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Proper preventive maintenance is essential in extending the life of any of your possessions; this is especially true when it comes to homeownership. People who neglect this task and fail to regularly maintain their homes usually end up having to pay for expensive emergency repairs. For the most part, spending a little money now will help you avoid costly repair bills later. The best place to start is with an inspection of the exterior of your home. Here are the steps to take to complete the inspection process.

House Exterior Inspection

1. Foundation. Be on the lookout for any signs of a weakening foundation, such as split bricks and cracks or fractures that extend through exterior walls. Also watch for evidence of standing water, damage caused by roots and/or plant growth, and ground gutter systems that are clogged or not working correctly.

2. Windows and doors. Examine the caulking along the sides of windows and doors to ensure it’s intact and even. Look for spaces between the door and window frames and headers, which can be another sign of foundation damage. This is especially true if gaps are present that widen from the bottom to the top of the frame.

3. Siding and exterior walls. If your home’s paint is blistering, cracking or peeling, you will need to apply a fresh coat to protect your home and improve its curb appeal. If you have brick as well as siding, check the paint line where the two materials meet. Any movement of the brick from its original position is usually the result of an unstable foundation.

4. Gutters. Look for signs of gutter damage, such as bent gutters or gutters that are pulling away from the house or becoming separated from their hangers. If there are no gutter caps, inspect inside the gutters to make sure they’re clean, and don’t forget to check the downspouts for clogs as well. In addition, it’s a good idea to survey the flashing at the roofline to make sure it hasn’t been bent out of shape or become detached from the house.

5. Frieze boards. These wooden trim boards are installed flat against the exterior of the home to hide the gap between top of the home’s siding or brick facade and the soffit. If you notice that the frieze boards are being pushed apart at the corners, that’s another indication that the foundation has been settling.

6. Overhead hazards. Tree limbs hanging too close to your roof may not only fall, necessitating expensive repairs or even a roof replacement, they can also cause damage to shingles and fill your gutters with debris. Other hazards include telephone or electrical wires dangling close to the roofing or shingles, which could pose a fire hazard.

7. Roof. Look for signs of wear or damage to your shingles, or spots where shingles are missing and may need replaced. Also, make sure to examine the roof’s valleys to ensure there’s enough caulking to keep up a tight seal.

8. Chimneys and vent pipes. Keep an eye out for cracks in the chimney brick, inspect mortar joints that’ve been fixed in the past, and check for separations at neighboring windows. Take a good look around to make sure there are no gaps, loose flashing, or bent vent pipes visible.

Is This the Year to Install Gutter Caps?

In addition to performing an exterior home inspection, spring is also a great time to install a Gutter Helmet® gutter protection system to help keep your gutters clean and clear all year round. To find out more, call (800) 824-3772 to find an authorized Gutter Helmet dealer near you.

Exterior Home Inspection Checklist