For most of us, our home is a prized possession. It offers high security, fewer hassles, better investments, and (not to forget!) an unmatched feeling of accomplishment, and happiness.
Along with these rewards, homeownership comes with major responsibility, i.e., home maintenance. Regular home maintenance will keep your home in top shape, enhance safety and save you from expensive home repairs eventually.
However, new homeowners often consider home maintenance to be an indoor activity and pay less attention to the outdoors. As a result, the home exterior gets overlooked and appears worn out, unappealing, or dull.
The home exterior is exposed to a lot of external conditions, like sun, wind, snow, and rain. Further, dust, smog, and other pollutants add up to the accumulation of dirt. This can lead to cracking of walls, discoloration, landscaping overgrowth, mold growth, pests, and more, causing early deterioration.
So, taking care of a home exterior, including the roof, gutters, landscape, garden area, patio, pool, and other outdoor structures are equally important, if not more.
Importance of home exterior maintenance:
- Enhances home curb appeal.
- Saves money from expensive repairs.
- Protects the entire home from inside and out.
- Saves your home from unpredictable and harsh weather conditions.
- Safeguards your family’s health from outdoor pollution.
To keep your home exterior in top condition, here are some easy exterior maintenance tasks you want to consider doing on your own.
Ways to maintain your home exterior
Saving a few dollars by avoiding home maintenance can seem feasible for the time being, but in the long run, it can cost you a lot more for extensive repairs. Performing maintenance tasks every few weeks or months will protect and keep your home exterior in solid shape for years to come.
From pressure washing, trimming landscapes to caulking the windows. Here is a comprehensive list of simple, yet important exterior home maintenance tasks you can perform without the help of an expert.
1. Garden maintenance
A well-maintained garden gives an appealing first impression. It brings an instant curb appeal and is also known to enhance mental wellbeing. Whether you are fond of veggies, florals, herbs, or lawns, it is hard to deny that gardens brighten your outdoor space.
In order to keep your garden maintained, perform a weekly maintenance routine. Start with using the right gardening tools, cleaning the extra bushes, and taking care of your plants with proper fertilization and weather temps.
For new homeowners, here are some tips to start your gardening journey while ensuring minimal maintenance.
While you are focusing on maintaining the home garden, here are some additional tasks you want to consider.
Inspect the irrigation system
It takes care of watering your garden and landscape so that you do not have to worry about spending time and effort hand-watering. To keep your flowers, lawn, yard, trees, and veggies fresh and vibrant all year long, here are some steps to maintain and inspect your irrigation system regularly.
Step 1: To begin with, reset the irrigation controls with the right time and specific weather conditions as required.
Step 2: Clean the sprinkler heads regularly and clear all the dirt and debris that can damage the water flow. Now, adjust their positions and spray patterns, to avoid watering on the walkways.
Step 3: Check for any leaks or broken parts and get them repaired or replaced immediately.
Before winter, turn off the irrigation system and add insulation to protect the system from freezing temperatures.
Cut down the landscape overgrowth
No matter how beautiful your property is, a messy landscape will detract attention. Also, overgrown landscaping can damage your home’s exterior siding and increase the risk of mildew caused by moisture. Prevent this by cutting down the excess landscaping growth that encounters your home exterior.
2. Pressure washing
One of the most common ways to clean your home exterior is through pressure washing. Over time, our house exterior builds dust, grime, mildew, and mold due to pollution. To remove these, you must pressure wash the home exterior periodically. Doing so will not only make your exteriors clean and refreshing but also discourage mildews.
Here are some tips you want to consider before using a pressure washer on the exterior.
- Disconnect the electrical outlets.
- Cover external light fixtures with tape and plastic.
- Cover or remove the outdoor items near your home.
- Close all the doors and windows.
For wood siding, do not perform pressure washing. Instead, consider re-painting for extra protection.
Here is a step-by-step guide to pressure wash your home exteriors.
3. Windows and doors
Similar to other exterior maintenance tasks, many of us are ignorant of the importance of having clean outdoor windows and doors. With time, they get dusty and dirty, reducing the overall exterior curb appeal.
Window cleaning brings more natural light within, allowing your home to look brighter. Cleaning exterior windows & doors can increase its lifespan and make your home look polished. Apart from this, it eliminates unhealthy molds, decreases allergens, prevents pests, and ensures safety all year round.
Clean the doors & windows
To clean your doors and windows, begin with clearing off the dirt with the help of a garden hose. Next, use a soapy solution or a door cleaner to remove any leftover dirt. Lastly, wipe off the solution with water and use a non-abrasive cloth/mop. You can also follow the same process for cleaning the garage door.
Caulking the windows & doors
As you are cleaning the door and windows, take time to inspect them. Look for any damage, cracks, or gaps. If so, consider caulking and weather-stripping your windows and doors to prevent air leaks.
Caulking will help your HVAC system to run efficiently and reduce your utility bills.
4. Cleaning the gutters and downspouts
Gutters and downspouts often accumulate leaves, rakes, seeds, and other debris. If you do not clean them seasonally, it can clog the drainage system, and lead to problems affecting your overall home exterior including the roof, siding, and foundation. Further, it can also diminish the lifespan of your roof shingles and paint.
The best way to avoid this is to clean the gutters by removing the accumulated debris and clearing the blockages. Lastly, flush the gutters and downspouts with a garden hose and get rid of small debris that may have been left behind.
While you are cleaning the gutters and downspouts, be sure to inspect them. Remove any molds or mildews and repair leaks or damages (if any). You can also install gutter guards to keep the debris out.
To avoid any foundational damage, use downspouts extensions to keep it away from home exteriors.
5. Cleaning the driveway and walk away
Outdoors is full of dirt, dust, and grime, even if it is not visible to the naked eyes. Moreover, this dirt is carried within your home causing health issues. Pressure wash your driveways to remove stains, dust, and other harmful buildups.
Also, when the weather starts to heat up, inspect the driveway for any holes or gaps. Small cracks look unpleasant and resealing these cracks early means less expensive repairs for the outdoors.
After you are done with driveway repair and cleaning, use the pressure washer on your fences too. Doing this will remove dirt and extend its lifespan.
As you are cleaning, do not forget to clear off the dust from places like doorbells, external lights, and switches.
You can likely perform all five exterior maintenance tasks mentioned above. Maintenance of home exteriors also involves a few more steps that are advanced, and you may need help from professionals. In the next article, we will talk about advanced exterior maintenance tasks..