Autumn Exterior Maintenance: 5 Things Every Homeowner Must Do
As a Minnesota homeowner, you know just how harsh and damaging our winter weather can be to an unprepped home. That’s why it’s so important to be diligent about annual exterior home maintenance once the autumn months arrive. Get your house prepared and ready to withstand whatever this year’s winter has in store with our handy autumn maintenance guide below!
Clean Your Gutters & Downspouts
If there’s a buildup of leaves and other debris inside your gutters, that debris can prevent snowmelt from draining off your roof efficiently throughout winter. When that happens, ice dams will form, and eventually, water that collects behind those dams can seep beneath your shingles and damage the underlayment of your roof. To help prevent that from happening, here’s what you should do:
● Grab a ladder, a big bucket, and a pair of work gloves.
● Position the ladder so you can easily reach inside the gutters and pull out any debris with your hands. Toss the waste in your bucket and compost it or throw it in the trash.
● Once you’ve removed all the debris, grab your garden hose and flush the gutters and downspouts thoroughly to make sure they allow efficient water flow.
If you have trouble cleaning your gutters or you’re just not a fan of the task, consider contacting a gutter contractor (roofing contractors often specialize in gutters too) to discuss gutter guard installation. With gutter guards, you’ll never have to clean leaves out of your gutters again.
Assess Your Roof
The roof of your home is its first line of defense against snow and ice during winter, so it’s imperative that you make sure it’s totally intact. But for your safety, don’t scale your own roof to perform a damage inspection. Look for obvious signs of deterioration from the ground, such as:
● Lifted or curling shingles
● Missing shingles
● Damaged flashings
● Moss or algae growth
● Patches of missing shingles granules (you might also find granules in your gutters)
When you're done checking out the exterior, head into your attic and look for signs of leaks or water damage. Keep an eye out for black marks, signs of moisture, damp insulation, and mold as these are all signs that you need to contact a roofing contractor for a more in-depth inspection and roof repairs.
Touch Up Seals Around Windows and Doors
Inspect around your windows and doors to see if any of the caulking or other seals have deteriorated. If you notice any damage — and it’s not extensive — you can usually re-caulk to fortify the seal.
If, on the other hand, your windows and doors are fairly old, it may be time to think about getting them replaced to improve heat retention throughout winter. It may be in your best interest to reach out to a window and door contractor to schedule an inspection so you know just how long your doors and windows have left.
Inspect Exterior Walls & Siding
Take some time to walk around your home and any outbuildings you have to assess the condition of the paint, siding, and caulking. If you notice blistering or peeling paint or damaged seals, these issues will need to be addressed before winter hits.
If the deterioration isn’t substantial, you can put a new coat of paint over top of the damaged one. However, if you notice other glaring problems, get in touch with a siding contractor. If your siding is several decades old, it may be time for a few siding repairs or, if it’s looking really poor, complete siding replacement is probably a better option.
Glaring deterioration around the exterior of a home is almost always a sign that the cladding is getting too old to provide adequate protection from the elements.
Top Up Your Attic Insulation
Augmenting your attic insulation isn’t necessarily an exterior maintenance task, but it can certainly help you keep the exterior of your roof in top condition throughout winter. If your roof suffered from persistent ice dams last winter, there’s a good chance a lack of attic insulation was partly at fault. Hiring a roofing contractor to top up that insulation and inspect the attic for any signs of leaks will help prevent ice dams from developing and inflicting water damage on your roof.
Prep Your Home for Winter With the Exterior Contractors at Eastern Roofing & Siding
If you need professional help getting your home ready for the winter season, don’t hesitate to reach out to our team at Eastern Roofing & Siding! For over 25 years, our exterior contractors have proudly served homeowners throughout Woodbury, Cottage Grove, and Inver Grove Heights, and top-notch service has always been our number one priority. To schedule service or learn more about how we can help you, give us a call today at 651-238-1313.