As a homeowner, you want to protect your most important investment by performing annual maintenance and repairs, and replacing broken or dated home fixtures. Your home’s first lines of defense are exterior elements, such as your roof, windows, and siding. In order to protect your home you will need to know when to repair, and when to replace these vital protective barriers.

Siding
There are many types of materials that can be used for the siding of your home, including aluminum, wood, fiber cement, and vinyl, and it’s important to make sure that you know which one you have as the signs for each can be different. In addition, each siding has a different life span and maintenance schedule. Your climate will also affect the frequency in which you need to have your siding repaired or replaced. Regardless of the type of siding you have, you want to look for warped, cracked, or dented areas. If the vast majority of your siding is showing signs of damage, it is most likely time to replace it altogether. If damage is contained to just a small area, however, you may be able to repair or replace it. If your siding is painted, it is important to maintain the paint too, as it is a valuable protective barrier.

Roof
Your roof is your home’s primary protection from wind, rain, snow, ice, and hail. To ensure that your roof is in working order, you want to check it at least once a year for signs of wear, tear, and damage. Items such as loose shingles, missing shingles, or gaps in the caulking can be replaced or repaired to extend the life of your roof. However, discoloration and buckling are signs that you may need to replace your roof. Again, take your climate into consideration. You may need to replace or repair your roof more frequently if you live in an area prone to high winds or tornados.

Windows
If you have a broken windowpane or cracks or chips in your window, you might only need to replace the broken pane. If the seal of your window is beginning to cause a draft, you may be able to add weather stripping to keep air from sneaking in. If your windows are old, single paned, or if the wood surrounding them is rotten, the most cost effective and energy efficient option may be to replace the window altogether. Even if you cannot afford to replace all of your windows at once, you can remove the ones showings signs of deterioration.

Paint
A quality paint job should last homeowners approximately 15 years. However, many homeowners choose to paint the exterior of their home more frequently. This could be to increase the property value of their home by updating the paint and trim, or it could simply be to give the home an updated look. While the color of paint you have on your home drastically affects your home’s appearance, it also plays a vital role in protecting your siding. When your exterior paint begins to buckle, peel, and crack, it may be time to repaint your exterior.

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