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Weekend Chores You Can’t Ignore

By: Danny Lipford

Danny Lipford in front of homeowner's house

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Some home maintenance and repair projects are more important than others and can cause significant damage if not taken care of promptly. Here are some projects that should be tackled as soon as possible around your home.

Trim Trees and Shrubs

Cut back any tree limbs that are near the roof to prevent damage to shingles. It’s also a good idea to trim shrubs and groundcover away from the house and air conditioner units to keep siding and trim from rotting and allow your HVAC unit to operate more efficiently.

Caulk Cracks and Gaps

Cracks and gaps around exterior trim and siding can cause rot and higher energy bills. Use a quality exterior latex caulk to fill any cracks or gaps, then paint over the repair once the caulking has dried.

Watch our video on How to Caulk Cracks to find out more.

Gutter Cleaning and Repair

Clogged gutter full of leavesWhen gutters are clean and in good working order, they perform a valuable function by deflecting rainwater away from your house. But clogged or leaking gutters and downspouts can cause damage to your home, including rotten eave boards and roof leaks.

Start by thoroughly cleaning the gutters and downspouts of leaves and other debris, then flush with a garden hose. Next, check to make sure the gutters are firmly attached to the fascia board and repair any leaks and loose joints.

Finally, make sure the downspouts drain far enough from the house by adding downspout extensions to divert the rainwater out into the yard.

Read our article on How to Clean and Repair Gutters to find out more.

Rotten door casing in need of replacement

Replace Door Casing

The wood casing on exterior doors that are exposed to the elements has a tendency to rot at the bottom as water is absorbed into the porous end grain. Use a flat pry bar to carefully remove the existing casing, and replace it with a more durable casing made from composite material.

Watch video on How to Replace Exterior Door Casing to find out more.

Flashing Repair

Metal flashing provides a waterproof seal between the roof and adjoining materials such as siding, brick, dormers, and chimneys. Flashing can pull loose over time, so it’s important to check your roof flashing periodically to make sure it’s in good condition.

Flashing pulled away from chimney

To repair flashing, drive in any loose nails and add additional nails if needed, then cover the nailheads with roofing cement. To repair flashing that has pulled away from a chimney or house, remove any debris, apply roof cement behind the flashing, nail the flashing in place, then cover the joint and nailheads with more roof cement.

Watch video on How to Repair Chimney Roof Flashing to find out more.

Other Tips from This Episode

Cutting fiberglass insulation with long utility knife.

Simple Solutions with Joe Truini:
Cutting Fiberglass Insulation

Thick fiberglass insulation can be hard to cut with a standard utility knife. To make cutting insulation easy, use a utility knife with a long, snap off type blade. Extend the blade all the way out to provide a long, razor sharp edge that perfect for cutting through thick insulation. (Watch Video)

Rolling Deck Restore on floor.

Best New Products with Jodi Marks:
Deck Restore

Deck Restore is a thick coating that fills cracks in worn or weathered decks to provide a durable surface that’s mildew and UV resistant. After cleaning and repairing the deck, apply Deck Restore with the included roller for a textured finish. Deck Restore is available at The Home Depot. (Watch Video)

Downspout with extended drainage pipe.

Ask Danny Lipford:
Keeping Water Out of Basements

The first line of defense in keeping water from seeping into basements is to make sure rainwater doesn’t pool around the foundation. If needed, add fill dirt next to the house so rainwater will drain away from the house. Install extended pipes on downspouts, and provide gaps in borders to improve drainage. (Watch Video)

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Weekend Chores You Can’t Ignore