Exterior Wall Repair and Maintainence

Exterior Wall repair can save you moneyExterior Wall Repair can be done by the DIYer if you follow some basic guidelines and asses the damage properly before tackling repairing the wall. Regardless of its composition, exterior walls deserve a careful, semiannual inspection. Scan the surface of your home, using field glasses if necessary to check high places. Remember to look under the eaves, porches and other sheltered places. Look specifically for cracks, splits, peeling paint and any evidence of rot or insect damage. Walls can be maintained easily with regular check-ups and care.  Many small repairs done regularly prevent larger repairs in the future. If you initiate any small repairs, we suggest that you visit your local library for a more detailed “how-to” help book. Finally, it’s a good practice to wash down your walls annually with a light detergent solution and rinse well.

Checklist for Exterior Wall Repairs:

MILDEW: If you encounter dark, rash-like spots that won’t wash off, suspect mildew. To remove mildew, scrub with a tri-sodium phosphate solution, or use a special mildew remover available at paint stores. If mildew has already damaged the paint, consult a manual or a professional.

POPPED NAILS: Look for popped nails or screws along the outside of the house. Make minor repairs as you go along. Choose screw-type or annular ring nails for better holding power, and drill pilot holes so you don’t risk splitting the wood. Be sure to use rust-resistant galvanized or aluminum screws or nails; otherwise they’ll eventually stain the paint around them.

CAULKING: Check for cracks, which allow air, water, and insects to enter your home. Use caulk wherever there are gaps, such as where siding meets the foundation or where flashing comes in contact with roofing. Caulking compounds differ in formulation and intended use. Before buying, read the product data to learn about surface preparation requirements, which materials the caulk will adhere to, and how long it must cure before you can paint over it.

TERMITES AND CARPENTER ANTS: Watch for evidence of devastating insects in early spring and fall.
During these times, reproductive members of termite colonies sprout wings, take off on mating flights, discard the wings, and establish nesting places. If you find a pile of wings or mud trails along non-wood surfaces, suspect a colony nearby. If you find piles of sawdust, suspect carpenter ants. These ants live in wood anywhere in your house, especially where there are moisture problems. Call a professional exterminator.

MASONRY WALLS: Watch for cracks that might indicate settling.

NOTE: Any major damage or deterioration of the exterior of your home should be looked at by a professional as soon as possible.  Extended neglect of the exterior of your home will result in long term damage to the structure and interior systems of your home.

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