House Maintenance Projects That Every Homeowner Should Do
It’s still winter, but spring is just around the corner; and it’s the best time of the year to get home maintenance projects done. Whether the color of your home looks faded or you’re seeing cracks in the windows, siding, and roof, you can start to prepare for every task that needs to be done to keep your home in shape for this new year. Below are some of the practical home maintenance projects that you can check up on for your house.
In the winter, snow and ice can put a great deal of pressure and weight on your roof, causing shingles to crack and become weak over time (“How Storms Damage Your Roof”). Rain and hail can even puncture your roof, potentially causing wood rot beneath shingles when not taken care of. Moisture can also freeze under roof panels while pine needles or other debris can build up between roof peaks.
How To Do Roof Maintenance
How To Fix Damaged Shingles
Inspect your roof with binoculars to see if you have any cracked, missing, or shifted shingles. Dislodged shingles that don’t show signs of damage can simply be refastened with nails (“How to Fix Loose Shingles – Do It Yourself”). Shingles that have been severely damaged will need to be replaced.
How To Remove Debris From Roof
Also check to see if there’s any debris on your roof. You can remove branches and leaves by hand, but it’s recommended to use a leaf blower or soft bristled broom (“How to remove debris from your roof”) to make the task easier. These tools also get rid of smaller particles like dirt as well.
Pro Tip: Water stains on your ceilings may be an indicator of problems with your roof. The cause could be something affecting the underside of your roof and may not be visible on the exterior of your home. If you’re in the Portland Metro or surrounding areas, and would like a more thorough inspection, contact the professionals at Sister Siding.
You can start preparing your outdoor space for spring and summer by maintaining your porch or deck. During the fall and winter months, these parts of your home can sometimes be neglected due to rainy or chilly weather. Maintaining them can bring them back to life for the seasons ahead.
How To Maintain Your Porch Or Deck
Prepare The Deck Or Porch For Spring And Summer
Windy weather can blow all sorts of debris onto a deck or porch. Use a broom to easily remove any leaves or other debris. If your deck needs more of a deep clean, you can use soapy water and a broom to gently scrub the surface (“5 Tips for Spring Cleaning Your Wooden Deck | SNL Painting Inc.”), then use water to rinse everything off.
How To Fix A Damaged Porch Or Deck
Check for warped, splintered, or rotten sections that may need to be fixed. If you walk around on your porch or deck and feel any soft spots, these sections may need to be redone. If your deck looks faded, you can have it re-stained (“How to Repair a Deck”) or painted and sealed.
Pro Tip: This is also a good time to clean any appliances or furniture that may be outside as well. If you have a grill, consider bringing it out onto your deck to get it ready for spring.
Siding should be inspected as often as every six months (“How to Properly Maintain Your Home’s Siding”) to make sure it’s in good condition. Winter causes snow and ice to build up under siding, which can cause wood rot. It’s best to catch this problem early to prevent having to fully re-side your house, dry rot can happen fast. Depending on the type of siding your house has, stormy weather can also leave damage that may need to be fixed.
How To Tell If Siding Needs To Be Replaced
Keeping siding looking good as new isn’t just for curb appeal. Siding protects the outside of your home and keeps the inside of your home safe. Signs that you need to replace your siding may include:
Pro Tip: If you need to have your siding re-done, consider updating your home’s siding to fiber cement. This type of material is both durable and resistant to all kinds of common siding problems found here in the Pacific Northwest. If you need a full siding replacement, don’t hesitate to contact Sister Siding. We’re a professional siding company that services the Portland Metro Area in Oregon.
How To Maintain Siding
Aside from thorough siding inspections for damages, you can maintain your siding using the following maintenance techniques:
Clean dirty siding with soapy water and a gentle brush
Fill in small gaps and holes
Treat scratches and scrapes
You can prepare your windows for the new year with a good scrub. Window cleaning products from the store are fine, but a solution of vinegar and rubbing alcohol (“How to Make Homemade Glass Cleaner”) works just as well for a glass cleaner. You can use a cloth or a squeegee.
Check your windows to see if there are any gaps or cracks along their frames. To improve insulation, add caulking (Foster) around the perimeter of your windows. If the weather stripping has damage, you may need a window replacement.
Pro Tip: Check your screens for rips and tears. You can find screen repair kits at any hardware store.
Once the warmer weather hits, debris will be made more visible. Remove all blockages to make sure that water can move smoothly through the gutters. Clogged or damaged gutters can cause water to pour into the wrong places—like in your basement or down the side of your house, which can cause water damage. The point of a gutter system is to redirect water away from your home (“What Are Gutters For & Are They Necessary? | Long Home”).
Gutters should be replaced when they are:
Chimneys should get a thorough inspection and professional cleaning yearly (“Top 12 Chimney Maintenance”). For an inspection, you can check the masonry for cracks, which could be a sign of water infiltration. White calcium deposits, called “efflorescence” (Lamb), around the chimney are also a sign of leaks that will need to be sealed. Chimneys can clog easily with smoke and soot when used on a regular basis. While unused chimneys often fill up with nests and other natural debris that will need to be cleared out before being used.
Pro Tip: You can utilize a protective chimney screen or rain cap (“The Importance of Rain Caps”) to keep critters and their homes out of yours.
How To Clean Out My Fireplace
From the inside of your home, you can also maintain your chimney by cleaning out your fireplace (Bruno) after it has been used. This will decrease the amount of soot and ash build up in the chimney. After removing logs and larger pieces of wood, you can use a broom and dustpan to clean out remaining ash, then follow up with a vacuum (“How to Clean a Fireplace”). If you’d like to do a deep cleaning, proceed by scrubbing down the fireplace with a soapy water solution and wiping it clean with a damp rag.
House Paint Maintenance
Spring is the ideal time of year to paint your home’s exterior. In the meantime, take note of any exterior paint issues you see. Look for chipped or peeling paint and faded sections that look outdated. You might be someone who just wants to change the color of your home. Regardless, whether you’re wanting to touch up your house’s hue or give it an entirely new façade, work those plans into your home maintenance checklist.
Pro Tip: When you do paint touch ups or a full paint job on your home, don’t forget to also paint the doors, windows, and trim. Adding a fresh coat of paint to each feature of your house will make it look newer and increase its value.
How To Maintain Exterior Paint
For mildew and dirty patches, use a homemade solution of bleach and water. Spray it on the entire area and leave it alone for about 15 minutes (“Maintaining Your New Exterior Paint Job”). Afterwards, scrub it with a gentle brush or soft broom, then use a water hose to clean the residue off. This should be done at least once a year to keep grime build up at bay.
Professional Exterior Home Improvement
If your house is in need of more than seasonal maintenance, such as new siding, siding repair, roofing services, window and door replacements, or a paint job, turn to the experts at Sister Siding. We are home remodeling contractors serving the Portland Metro area of Oregon. No exterior home repair or replacement project is too much to handle with our team of professionals on your side.