There are a number of exterior maintenance issues that you'll want to stay on top of as a homeowner to protect your home, increase its value, and increase your comfort within the home.
A recent project that we completed involved a large paint job and a number of other maintenance issues. We fully repainted a rear addition and two sheds, as well as sections of fencing, and multiple exterior doors. In addition to the actual painting we re-caulked a number of junctions and replaced many pieces of hardware in order to restore full functionality and provide a refreshed look.
Using this project as a reference, I'd like to cover some important points that may be applicable to your home.
1) Take Care Of Exterior Doors - Especially Weatherstripping
Not only did we paint this exterior door (in the picture directly below), but we also replaced all of the weatherstripping, including the door sill. This is quite important, especially with colder weather coming up. The old weatherstripping was torn apart and full of holes, while the old sill was deformed and not able to make a positive seal with the door. This reduced the efficiency of the home and also allowed bugs and insects to get in from the exterior.
Not only does the door look great with the new paint job, but it is able to do its job thank to the properly installed weatherstripping, and is ready to save the homeowner money on energy bills as we approach the cooler months.
Not shown here is the storm door, which received a fresh paint job.
2) Inspect Exterior Windows And Frames For Rot Or Decay
If you own an older home, you may have wood framed windows. As years go by, the caulking around these frames as well as the frames themselves can deteriorate due to exposure to the elements. If these window frames are not kept in a good state of repair, you can have water penetration into your home, poor thermal performance, and even wood rot.
The good news is that in most cases, a proper cleaning and scraping, priming, and paint job can get these windows looking and performing properly again. Be sure to cut out and remove any old caulking as this will allow you to easily apply new caulking which will seal the frames to the house and prevent any water from getting by.
On our recent exterior painting project, we took care of a number of basement windows which were in need of repair. Where necessary, we replaced rotted sections of wood framing prior to priming, painting, and caulking the window frames. We used a high performance exterior caulking that is designed to allow for expansion and contraction without cracking. When caulking exterior windows, you should always use a high performance product that is specifically designed to resist cracking at movement joints. Avoid lower quality latex caulking, which may be great for interior trim but which just won't hold up to exterior usage.
3) Don't Neglect Exterior Structures - A Quality Paint Job Goes A Long Way
If you have one or more exterior sheds on your property as many homeowners do, you'll be very familiar with how convenient they are for storing seasonal items and equipment. However, many sheds are not maintenance free and if they were built using wood siding then you may consider a fresh paint job. The shed below was repainted in a 3 tone colour scheme, and upon completion of the paint job we also installed new hardware and re-caulked the siding. The new paint job and caulking will ensure that this shed is well prepared to withstand the harsh elements for years to come.