Have you every heard your neighbors talk about their home maintenance plan? Having a professional come out and examine your house once or twice a year is nice, but it’s not for everyone. Thankfully, there are some simple tasks that you can perform as a savvy homeowner that will dramatically cut down on your repair costs throughout year. Complete these tasks every year, and you could save thousands of dollars.
What Does House Maintenance Mean?
It means providing basic care for your home. And when we say “basic”, it’s just that: simple maintenance tasks that will take you an hour or so to complete, sometimes less. If you complete these tasks yourself (DIY style), that’s hundreds of dollars that you aren’t spending to pay someone else to do it for you. It may also lead to thousands of dollars in prevented repairs over the lifetime of your house.
Keeping Up With Your Roof
Your roof is home damage cost central, meaning is one of the biggest factors in allowing or preventing damage to your property. As an informed homeowner, you probably already know to check your rooftop of raised shingles, metal panels, or whatever your roofing is made of. What many other homeowners forget however, are the lesser sections of your roofing that play a huge role in your roof’s effectiveness.
Soffit, fascia, and flashing repair are absolutely essential. Now, sometimes you’ll need a professional to do the work for you. There are some small steps you can take though, to prevent home water damage. For instance, if you notice that the vents in the soffit have become heavily corroded or clogged, you can remove and clean them for unrestricted airflow. This prevents hot air from accumulating in your attic during the day. Should you need to replace them, you can always find new soffit vents at your local Lowes or Home Depot.
Homeowners can also repair any loose flashing, using a chisel, some roofing cement, masonry nails, and a putty knife. Heavy winds and gradual wear can cause your flashing to detach from the side of your chimney. When this happens, it’s essential that you clean out the exposed area and reattach the flashing as quickly as possible. Start by removing any debris from exposed section, then chiseling away any old cement behind the flashing. Now you can apply a new cement coating and use those nails to reattach the flashing to the chimney. Make sure those nail heads are covered! Before the cement dries, you can smooth it out with the putty knife.
Home Maintenance Checklist (Roof Edition)
Below are some additional tips for minimizing damage to home roof systems. These will spare you from a call or two to your local roofing company, though you should always call a professional if you run into any serious damage.
- Apply roofing cement to any uplifted or curled shingles.
- Clean out your gutters (twice a year, especially in the fall).
- Apply patches for holes in your gutters (roofing cement, or flashing for large holes).
- Wash off leaves, dirt, and other debris with a hose (twice a year).
- Clean off smudges from your roof with a sponge and a solution of dish soap, laundry detergent, and water (for metal roofs only).
Bonus, Cost-Saving Home Maintenance Activities
Here are some non-roof related ways you can save around the house.
- Replace your furnace filter.
- Upgrade your attic’s thermal insulation.
- Repair and reseal your air duct work.
- Clean air vents inside your home.
Log Home Maintenance Issues
When it comes to talking about home maintenance and repairs, a lot of people forget to talk about the unique needs of log homes. If you own a log home, your roofing system is likely very similar to traditional houses, but there are several additional factors to consider. For instance, log homes need to be stained on a regular basis to prevent moisture and UV radiation damage.Regular wood stains at your hardware store typically won’t cut it. You can shop online, or contact your local log home retailer for the best products.
Cleaning the your exterior prior to stains is critical. While palm sanders allow you to do the job without wetting your logs, a pressure washer allows you to do the work quickly. The appropriate pressure to clean the wood (while avoiding fuzzing) is 500 psi. If your machine can’t go that low, hold the washer a couple of feet back from the wood. Here is a great video that details the cleaning process!
Schedule Your Rooftop Maintenance Visit!
Some work should be left to the professionals (hydro jetting, for example). However, there are many tasks you can complete on your own to save a considerable amount of money. If you find that a particular roofing home maintenance job isn’t worth the extra effort, talk with one of our Rojas Construction experts at (317) 899-9060! We’d be happy to assist you.