Tips for Aging Homes

  • By:  Josh Reed

The weather is getting warmer in Hampton Roads and I, for one, am grateful for the change of seasons. During the spring and summer months, I’m outside enjoying nature with my family.

That means backyard barbeques, driveway basketball games, and evening bike rides. It’s also a good time to examine your home’s exterior and consider a few home updates. Just like everything else, your home requires tune-ups now and then. But where to begin? Undertaking any sort of home improvement project can be overwhelming, especially one that’s on display for all to see. And if yours is an older home, the maintenance can be even more daunting. Luckily, I’ve been in the home service industry for many years and can share my experiences.

YOUR HOME’S CLADDING

Cladding is defined as a home’s covering, such as siding, stucco, or brick. This can be the biggest visual impact your home will have for family, friends, and neighbors. So keeping your exterior surface relatively clean of dirt and grime will ensure a fresh look.

At both the beginning and end of the spring and summer seasons, it’s advantageous to pressure wash the exterior. You can do-it-yourself by renting or buying tools, or hire a professional. In the case of disrepair, replacing your cladding may be in order. If that’s the case, consider your options for the neighborhood and climate.

LAWN CARE

Dealing with pesky lawn care tasks like shrubbery, flower beds, and mowing can be a pain, but they are crucial to livening up your curb appeal. With the rain Hampton Roads typically receives in spring, our lawns tend to grow out of control (and quickly)! So maintain a consistent schedule of trimming trees and bushes, pulling weeds, and mowing that grass. Refreshing your mulch every year is recommended and will go a long way to rejuvenating the space.

If you need to breathe life back into your yard, consider aerating it and spreading compost to help give nutrients. Of course, you can always go the route of laying new sod but should consult a professional on the best time of year and type of grass to ensure a successful, healthy result.

WINDOWS: THE EYES OF YOUR HOME

Windows are what you would call my specialty. My family has been in the window business for decades, and we make it our mission to understand the ins and outs of the product. The first thing to evaluate is what type of material your window is composed of. Traditional options include wood, aluminum, vinyl, fiberglass, and composite. This information will help you determine what the best cleaning methods will be.

For example, if you have wood framed windows, regularly clean with a damp cloth to remove dust and dirt. However, if you have vinyl or aluminum-framed windows, a mild detergent and soft scrubbing brush will do the trick.

Outside of routine cleaning, regularly inspect the condition of your window’s frame and sash. Also, check for signs of moisture. Inspect the caulking to make sure it is not separating. In the instance of drafty and foggy windows, or complete disrepair, a window replacement is probably needed. Fortunately, Hampton Roads homeowners can recoup nearly 72 percent of their costs at resale with a vinyl window replacement according to Remodeling’s 2017 Cost vs. Value report. Contact a home service professional to learn more.

YOUR ENTRYWAY

It is said that the front door is the focal point of your home’s curb appeal. When creating your entryway, customize a new front door with smaller side window panels or glass panels within the door itself. Look for an exterior remodeler that can custom design and install entry doors to match your exterior décor.

If it’s not the time for a door replacement, consider adding a splash of color to the front porch with a bench and pillows, hanging flower pots, a vibrant welcome mat, or flag. And don’t forget to evaluate the hardware, especially in older homes. If it starts feeling loose or won’t turn properly, you might need to tighten a screw on the inside or replace. Check for damaged weather stripping and replace as necessary. Remember, the entryway is your final welcome sign as guests enter your home. Give it the proper amount of attention.

And there you have it! Four exterior maintenance tips to help get your home looking its best this season. If these items seem like a lot, break them down into smaller tasks over the next few months. Your home, your family, and your neighbors will thank you! 

Josh Reed, Window World of Tidewater owner, and his family have managed the store since 2000 and have served over 50,000 satisfied customers in Hampton Roads. As one of the largest home improvement resources in the region, Window World of Tidewater offers a wide array of products including vinyl replacement windows, vinyl siding, replacement doors, gutters, and shutters. Schedule an in-home estimate today to learn more about how their team can serve you. Visit www.windowworldtidewater.com or call 757-518-2998. 

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