The Homeowner's Ultimate Guide to roof, gutters & siding inspections.

March 2023
Ideal Property Solutions
Ideal Property Solutions

Whether you're remodeling a home, making exterior changes, or simply taking good care of it, follow our advice to keep your house in good shape.

How to Inspect the Exterior of Your Home?

Identifying possible issues related to your home's exterior should not be complicated. A quick scan may disclose a damaged roof shingle or flaking paint (and thousands of dollars spent unplanned). Nevertheless, it's crucial to perform a thorough investigation on your property at least once every year to ensure no pesky problems are creeping up.

Your home's exterior shields it from the wind, Sun, and rain. The exterior must be maintained to prevent decay and moisture damage. A little TLC is highly advantageous since it prevents damage, saves money, avoids unnecessary replacement, keeps the building warmer, and makes it more comfortable.

Routine seasonal maintenance is also essential and should include cleaning the gutters and redesigning your home while also checking it. If there are underlying issues and you have valid worries, it can be worthwhile to hire a surveyor to perform this for you. They will provide a report highlighting any problems, advice on the repairs required, and what they will probably cost. Even though it might seem costly, if something is wrong, get it fixed right away because putting off repairs almost always makes things worse. Additionally, these issues can turn off prospective buyers if you sell your house.

Inspecting the Roof

Start your check by examining the chimneys and roof. Cracked slates or shingles on the ground suggest that something might be wrong. Look for leaks or damage to the roofing material and around chimney stacks on the underside of the roofing where there is the passage to a loft area.

Preliminary checks can often be made from the ground. If you suspect an issue and need to be on the roof for verification, it is always recommended that you hire a professional to come out and have a look, as walking on a roof is quite dangerous. Furthermore, most companies will offer a FREE inspection anyhow, so no cost to you.

The metal fittings and mortar fillets at the intersections with chimneys and parapets frequently develop problems, as do chimney stacks where the pointing has failed.

Gutters, Downpipes, and Drains Inspection

Even though it's unpleasant, using an umbrella to do at least some checks during a downpour is recommended. This will expose any water dripping or leaking from gutters, downpipes, or gullies that may be spilling due to obstruction.

Other frequent issues include downpipes or gutters that are fractured, as well as gutter joints with rusty bolts that are occasionally discovered on the ground.

If you are comfortable doing so, climb a ladder to reach the gutters and clean out any leaves or debris while you are up there. It is worthwhile to ensure that water flows away properly by pouring it from a bucket through gutters and into downpipes.

It would help if you also verified all drains for dirt and precipitation. To check for obstructions and, if necessary, use a set of rods, lift inspection lids, and gratings.

Searching for Damage to External Walls

Take note of any spots near the base of the structure where puddles are developing, soil levels are high or banked up against walls, or where bushes or trees might pose a risk of harm.

Keep an eye out for loose or broken brick or masonry, noting any cracks or areas where moisture accumulates. The same goes for siding; inspect for any cracks or holes as this can lead to further water damage. Keep in mind that minor damage to the exterior of a home is frequently missed by an untrained eye, yet still important. At Ideal Property Solutions, we provide professional inspections for FREE in order to best protect your home.

Dealing With Rot In Joinery and Windows

It's important to remember any joinery on the house's exterior, such as the windows, doors, facias, and barge panels. Check the wood for rot or cracks, the paint on the woodwork, and the caulking around the window frames. These elements are crucial in not only preserving the soundness of your home but also its efficiency. Having quality seals on your windows and doors will go a long way to help reduce your energy bills.  

Planning Your Maintenance Work

Plan what needs to be done after your inspection is complete. Priority should be given to moisture-related concerns or potentially harmful infrastructure issues, and it's crucial to tackle the root of the issue rather than just the symptoms.
Although it frequently makes financial sense to combine works that require scaffolding, such as roof work and wall painting, not everything needs to be done at once. Plan your maintenance work so that a new area of work is completed each year to avoid upkeep becoming a burden.

Keep in mind that prevention is always preferable to treatment. In some areas, it could make sense to offer a temporary fix rather than allowing a problem to worsen. For instance, until more suitable cast iron gutters and downpipes can be installed, plastic rainwater goods may offer a temporary fix when water is running down the face of a structure.
Contact a surveyor, structural engineer, or reliable contractor if you have any concerns about any structural flaws you have found or other upkeep problems.


Tips For Exterior Repairs

  • Ask for assistance: Consider your safety as well as the safety of others. Use ladders with extreme caution, and never be without a helper.
  • Protect Yourself: Wear rubber gloves and other protective gear or clothes to safeguard yourself, especially when cleaning out gutters or sewers.
  • Repair, not replace. Try to repair rather than replace damaged components of the building's original framework to preserve as much as possible. For instance, a skilled joiner can remove decaying portions of a window or door and replace them with fresh wood.
  • Avoid quick fixes: Avoid quick fixes like cement-based treatments, spray-on foams, sealants, varnishes, mastics, and water repellents because they may trap humidity and are challenging to remove afterward.
  • Be realistic about your abilities: If you have any doubts, get a competent contractor who is familiar with the age and style of the building you have, and hire a reputable builder to complete the work unless you are pretty confident you can do it yourself.

We'd Love to Hear From You

Please use the form below to ask a questions or share a comment.