Sometimes it is easy to forget about exterior home maintenance. We spend most of the time inside our home, but don't forget to give some love to the exterior of your property. We do a variety of different tasks to make sure the interior of our home is maintained from cleaning, de-scaling, water filtration, radon testing (Living in Colorado you really need to do this by the way), etc. On the exterior we usually water plants, weed and mow the lawn, then we smile and move on. There are a few things you are going to want to make sure you look at.
- Living in Colorado it is imperative that you keep water away from the foundation of your home so make sure your gutters are draining properly and moving water 4 to 5 feet from the foundation. You also want to make sure that your property is sloped away from the home. On some occasions over time the ground can settle and actually cause the swale to lead water back towards your home. You will want to correct this by adding soil to the low spots to make sure the drainage is sloping away from the home.
- Sprinkler systems are something most residential homes have in Colorado. In order to keep your water bill down while also having your grass green it is imperative that you test the system to make sure you don't have any stuck valves and that the actual sprinklers are watering the grass and not the concrete or your foundation. You can contact a local landscaping company or a local plumber to help out with this task.
- Garage Doors need to be regularly maintained. The chain on the door needs to be greased and checked for tightness. Each of the rollers and hinges should also be oiled. They make a special type of oil for garage doors one option that I have had luck with is PB Blaster. Overtime if left unchecked it is possible that the spring on the door will give way and that is extremely dangerous to anyone close by not to mention it might give you a heart attack because of the sound. Also check the electrical outlet on the ceiling if you have a garage door opener and blow it out with compressed air if you need to to keep bugs and dust from getting into the outlet. If the outlet looks to be in bad shape you should consider an electrician.
- Gutter cleaning is another area you have to consider. Do you have taller more mature trees that cause a lot of leaves and debris to land in your gutters. This becomes a real problem in fall when trees shed there leaves. One option is to consider gutter covers so you don't have to clean your gutters regularly. Don't forget this step just because you have shorter trees. Kids have been known to throw wiffle balls and tennis balls that can get caught in the downspot area not letting water flow freely.
- Check your Deck. Spring and summer are great times to check your deck for cracks and splinters. If you find these you will want to sand down those areas and consider adding a sealant to the wood to keep it protected.
- HVAC inspections are huge and you need to check that your exterior unit isn't covered in cotton or have air obstructions. I find it your best bet to hire an HVAC contractor in the spring and the fall just to do routine maintenance on your system.
- Walk around your home a couple of times per year. Look at your foundation to check and see if you have any cracking. Make sure to also look at your siding is it bowing? Are the nails popping or do you notice any rotting. By finding these issues you can bet there is an underlying problem that needs to be corrected to make sure you don't get any further damage.
- Your roof. This is the big daddy and needs to be maintained. On most occasions you can inspect your roof from a distance using a pair of binoculars or if it is a low roof just eyeballing it. Look for missing shingles and wear and tear. We also receive hail regularly and this can cause damage. If we have had a recent hail storm this is a great opportunity to call a reputable roofing company to ensure that you don't have any damage that needs to be repaired. The will often help you with submitting the proper information to your insurance company as well. Something you also have to be aware of is mold. We don't live in a humid environment but if we have a particularly wet and humid time of year mold will grow on your shingles which is something you will want to watch for because it deteriorates the shingle causing it not last for very long. If you find any mold you will want to contact a roof cleaning company to soft wash your roof and kill the mold and algae growth without hurting the shingle.
- Check your siding and exterior for soft spots and areas that may need to be cauled or re-painted.