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Fall Fix Up

Preparing your home for Old Man Winter

According to Mark Clement, host of MyFixUpLife, there is a “must do” list of six exterior home features that homeowners should review every year.  “If you get in the practice of evaluating these six items annually, then you’ll always make sure you’re staying on top of your home’s needs and keeping it looking great.” 

Mark's  list includes:

Check the roof

Using either a ladder or binoculars from across the street, look for problem areas, such as missing or broken shingles, along with roofing tiles that may be “flapping” in the wind. These are all indications that a new roof may be in your future. If that’s the case, research the newer products on the market, such as polymer shake and slate roofing tiles. These impact-resistant tiles are man-made in a wide variety of colors, are fire- and hail-resistant and have a 50-year limited warranty. 

Clean and assess the home’s siding

Environmentally friendly detergents, scrubbing and/or pressure-washing all work well for many homes to remove dirt and algae that can grow on siding. Remember never to pressure-wash trim pieces, windows or their screens. The extreme high pressure could crack or destroy the caulking around the units. While cleaning the siding, make sure to check for changes in the exterior from the previous year and be alert to buckling, warping, peeling paint or insect damage that may need to be fixed. 

Check on the gutters

Each year homeowners should check to make sure their gutters are clean, unclogged, securely attached to the home and remain sloped for proper drainage. Plus, make sure the water running off the roof doesn’t cause damage to the building structure, landscaping or property below the roof. 

Evaluate the windows

If you find that the windows in your home don’t operate easily, there’s air leaking in or out of the units, or there’s condensation between the glass panes, it may be time to seriously consider replacement windows. Vinyl framed windows have the highest growth rate in the country due to their energy-efficiency, aesthetic appeal and durability.

Spend time with your doors

If you can see light around a door from the inside, your door is hard to close or lock, or the door itself is warped, it’s time to consider a new door. Even if you can’t see light, air may be moving through gaps in the weather stripping at a surprising rate.

Think about the weather conditions that your home’s doors face along with your energy bills. If either run to the extreme, consider replacing an inefficient entryway with a high-performance fiberglass door (which can have up to four times more insulation value than
wood doors). 

Look at your home’s accessory features

Spend time with your shutters, trim and louvers to see if they’re rotting or deteriorating. Check the bottoms and tops of columns and near the joints in crown and other mouldings for water spots, decay or peeling paint to see if they’re decaying in any way. They may also be suffering from termites, insect infestations or warping. When it’s time to replace these items, select low-maintenance urethane or PVC products for durability and weather resistance.