Exterior Home Maintenance
Thoughtful and consistent exterior home maintenance is the key to keeping your home looking like new. Neighbors will appreciate your efforts and guests will feel welcomed by great curb appeal. You’ll be more prepared to sell your house when the time comes and you’ll save money by fixing problems when they’re still small versus major repairs (learn more by reading rotted window sill repairs).
As one of Newburyport’s remodeling companies, we visit homes throughout Boston’s north shore. We see homes that have been maintained and others that have been neglected. One of the biggest reasons homeowners neglect routine maintenance and repairs is they don’t know who to call. That’s why we’ve decided to expand our services to include home maintenance and repair services in the communities we serve. We’re leveraging our network of subcontractors we use for building and remodeling projects, and we’ll help you keep your home in tip top shape.
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Roofing is a key feature of your home. We may focus on a roof’s color and texture but your roof’s main priority is keeping your home and family dry, safe, and healthy. A roof should be inspected every year and repaired promptly, to get the maximum useful life from this home feature. Ultimately your roof will reach it’s end of life and you’ll need a new one.
Roofing Material Choices
We can help you determine when you need to replace your roof and how to evaluate different roofing materials. We monitor new roofing materials like shingles that reflect sunlight to reduce your energy costs, and explain your options with the pros and cons of each roofing material.
- Asphalt or fiberglass shingles
- Wood shakes
- Clay roofing tile
- Concrete roofing tiles
- Metal roofs
Decisions When Replacing a Roof
The quality of the roof installation is just as important as the materials. You want to work with someone who takes the time to understand your home and the type of weather your roof must withstand from strong wind gusts to lack of sunlight so snow lingers for days and weeks with occasional water leaks. Here’s a quick checklist of what’s involved in replacing a roof.
- Review your roof and any exterior water leak problems. You may also want to address attic insulation and ventilation, and whether you want to add skylights if your attic is finished.
- Establishing your roofing priorities – starting with aesthetics (color and texture), you also want to consider how much maintenance you’re willing to perform, energy efficient, durability and budget.
- Stripping the old roof is the safest way to replace a roof so you can inspect and repair structural damage which can affect the useful life of your new roof. Some roofing companies will recommend installing a new roof over an existing one to save costs (labor, dumpster rental and waste disposal fees). You need to insure you’re comparing equivalent services when comparing quotes.
- Installation decisions – include where to place the dumpster and materials which will be dropped at the job site.
Tips to Maintaining Your Roof
Roofs are expensive so you want to take care of routine maintenance, to help your roof last as long as the manufacturer says it will. Of course it’s also true that we live on the seacoast, and salt air does have a tendency to accelerate the wear and tear on our home’s exterior materials like your roof, wood siding and paint, decks, etc.
- Inspect your roof each spring, and after storms. You’ll save money by finding and repairing things like missing shingles quickly.
- Inspect your roof from your attic – look for black marks where water is leaking, or stains on drywall if you have a finished attic.
- Check your attic periodically for high humidity which means you need more ventilation. You can’t avoid humidity coming from finished living space below, so you want to make sure you’ve got enough ventilation to remove it before damage occurs.
- Monitor your home’s roof for typical problems like excess debris from trees, moss growing on your roof which is never good or ice dams in the winter. Each of these problems will have a negative effect on your home, and Greene Construction can help you find the optimal solution to prevent these problems.
Common Roofing Repairs
- Missing or torn shingles.
- Exposed seams where flashing missing or not fastened properly.
- Leaks around chimney, vent stacks, etc.
- Water pooling in valleys filled with leaves & needles.
- Poor roof installation including attic ventilation, or improper repairs.
- Problems with roofing materials, i.e. not glued down properly or shrinkage.
- Ice dams that lift up shingles (learn more at newenglandicedamsolutions.com).
Replacement Roofing Choices
- Asphalt or fiberglass shingles.
- Wood shakes.
- Clay roofing tiles.
- Slate roofs.
- Concrete roofing tiles.
- Metal roofs.
- Rubber roofing for flat roofs.
Roofing Repairs and Replacement
Roofing repairs are critical to exterior home maintenance as it’s your first line of defense to keep water, snow and ice out of your home. Repairs are needed due to storms (high winds, falling debris, hail storms and excessive snow loads) and natural wear and tear of your roofing materials, as they reach their end of life (generally 15 to 25 years based on exposure to the weather and salty air).
Siding, Exterior Trim and Painting
Similar to your roof, siding is the outside layer that prevents water and debris from penetrating your home’s walls. Walls are built in layers from the siding to the vapor barrier over the sheathing, to the wall’s framing and insulation and finally your interior drywall. It’s important to keep water and moisture out, and conditioned air inside your home so always remember that painting your home’s wood exterior is about “protecting” your home.
Common Maintenance & Repairs
- Painting, painting & painting!
- Caulking seams between materials, i.e. siding & window trim.
- Siding weakened by weather or water damage.
- Window sills & kick plates with wood rot.
Replacement Siding Choices
- Wood clapboard siding most common in Newburyport.
- Wood shingles common seacoast siding.
- Vinyl siding has improved significantly.
- Fiber cement, i.e. Hardee board, very popular.
Doors and Window Repairs and Replacement
Windows represent a sizable portion of your wall space. They provide lots of natural sunlight, views of the outdoors and unfortunately, they also allow more conditioned air loss between your home and the outdoors. As your home ages, you will need to consider upgrading to more energy efficient windows and to a lesser degree, doors.
Common Door Maintenance
- Adjustments so doors open, close & lock easily.
- Painting to protect doors from the weather.
- Weatherstripping to reduce air flow through gaps.
- Adding or changing locks for safety.
- New doors or storm doors for insulating value.
Common Window Maintenance & Repairs
- Cleaning, caulking & painting window sills and trim.
- Repairing or replacing window screens.
- Adjusting windows to open, close & lock easily.
- Upgrade windows for energy efficiency.
- Add or enlarge windows for better views.
Decks, Fencing, Porches, and Patios
When the weather gets nice we like to move outdoors to enjoy the sunshine and fresh air. You’ll enjoy your front porch or deck more, when it’s properly maintained. Any of these outdoor features made of wood need to be protected from the elements which is where consistent maintenance is needed, to maximize the life of each fixture.
Maintaining Wood Features
- Seasonal cleaning & sealing.
- Repair or replace problem pieces of wood.
- Add flower boxes, seating, etc.
- Extending deck to same/multiple levels.
- Add more access, i.e. stairs.
Deck Material Choices
- Pressure treated lumber, now with less toxic chemicals.
- Natural woods (redwood & cedar) that resist rot & insects.
- Exotic, tropical hardwoods, hard & resists rot & insects.
- Composite deck materials with recycled plastic (some have wood).
- Aluminum great in any weather, resists mold, doesn’t peel/blister.
Landscaping, Driveways, Walkways & More
A few steps away from the house, you likely have one or more walkways and a driveway. These need minor maintenance with your lawn, shrubs and trees taking most of your attention. Our network includes contractors to help with anything from landscaping to lawn care, pool maintenance. If you’re interesting in adding a garden shed, gazebo or sunroom, then we’ve got you covered too.
Let us know how we can help you by calling (978) 790-4881 or fill out the form.