Your house helps keep you alive. It keeps you warm in the winter and cool in the summer. It keeps you safe from animals and insects that might find you (and your house) tasty.
Your home provides a place for you to sleep. It brings you water, it keeps your food fresh. It filters the air you breathe and safely carries nasty waste away.
In almost every way you can imagine, your house loves and cares for you.
But -it’s a two-way street, this relationship between you and your house; if you stop loving your house, it will stop loving you – very quickly.
If your house could talk, it would be asking you a question:
“Hey – you in the bathrobe - what have you done for me lately?”
Here are my top four things you must do – regularly - to show your house that you really care:
1) Keep It Dry
Gutters and downspouts are all over your house for a reason – to keep water away from your home’s foundation. When water seeps down around the foundation, it finds its way into your basement. And when there’s water in your basement…
Yeah, I know gutter cleaning is a chore, but clogged gutters leads to water damage in the basement. So keep ‘em clean, or get gutter guards.
And while you’re at it, check to make sure – absolutely sure – that your downspouts aren’t disconnected where they attach to the top of the drain tile. Guaranteed wet basement if they’re not.
And nobody loves a house with a wet basement.
2) Get Some Dirt On It
Speaking of wet basements, you also need to check on the dirt that comes right up next to your house. It needs to slope away from the house, not towards it.
But the soil next to your house has a bad habit of settling, and that invites water to collect next to the foundation and – you know where it goes next, right?
Check the grade around your house every year and add a little dirt when needed to keep water draining away from the house.
It’s like a wedding anniversary – remember it, and you’re a hero. Forget it, and you’ll have a much bigger problem on your hands.
3) Keep Out the Critters
Our house is surrounded by woods, and we enjoy watching all the wildlife that lives nearby.
Occasionally though, a critter or two decides to get a closer look at us by finding their way into the attic, usually by climbing a tree branch that overhangs the roof.
We chase them out, but that only solves part of the problem.
Raccoons and squirrels in your attic will move insulation around, leaving “cold spots” that waste energy.
Squirrels will chew holes in your roof overhangs to get in, and raccoons will pull loose wood away if they feel like nesting inside.
That’s damage you need to fix right away.
Keeping the tree limbs trimmed back will help, too. It doesn’t mean you don’t love the wildlife; you just love your house more.
4) Give It A Brand New Coat
Architects like to call paint an “architectural coating”, because we like putting the word “architectural” in front of things to make them seem more important.
On a wood-sided home, a proper coat of paint is there to protect is from water damage, and most importantly, from UV rays.
UV rays break down cellulose fibers and will quickly turn your siding and trim to mush. That lets in water, water causes more damage, and before you know it, you’re buying new siding.
Check your siding and trim yearly for peeling paint and other signs of damage. Scrape it, prime it, and put on a brand new architectural coating.
Nothing says “love” quite like a nice new coat…and it’s way cheaper than new siding.
Need expert Residential Architectural advice for your new home or remodeling project? Contact Richard Taylor, AIA at Richard Taylor Architects to arrange a meeting or an online consultation.
Labels: Home Maintenance and Repair