As spring finally settles into the Colorado Springs area, spring cleaning is on everyone’s mind. After the snow and slush have finally cleared, and the days begin to stay consistently warmer, it’s a great time to be getting outside to inspect and clean your home’s exterior.
Intimidated and unsure where to start? Don’t be! We’ve got you covered from the roof down with maintenance checks and cleaning tasks to get your home’s exterior in top shape.
Start at the Top: the Roof
The roof probably takes the biggest beating of any part of the home’s exterior. Even though modern roofing materials are made to withstand the elements for years, hot sun, heavy snow and ice, hail, and wind all add wear and can potentially damage your roof, so a routine inspection is a good idea.
Inspect your roof, looking for any cracked or broken shingles, split or curled shingles, and any patches of missing granules (the stuck on gravel-like material that coats each shingle.) Check for any signs of mold. Check the chimney for any problems with the brick and flashing. Look over vents and check for any clogs.
As you work your way back down from the roof, take some time check the soffits and fascia. Make sure vents are intact and free of clogs, and nearby flashing and shingles are in good condition.
Get it Out of the Gutters
Check the seams for any separations – this can be caused by ice accumulations over the winter. Small separations can generally be repaired by applying caulk from the inside of the gutter tray.
Leaves, sticks, mold, and even bird’s nests can accumulate in your gutters. Clear the majority of this out by hand, and then use a hose to flush the rest out. Check the downspouts for any rust or clogs as you flush the debris through them.
Windows and Doors
Start by inspecting the caulking around window and door frames. Any cracked or missing caulking should be repaired before proceeding to cleaning. Check wooden window sills for rot and water damage. Any discolored areas need a closer look. Check for rot by pressing on the discolored area with the end of a screwdriver – if the wood is spongy, it needs to be replaced before rot spreads to more critical areas, like the window frame itself.
Use a simple mixture of liquid dish soap, vinegar, and water to wash the windows. Use a soft-bristled scrub brush to apply the mixture and spray away the gunk with a hose. Wipe the doors down with an all-purpose cleaner and a wet rag.
Second in Command: Siding
If you think of your roof as your homes’ protective helmet, the siding is like it’s coat of armor – protecting your home from the elements. Old, damaged, or improperly installed siding can lead to extremely costly water damage that can be hard to detect until it is a severe problem.
- Moisture—Once moisture gets in deep behind the siding, it doesn’t dissipate. When you’ve got moist siding, you’ll not only see wood rot and structural damage, but mold can also be an issue. Get ahead of these potential issues with a thorough checkup.
- Aging and wear— Vinyl siding will fade with age, wood may be warped or show signs of rot. If your siding is attached with nails, check for rust, missing nails, or protruding nails. If there is any, take a look at the paint and caulking.
- Chipping and fading— Any chipped or severely faded paint, cracked caulking, or missing caulking needs attention. Inspect water stains – are there any areas where water stains stop abruptly before reaching the ground? This may be an area where water is seeping behind the siding and needs your attention immediately.
If the siding appears to be in decent shape, a good cleaning will make it look even better. Use a pressure washer with an all-purpose or home exterior specific cleaner to remove dirt, dust, and mildew. Be sure to check the manufacturer’s directions, as using too high pressure can damage your siding.
If the siding isn’t in it’s best shape, shows signs of excess wear, or is allowing water to seep behind, it’s time to replace it. Consult a qualified professional like Siding Pro for an estimate on replacement.