If you’re relatively new to homeownership, chances are you are still getting accustomed to sorting out what type of upkeep you need to do, and how often.
Sometimes homeowners are under the impression that a particular area of work is covered under warranty, meaning that they are not obliged to take care of it since a third party will be responsible. However, when it comes to the exterior paint that protects and beautifies your home, you as the owner are the person who is responsible for maintenance. With that in mind, here are some tips to help you maintain the exterior paint on your home.
Stay on Top of Your Landscaping
The greenery around your home is a thing of beauty in addition to serving as a source for fresh oxygen. But if you do not take care of landscaping, it can lead to damage to the exterior paint. Make sure to trim trees, bushes, and shrubs around the home to allow for sufficient airflow, as this allows the house to dry more readily after rain and prolong the wood and paint’s useful life.
Remove vines and ivy from the siding and periodically get rid of dead leaves, as these harbor vermin and can hold onto damaging moisture. You’ll also want to verify that no lawn sprinklers are dousing your home’s siding.
Washing the Exterior is of Paramount Importance
If you want to get serious about prolonging the life of your home’s exterior paint, one of the easiest and most important things you can do is wash it regularly. From air pollutants, mold and mildew, bird droppings, dirt, and pollen, there is plenty of grime to eliminate. For best results, work with soapy water and use a soft-bristled scrubbing brush with a long, extendable handle. Then, once you’ve applied the requisite elbow grease, it’s a simple matter of rinsing off the exterior with a garden hose.
Homeowners facing a major case of exterior dirt should think about using a pressure washer, which you can rent yourself, or you can hire a professional to take care of this task.
Caulking is Crucial
An essential aspect of maintaining the exterior paint is seeing to all of the caulk. Over the years, caulk tends to get damaged, with cracks and splits appearing. There are numerous points along the exterior of your home that need special coverage in the form of caulking. Consider all of the windows, doorways, and vents that appear on your property—they are all potential sources for leaking air.
These entry points allow hot air to escape during the winter and cold air to get outside in the summer, driving up your utility bills and increasing your family’s carbon footprint. What’s more, water can get into your home through damaged caulking, resulting in expensive repair bills. Make sure that you tour the property once per year to inspect all caulking so you can refresh it as needed.
Remember to Inspect the Rain Gutters
It’s not the most glamorous job in home maintenance, but inspecting rain gutters and checking the downspouts is vital for keeping your home’s exterior paint in top shape. These components ensure that water is moved away from the structure, preventing it from damaging the house. But if your gutters are backed up with debris, water will have nowhere to go, backing up and then flooding onto the exterior and putting excessive wear and tear on the paint.
Waterproofing for a Rainy Day
In some cases, there will be exterior wooden parts of your home that are not protected by a coat of paint. The only thing standing between the wood and the harsh elements is the stain or seal you apply regularly.
So, make sure to create a calendar entry to update the waterproofing on your home once every 12 to 24 months. Consult the manufacturer’s instructions and recommendations for determining just how often you will need to do wood sealing.
Fixing Details With Touch-up Painting
Various exterior parts of your house will need maintenance at different rates. Hence the need for regular touch-up painting. The varying speed of deterioration is caused by different surfaces below the paint (such as metal, vinyl, and wood) as well as the relative exposure to sun, wind, and rain.
Rather than wasting time, money, and effort by painting the entire exterior when only a section needs attention, you can do touch-up painting more effectively in a few hours once a year.
Avoiding Heat Damage to West Facing Walls and Doors
Some homeowners have to pay more attention to the exterior paint, when certain areas, walls, or doors of their homes are made of wood and face west. You should paint the west-facing regions of your home no less than every two years because of the intense heat of the sun that a west-facing exposure gets; this breaks down the paint and can also damage the wood.
Getting Expert Help for All Types of Home Maintenance
Maintaining the exterior paint of your dwelling not only helps preserve the value of your property when it comes time to put it on the market, but it also gives you regular opportunities to change the color and better express your sense of style. Of course, there are many other aspects to maintaining your home that you have to prepare for and schedule.
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