A little spring maintenance will maximize the longevity of your home all year long. Here are four steps to ensuring your home’s exterior is protected.
Michiganders count on heavy spring rain, so it’s important to clean out all gutters. Removing all debris will enable the proper flow of water and prevent back-ups. Be sure to wear gloves as this is a messy job. After cleaning the gutters, check to make sure that the gutters are properly fastened. Lastly, clear away all debris from the exterior drains.
Any pockets within the window seals will result in higher utility bills all year round. Checking your windows for areas where the caulking may have cracked or split will save energy and cut your A/C bill. If you locate any areas, clean off all of the mildew before re-caulking or weather stripping.
Next, clean windows both inside and out using a non-abrasive cleaner. Avoid using a high-pressure washer or abrasive cleaners on both the windows and their screens because they could end up damaging your windows. Consider making your own homemade window cleaning solution as it is simple and economical. If screens were left on during the winter, remove and wash them with a mild detergent, then let them dry out before putting them back on.
As spring arrives, you may spot build-up of dirt, mold and other stains to the exterior walls of your home, so it is important to power wash them or else risk corrosion and further damage. Regardless of the material—brick, stucco, siding, etc., search for any trouble areas which are often located under eaves and near the downspouts of the gutters. If you notice any water stains, the gutters are most likely not sufficiently containing roof runoff.
Exterior wall openings are a huge ‘Open House’ sign for all sorts of creatures such as carpenter ants, critters and woodpeckers. Caulk is ideal for sealing most cracks and openings in your home’s exterior walls including wooden walls that are pitted with nail holes, ice damage or other gaps. Use a siliconized acrylic caulk because it is weather-resistant and will adhere well minimizing shrinkage over time. This caulk is available in a variety of colors, however if you cannot locate an exact match, caulk the area and then paint it later once the caulk is completely dry.
*Photo courtesy of free-pictogram.com
Article by: Jennifer Elkow
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