Exterior Maintenance

Exterior Maintenance Will Keep Your Home Looking Its Best

Cracked masonary

When stone veneer cracks, such as this veneer surrounding an exterior spa, it means the material is under too much physical pressure, possibly from movement. A mason can repair the cracks, but a qualified structural engineer should be called in to assess the damage and correct the cause of the stress.

Tree Roots on concrete work

Left on their own, tree roots can and do damage to foundations, driveways, sidewalks and cement pool decking. The tree may need to be removed if the roots cannot safely be cut. Consult a tree expert before doing anything. And if the roots involve a pool, it probably will be necessary to call in a pool expert as well to look for structural damage.

Chimmney safety

Burning embers can and do escape from roof chimneys. To avoid possible fires, every chimney should have a spark arrestor installed. These chimney screens also help keep out birds and other animals during warmer months. ? A certified chimney sweep should be consulted to correct this condition.

Too much sun exposure

Any part of a home exposed to the weather is subject to increased wear and tear. But with proper protection and regular maintenance, homeowners can avoid premature repairs or costly replacements. need of premature repairs or costly replacements

Damaged Rain Gutters

Damaged, worn or poorly maintained gutters can result in serious water damage to a house, particularly under the eaves or soffit boards. Look for such damage particularly when buying an older home; a roofer and a carpenter may be required to fix the problem.

Faulty Exterior Finish

An exterior insulated finish system is a stucco-type fabrication method for surfacing the exterior of a home. If improperly installed and maintained, water may seep into the walls, a problem that will need to be addressed either by a moisture-penetration specialist or an expert in this kind of exterior finishing.

Tree roots

Left on their own, tree roots can and do damage to foundations, driveways, sidewalks and cement pool decking. The tree may need to be removed if the roots cannot safely be cut. Consult a tree expert before doing anything. And if the roots involve a pool, it probably will be necessary to call in a pool expert as well to look for structural damage.

Exterior siding

All exterior siding, including shake-type siding, needs to be maintained and repaired to prevent moisture from seeping through to the interior of the house. Most shakes can be readily obtained at home-improvement stores and replaced by a handy do-it-yourselfer.

Exposed to weather wood rot

Exposed wood, such as a large beam, will rapidly decay unless it is regularly treated with a weather sealant. If the beam has suffered damage, it also may need to be replaced or reinforced.

Keep A/C Condenser on it's Slab

Water flowing from a temperature and pressure line with a defective valve is pushing this air conditioning condenser off its supporting slab. Once the valve is repaired or replaced, the condenser unit must be readjusted on the slab.

Exterior wood decay

If wood veneer on a house has not been sealed against the weather, it will rapidly decay. Any such decay should be replaced with new wood and the entire veneer surface sealed.

Cracked Brick Walls

A crack in brick mortar usually indicates excessive structural stress, which can be the result of several causes. Left uncorrected, the damage will worsen. A structural engineer should be called in to determine the exact cause of the problem and recommend a course of action.

Keep The AC Lines Clear

Air conditioning units installed in an attic or any other location over a finished ceiling should have primary and secondary condensation lines in order to provide back-up in case one line fails. If both lines become clogged, it can cause major interior water damage.

Protect the Gas Meter

If a gas meter has been placed in a spot vulnerable to damage by a motor vehicle, a heavy-duty barrier should be erected to reduce the exposure.

Vent stack heat build Up

When the upper portion of a vent stack shows signs of excessive heat build-up, it could be the result of any number of potentially hazardous conditions. A qualified heating/air conditioning contractor should be contacted as soon as possible to deal with the problem.

Nesting birds

Many nesting birds find house gutters an attractive spot to build nests. Instead of just removing a nest from a gutter, however, consider relocating it to a safer location.

Second story decks

If the wood used to build and support a second-story deck is not weather-treated, it will decay rapidly and will need to be replaced. For reasons of safety and practicality, it should be sealed as soon as possible.

Electrical outlet weather guard

If the protective weather guard to an exterior electrical outlet has been lost, it should be replaced immediately to avoid any injury or potential damage to the household electrical system. A replacement guard is readily available at home-improvement stores.

Conduit Care

Electrical conduit is designed to shield live wires. If any piece of conduit becomes unsecured, it should be repaired or replaced without delay.

Conduit safety

Electrical conduit is designed to shield live wires. If any piece of conduit becomes loose, it should be repaired or replaced without delay. Failure to correct the problem can result in unnecessary damage to the equipment and a possible safety risk

Remove form boards

Occasionally a contractor will leave a form board in place after finishing the construction of a foundation. It should be removed as soon as possible because of its potential for attracting termites. After its removal, the area should be inspected for termites.

Cracked brick veneer

Cracks in brick veneer are early signs of serious structural problems. A structural engineer should be called in to assess the damage and recommend corrective measures. A qualified foundation company should then be hired to do the work.

Inspect gas lines on a regular basis

All gas-fired appliances and gas lines should be inspected at least once every two years for leaks and other problems. This will not only extend the life of the appliances and systems involved but avert any potentially hazardous situation.

Keep A/C condenser level

Air conditioning condensers are designed to rest in a level position. Most of the time handy homeowners can re-level their condenser units themselves.

Damaged threshold

Any damage to cement supporting a threshold should be repaired in order to prevent possible injury to anyone coming through the door. The damaged cement should be replaced with new.

Repair damaged sprinkler heads

Sprinkler heads in irrigation systems wear out and can be easily repaired or replaced. If a replacement head cannot be found locally, contact the manufacturer.

Cracked wing walls

Any excessive movement in the wing wall of a home should be dealt with as soon as possible either by the original building contractor or a qualified repair company. If left uncorrected, further and more expensive damage could occur.

Keep water out of walls

An exterior insulated finish system is a stucco-type fabrication method for surfacing the exterior of a home. If improperly installed and maintained, water may seep into the walls, a problem that will need to be addressed either by a moisture-penetration specialist or an expert in this kind of exterior finishing.

No wood close to the House

Any wood located between a cement patio and a home, such as a wooden expansion joint, is a potential home for termites. The wood should be removed immediately and the area inspected for active termites.

Move water away from the foundation

A splash block or down-spout extension can help guide water away from a foundation. Otherwise water may pool close to the foundation, which can cause costly damage.

Finishing an exterior deck

If a deck has been built and not properly treated for the weather, it should be sealed as soon possible to avoid serious damage from the elements.

Rain gutter damage

A damaged rain gutter should be repaired or replaced as soon as possible in order to avoid water damage around the foundation.

Too Tense

 When electrical service support lines attached to the service mast on a house are too tense, as shown here, the mast will start leaning, creating a hazard. A qualified electrician should be called in as soon as possible.

Repair a pool leak

Like other household equipment, swimming pool equipment requires regular maintenance to catch small leaks before they become large problems. A qualified pool service may have to be called in to make repairs.

Roof wind damage

Most homeowners insurance policies cover roof damage from high winds and bad weather. The key is reporting the claim as soon as possible. While repairs are pending, temporary measures to avoid further damage should be taken.

Cracked concrete slabs and foundations

If a significant crack develops in a slab foundation, it will only worsen if left uncorrected. A qualified structural engineer should be called in to assess cause of this damage and recommend repairs.

Termite hiding places

The best way to avoid termites is to regularly inspect likely locations for them to show up. Without these regular checks, termites often are able to infest a spot for months, even years, before being found.

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