Posted by Steve Hester on Tuesday, May 05, 2015
Save Money & Headaches with an Exterior Maintenance Program for Your Home
Spring may have sprung, but the harsh effects of winter are actively haunting Midwestern homes. If not addressed annually, winter’s severe damage adds up, and homeowners may find themselves shelling out money for extended repairs caused by sub-zero temperatures and brutal precipitation. Proactive homeowners who inspect their homes’ exteriors annually often require fewer repairs over time. As such, their homes are not only more durable but maintain a greater value on the market.
Hester Painting & Decorating, an EPA-lead certified firm, has been identifying exterior trouble spots and problems for homeowners for more than 45 years. Jeff Hester, vice president of Hester Painting & Decorating, urges homeowners to pay close attention to their exteriors. “Annual exterior inspections help the home’s curb appeal, but the key reasons to do it are your home’s longevity and value,” said Hester.
Hester encourages homeowners to conduct a careful inspection annually and look for trouble spots and warning signs. He recommends homeowners arm themselves with a flashlight, notebook and a couple of hours of time. Homeowners who decide to outsource the inspection will want to be sure to use a contractor who is in compliance with the new EPA lead-safe certification standards that went into effect on April 22, 2010.
Ignored or untreated issues can have serious effects. For example, exterior cracks and gaps trap moisture and can foster mold and mildew inside the home; families exposed may develop severe allergies. Here are 5 key areas to inspect:
- Paint Deterioration: Cracked, flaking and peeling paint leaves openings for unwanted moisture, which welcomes mildew and mold.
- Examine the surfaces: Winter’s freeze-thaw cycle is hard on homes. Look for signs of splitting or peeling on every horizontal surface – window sills, steps, fences, doorframes. Seal and repaint.
- Check the deck: With wood decks, it is important to inspect carefully for nails and screws that winter’s wrath may have pushed up. Tear off any large splinters of wood. Scout for wasps nests or other infestations. Restain or reseal the wood because preventative maintenance will double the life of a deck.
- Exterior Cracks: Spaces and gaps in caulk and weather-stripping give water the opportunity to invade.
- Sun and Shade: The sun’s harsh rays will fade sections of paint, while areas with extended shade hold moisture that lead to mildew and rot.
For homeowners in the Chicagoland area, Hester Painting & Decorating offers free annual exterior inspections through its Exterior Maintenance Program. Homeowners receive a detailed, no-obligation evaluation, including cost estimates and timelines for suggested repairs. “Many homeowners can spot an issue after it’s done damage, but it is better – and far less expensive – to catch potential problems before they fester.”