possible to clean this off with a mixture of soap and water, but it may be best to contact a professional to clean your roof.
Siding Maintenance Checklist
Whether you have vinyl, wood, metal, or any other type of siding, it’s important to inspect it once the weather clears up. When inspecting your siding, look for the following signs of wear and damage:
- Cracked, warped or bent siding planks
- Holes or missing areas in siding
- Gaps in the seams
- Mold or rot (particularly in wood siding)
- Chipped or flaking paint
If your siding seems to be in bad shape or disarray, consider professional siding repair or replacement.
It’s much easier to clean siding than roofing, but you may still want to contract the job out to a professional company. If you choose to power wash your siding on your own, make sure you understand which cleaning products can be used on different siding materials. If you have wooden siding, it’s always a good idea to repaint or reapply stain to weathered areas.
Window Maintenance Checklist
Your windows should form a tight seal that prevents air from entering or escaping your home. Windows should be inspected from both the interior and exterior, if possible, and there are several things you should be looking for:
- Cracked glass
- Worn or damaged window frames
- Windows that do not open or close easily
- Damaged or missing glazing or caulking
If you notice major damage, consider window replacement immediately.
Window cleaning is usually necessary in the spring, mainly because constant snow and ice buildup can leave some unsightly streaks over the course of the winter. Just remember to clean both the inside and outside of windows in order to get the best results.
Gutter Maintenance Checklist
Last but not least are your gutters. While they may not add a whole level of beauty to your home, they are integral to preventing water damage in your home. When inspecting your gutters, look for the following:
- Gutters that are sagging or separating from your home
- Dented or warped sections
- Excessive clogs
- Missing screws or other mounting hardware
Cleaning your gutters is easy if you are comfortable with getting up on a ladder, removing debris, and washing everything else out with a hose. If you find that your gutters are not diverting enough water away from your home or are too old and worn, contact a company that specializes in gutter replacement.