Living in Michigan, we’ve all heard the saying, “Don’t like the weather…wait 5 minutes.” Well maybe it’s an exaggeration, the frequent changes in weather can take a serious toll on your home’s well-being. To make sure that your house stays in great condition, here is a 15-minute exterior home health check you can do today.
1. Check Your Exterior (Brick, Siding, Trim, etc.)
If your home has bricks, there’s a good chance they suffer from some problems when winter’s snow melts away. If any of your bricks’ faces look chipped or cracked, it’s time to fill them in. Neglected bricks can crumble or suffer water damage. If you see odd deposits of a whitish hue on your brick walls, remove them with a dry brush.
If you have siding, it’s likely that the winter has left it a tad dirty. No worries, since a bucket of water and cleaning solution will do the trick. Check your siding manufacturer’s website for the proper cleaning solution to use. Perform a simple rinse, soap, and rinse pattern. To make it easier, focus on attacking 10 sq. ft. sections at a time. If you have a 2-story home, please be careful using the ladder.
If you’re not a professional, it’s not recommended that you use a power washer. Power washers can get water behind the siding and cause mold. A professional cleaning will run you a few hundred bucks if you’d rather hit the golf course on a nice Saturday.
Your siding and trim can become rotten and damaged over time with exposure to the elements. If you notice damage to your siding or trim, let us know, and we can talk to you about the best way to fix it. You may just need some repairs and not all new siding.
2. Make Sure Your Gutters and Downspouts Are in Great Shape
If you have gutters that are cracked or damaged, you can experience big problems during a rainstorm. Leaks and obstructed flow can cause water to backup around the base of your home. We don’t need to explain why this is bad, right? Often, weighty snow during the winter can also lead to cracks, causing damage to your gutters.
Downspouts are the small attachment at the end of a gutter that exit out onto the ground. These can become damaged, so be sure and check your downspouts and replace them if necessary.
3. Inspect Your Roof
Your roof is the most important part of your house. Shingles may end up curling upward or downward after winter. This is dangerous because it can allow water to get in underneath your shingles, allowing it to leak into your home. Take a careful look at your roof for any of these signs of wear. We’re always here to answer any questions you have about your roof.
4. Check Your Air Conditioner
Head over to your air conditioning unit and check the outside of the unit for any debris. Debris and build up will cause your a/c unit to work harder than it needs to and cost you $$$. Use a shop vacuum to remove dirt from the exterior of the unit. If you see a build up of debris inside the unit, you can remove the cover (usually just a few screws) and clean the fan and coils. IMPORTANT: Be sure to cut off the power to your unit before doing any cleaning.
5. Check Trees For Broken Limbs
Snow storms, ice storms, hail storms, thunder storms, we have them all in Michigan. These storms wreak havoc on your trees’ limbs and branches. Do a careful inspection of the trees around you home for broken and leaning branches. Pay attention to areas around your power & cable lines, tree limbs are the number one culprit for damaging lines to your home.
6. Doors and Windows
Michigan weather can be harsh on many aspects of your home, and your doors and windows are no exception. Inspect doors and windows, looking for cracks in the sealant or the door or window itself, and reseal where necessary. Proper seals are necessary for keeping your home energy efficient. Remember, on a hot day keeping the cool in is just as important as keeping the cold out in the winter.
7. Check Concrete, Walkways, and Fences
Concrete is one of the most durable materials available, but even concrete is not immune to the weather’s wrath. Driven on our roads lately? Concrete can crack from water damage, extreme temperature change, and tree root growth. When the time comes that your concrete does crack, apply sealants where needed.
As you do a lap or two around your home, also check your fences. Over time critters can dig holes underneath your fence, or tree limbs can damage the integrity of the fence. A nice durable fence will ensure that you keep critters out, and your pets in.
In order to keep your house well maintained this summer, make sure you follow this checklist and if you ever have any questions or need assistance, you can always submit a question for us here!