Closing on your new home is an exciting, memorable experience. You are now the proud owner of a clean, beautiful space to call your own! That closing also makes you fully responsible for the property and asset. Perhaps this is your largest investment outside of buying a car. Like a car, regular maintenance ensures proper function and maintains the value of your investment. The proper care and maintenance required in homeownership is not common knowledge and is often only learned through experience.
Enchanted Homes wants to help you take a proactive approach to homeownership so your home stays in tip-top shape so you can enjoy your summer knowing your home is in great condition. This post is part 1 of a seasonal series on caring for your home.
- Trim trees and bushes around the home. Thick, overgrown plants retain moisture that promotes mold growth around your home. Trim bushes and plant growth a couple feet off your home in the spring and fall.
- Fertilize Your Grass. Most fertilizer is categorized with 3 numbers indicating the most common components of fertilizer: Nitrogen, Phosphorous, and Potassium, respectively. Nitrogen encourages growth. Phosphorous promotes photosynthesis and gives the plants energy. Finally, Potassium helps durability of plant life and resistance to heat and disease. In June, our landscapers recommend a 24-5-11 50% CRN / AERATION 12,000 SQ ft. per bag fertilizer. In July, use a 5-0-20 + 10% Iron 15,000 SQ. FT. per bag to optimize grass color. In August, use 24-5-11 50% CRN 12,500 Sq. Ft. per bag.
- Clean your roof. Remove any pollen, branches, or leaves from your roof at least once per season. Debris can retain water and cause leaks.
- Southern Red Clay. Red clay is full of nutrients (rich with iron oxide). It is insoluble or hydrophilic and does not absorb water. As a result, water will accumulate on it if there is no sod layer to absorb. Your home should is safe as long as there is never standing water against your house. Red clay is friendly for planting as it is nutrient rich, but will require frequent watering. If rain has washed red, South Carolina clay onto your sidewalk or driveway, power wash it after soaking with a red clay cleaner.
- Avoid mold growth. Pressure or power wash the outside of your home at least once annually to remove mold growth from vinyl and rocks. Ensure weep holes in brick are clear of mold. They can be cleaned with standard cleaning products.
- Power Wash. Pressure wash the siding of your home at least once annually to remove mold growth and keep your home looking brand-new. Decks, patios, and porches all hold moisture and will appear completely refreshed after power-washing.
- Clean Out Gutters and Downspouts. Ensure proper function of your gutters by clearing debris. A back up can cause water damage by allowing unusual water flow down and behind your vinyl.
- Inspect Porches and Decks. Replace any rotting boards on your deck. Changing weather causes an expected flex in wood boards. Sometimes this flexion can cause exposed deck lumber nails to loosen. Simply tap them back in. Inspect exposed lumber sealant by looking for bubbles or cracks. Deck lumber needs to be sealed regularly to maintain wood. Consult a painter, deck professional, or handyman if you are unsure. Pressure wash porches to remove mold and stains. Reseal as needed after power washing wood.
- Inspect Foundation. Check for cracks or leaks. Concrete, like wood, is designed to breathe with temperature changes. Cracks are very common and are not clear indicators of a foundation problem. If you have cracks 1/2 inch or wider, you may want to have it inspected by a structural engineer. For any visible cracks, simply patch the concrete with a caulk gun, concrete repair kit, and trowel. This repair will prevent moisture from entering the home. See this video for more detail: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y1rOtvvxRzY
All these tasks can be completed by your local, hired professionals, or, done yourself with some online research and a small equipment investment. The aforementioned maintenance will help avoid surprise homeowner woes and extend the life of your home. Maintenance will also help you receive the maximum from your investment should you need to move. Call Enchanted Homes office at (864) 895-0601 for any questions and stay tuned for part 2 of our summer care series on interior maintenance.