Home Exteriors: Maintenance Tips & When To Replace

Owning a home comes with its fair share of challenges. One that never really ends is distinguishing when and to what extent repairs need to be made. Is that crack going to lead to further damage? How much water is getting into the house? When these kinds of questions arise, it’s often best to seek the advice of experts. There are times, however, when homeowners can make a judgment call themselves. Below is a look into the timelines for maintaining or replacing three commonplace exteriors.

Generally speaking, the lifespans of home exteriors can be extended through proper upkeep and routine maintenance. A good example of this is siding. Depending on the material, siding may be repainted to fix fading from harsh weather conditions, or deteriorated sections can be replaced owing to insect or water damage. To better understand when to replace the siding entirely, it’s essential to know the material used and when it was installed.

Vinyl, a very common siding material, can have a lifespan of 30 to 40 years. More durable options, such as stucco and steel can exceed 40 years with fiber cement lasting the longest at over 100 years. Wood siding, a natural material, is on the lower side with 20 to 40 years depending on upkeep. Replacement may be called for sooner if there are signs of condensation buildup, mold or excessive wear or if moisture is making its way inside the home.

When is it time to replace a garage door? That is also contingent on the material, but a typical garage door will last 15-30 years. Other factors affecting longevity are weather exposure, climate, usage and maintenance schedule. Homeowners can extend the life expectancy of their garage doors by replacing parts as needed, such as rollers and weather seals, and properly lubricating certain components regularly. It’s important to invest in quality replacement parts and, if replacing the entire door, to choose a reliable company with superior product craftsmanship.

Another exterior that must be maintained are the gutters. If the gutter system is neglected or clogged, the water that is supposed to be directed away from the home’s foundation could lead to damaged soffit, fascia and other exterior wall features. As such, gutters should be cleaned twice a year depending on rainfall and environment. While cleaning, watch for any cracking, holes, rust, peeling paint, sagging or splitting. These signs could indicate it’s time for a replacement. How often should gutters be replaced? It depends on the material, with vinyl, steel and aluminum lasting an average of 20 years. Copper gutters are much more durable and could last beyond 50 years.

Before embarking on any home improvement projects, be sure to check the fine print of the homeowners insurance policy and get input from professional services. For further information on replacing these home exteriors as well as the life expectancies for others, please see the accompanying resource.

Guide created by CMB Garage Doors

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