We asked Ken Julian, a professional contractor with over 30 years of experience in residential and commercial construction, for some DIY tips on maintaining the exterior of your home. Here’s what he had to say:
1. Regularly wash or pressure-wash your home
One of the biggest mistakes that homeowners make is to let moss and mildew grow on their siding. These plants can eat holes right into your siding. And while a power washer may seem like overkill, it’s actually a great investment whether you’re in the market for one or not. A power washer will save you a lot of time and trouble down the line when you don’t have to scrape away moss or mildew manually with your hands.
2. Don’t let weeds take over
Weeds are a familiar problem for homeowners, and they can quickly take over an otherwise perfectly manicured lawn. When weeding, never do it by hand. Your back will thank you. A quick weeding session with a weed eater is way faster and takes much less energy than doing it by hand.
3. Cut back any trees that hang over your home
Understandably, homeowners wouldn’t want their beautiful old oak tree to be taken down. The problem is, a tree hanging too close to the house can mean severe damage if there are high winds or if the structure of the building shifts at all. A tree much closer than 10-15 feet away can be considered a hazard, and you should have it taken down for your safety.
4. Paint your exterior periodically
Paint does more than just give your home that finished look. It also protects the wood from rot, mold, and other severe damage caused by moisture. If you don’t want to paint the whole house all at once, just focus on the areas that see a lot of sunlight or are subject to moisture. It’s best to use oil-based enamel paint, which can stand up to high temperatures as well as harsh weather conditions.
5. Repair cracks in your foundation or siding
A little crack would be easy for anyone to ignore, but they grow bigger over time and eventually become a safety risk. So if you’ve got cracks in your foundation or siding, it may be time to call an expert to take a look at them and give you an estimate on the work that needs to be done.
6. Replace old gutters regularly
If you’ve got old gutters you haven’t replaced in a while, you may be in for some serious water damage. If you’re interested in replacing them yourself, look into gutter spouts that are self-cleaning and can handle heavy rainstorms.
7. Replace hardware regularly
If you’re going to be making repairs on your home, the best way to make sure everything holds up is by using high-quality materials. For example, look for nails and screws that are galvanized or stainless steel, so moisture won’t cause them to rust over time. The same goes for hinges — replace them with ones made of high-quality material, or your door will soon be hanging off its hinges.