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Home Improvement Tips (part 1)

Owning a home is one of the biggest investments for most people, so regularly maintaining your home is a must to keep it in proper shape. Here is part 1 of our home improvement advice to keep your home in tip top shape. In this first portion we'd like to focus on the exterior/outside portion of the property.

Deck maintenance

Deck Maintenance

During the warmer months, your deck can become a common area to hang out, host get togethers, and drink your morning coffee. So keeping it in clean shape is important. You want to keep your deck painted or stained so the wood is sealed to prevent wood rot. Pressure washing can work, but you want to be cautious of the amount of jet pressure you use when doing so. Too much pressure can damage the wood. Any signs of peeling or chipping paint should be removed and redone to keep your deck properly sealed and prolong the life of the material. You can also use proper deck cleaner and scrub the deck without using a pressure washer. If you have noticed any signs of wood rot or deterioration then its probably best to replace the rotted areas.

Peeling or chipped paint around window and door trim

Again, any peeling paint should be removed and redone to properly seal any materials to prevent any rotting. Be sure to regularly check around your home in areas such as exterior wood or clapboard siding, exterior doors and door trims, window sills and trims. A very easy task to prevent more repairs down the road!

Gas meter rust

Keep your gas meter painted

Just liked other exposed materials, you want to keep exposed piping painted to prevent rusting and deterioration. Over time, if exposed piping becomes rusted enough and deteriorates long enough, holes can become present and cause a potential gas leak. If you ever smell a strong scent of gas near your meter, you should call the gas company right away to have it taken care of. Whether it be from a poor connection or rotted piping.

Trimming/pruning vegetation near home

Plants, shrubs, trees, and other vegetation around the home are important for aesthetics and adding visual appeal to your home. They also need to be regularly maintained. Any vegetation that becomes in contact with the home provide pathways for wood destroying organisms such as termites, to enter the home and cause damage. Nearby trees close to or in contact with the home and overhanging the roof can also damage the home's siding and roof shingles during heavy wind storms. Costing you more money in repairs that can be avoided with some maintenance. Vines and plants in contact with the home can also trap moisture against the siding and shorten the lifespan of the materials.

Sealing penetrations around home

Caulking or sealing all penetrations around your home will reduce points of entry and loss of air intrusion and points of possible moisture intrusion. Rain water can enter these areas to damage the structure through these points. Sealing these penetrations can also prevent the points of air loss to the home making your home more energy efficient. In this photo from an inspection, there were also lizards entering the hole so sealing these also reduces the chance of pest intrusions.

Caulking around windows and door weatherstripping

Caulking can usually last a couple years. So regularly looking for brittle and deteriorated around windows should be done periodically. Windows can sometime rely on sealing and caulking to make your home air tight, energy efficient, and prevent possible moisture leaking into home. You want to reduce as much air loss from your home as you can for additional energy efficiency and can lower your monthly energy bills. Same rule applies for door weatherstripping. Gaps in entry doors and garage doors are one the areas for large air loss. You can do each of these tasks yourself and buy supplies for relatively cheap at any hardware store such as Lowes or Home Depot.

Clean gutters and extend downspouts

For people who live in areas around trees, it is important to regularly clean you gutters. The gutters play a very important part in property drainage and it draining it away from your home. If the gutters are clogged with leaves and debris, you run the risk of water runoff near the home. If water drains to close to the foundation, it cause moisture intrusion and soil movement, which can eventually lead to settlement issues. That is also why it is important to extend your gutter downspout at least 3-5 feet away from your home. You can purchases extension at any hardware store to properly drain any water away from the homes foundation.

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