In the Bay Area we’re set to see our first significant rain in quite a while and it’s possible you haven’t thought about your home’s exterior in quite a while.
Most siding materials require little or no attention. Brick, engineered wood, stone and stucco are thought to last for the life of a home, according to a report released by the National Association of Home Builders and Bank of America, “Study of Life Expectancy of Home Components”. But Frank Lesh, executive director of the American Society of Home Inspectors, offers some pointers to help protect your siding from damage, including:
- Keep foliage away. Make sure no plants are growing against your home. “Plants can trap moisture and allow insects and animals to infiltrate,” Lesh says. “You want the siding to be exposed to the elements.”
- Watch where water may be getting in. Check areas around windows and doors to see if water is getting in. Moisture can linger and eventually cause rotting or fungal growth. Make sure those areas have been properly caulked and painted to prevent seepage.
- Keep the gutters clean. Many home owners think they only need to check for clogged gutters in autumn when leaves are falling. A neighbor’s stray tennis ball, a bird’s nest, or even squirrels stocking up for winter can quickly become a serious problem. If water gets backed up in your gutter, it could damage your siding too, Lesh notes. Have gutters checked at least twice a year, or better yet, clean them four times a year to prevent back-ups.
If you come across any issues with your gutters or siding, please have a professional check them out. We’ve learned over the years that it’s worth the money to have things properly diagnosed and done right the first time. And we’re happy to share the names and numbers of some trusted professionals we’ve had good experiences with.