In many parts of the country, the bold colors of fall will soon be replaced by winter’s first snowfall. Even if you’re not ready to face the cold, you can be sure your home and storage buildings are prepared by completing several important maintenance tasks. A simple fall maintenance program will not only give you peace of mind, you will also save money by avoiding expensive repairs.
Inspect the roof. We recommend that you perform a thorough check-up of your roofing system twice per year, once in the fall and once in the spring. Look for shingles that are cracked, curled, loose or altogether missing. Check wood shakes for rot and splits, and slate and tile for broken pieces. Also note the condition of metal flashing at joints and protrusions in the roof, such as around chimneys or skylights. If you see damage or areas of concern, call a professional roofer for assistance.
Clean out gutters. Clogged gutters are a major contributor to ice dams and other winter headaches. Be sure to clean leaves out of gutters and downspouts on both your home and outdoor sheds, then flush out remaining debris with water. Inspect guttering for leaks or loose brackets, and repair if needed.
Clear roof surfaces. Clear off leaves and other debris that can promote mold, mildew and water collection on the roof surface. Ice that forms under shingles can lift the edges or cause cracking, permitting water to enter once spring rains arrive.
Check ventilation. To allow proper ventilation within your home, be sure attic vents in the eaves are not covered by insulation. Clear debris away from ridge and soffit vents. Keep out unwanted guests by installing bird and rodent screens on attic vents.
Look for peeling paint. Paint is your home’s protection from water infiltration. Peeling paint can lead to wood rot, mold and insect damage. Inspect the exterior walls of your home and sheds for any paint that is peeling or blistering.
Stop drafts. To prevent heat from escaping your home, caulk and seal openings around windows and doors, and around pipes and wires where they enter the house. If applicable, don’t forget to check basement windows for drafts, loose frames and cracked panes.
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If you own a home in a historic district, you can forget about replacing the existing siding with vinyl. Most historic districts require replacement siding to closely match the original, hence wood (or engineered wood) and brick. Understanding home building regulations based on historic overlays can help eliminate the headache during renovations, so it’s important to stay in the know before embarking on the project.Continue Reading
With fall just around the corner, it’s time to plan how you will ensure your home’s exterior is ready for the cooler temperatures while also keeping up with the latest seasonal trends. Not sure where to start? We break down the top four home exterior tips for fall for a little inspiration.
Ranch-style home designs are known for low and wide single-story profiles, large picture windows, sliding glass doors and attached front garages. These close-to-the-ground homes were first built in the U.S. in the 1920s, but they didn’t gain widespread popularity until the post-World War II era into the 1970s. As suburbia spread, the ranch-style house became one of America’s favorites. The popularity of ranch-style homes waned in the ‘80s and ‘90s, but it’s making a comeback as younger homebuyers rediscover the ranch’s charm—much like they did with bungalows.
Most first-time homebuyers arm themselves with a lot of information about mortgage interest rates and closing costs. What they sometimes overlook are the repair costs prior to moving into previously owned homes and the long-term maintenance costs associated with homeownership.