Your building’s exterior is more than just the face of the structure you live in. It provides crucial protection from the elements, which is more important than ever in Chicago’s drastic seasonal temperature swings. Water, pests, and insulation problems all have to penetrate the exterior of your building before they become a problem for you. That’s why keeping on top of these four building exterior maintenance tasks is crucial:
1. Maintain the brickwork.
Brick tends to be very resilient, but the same isn’t true of the material binding it together. When cracks happen between bricks, leaking can occur, and the brickwork itself can begin to crumble. Keep on the lookout for bricks that are separating from the structure, and call a tuck-and-point specialist to reinstall the required mortar to keep the structure solid.
2. Keep siding patched and painted.
If your building has any siding, the most vulnerable areas to look out for are the places where the pieces join together. If you notice any irregularities in the siding surface, use caulk to seal them before they let water in. If your siding is on the older side, a paint job with insulating exterior paint can breathe a few more years of life into it before a replacement is needed.
3. Watch out for window and door frames.
Statistically, the greatest amount of leaks occur at the places where a door or window meets the exterior of your building. These crucial areas should be inspected at least once a year for potential damage and repaired promptly.
4. Don’t let vines grow on the exterior.
Though some owners feel that vegetation can be a visual improvement to the standard building exterior, it’s important to remember that vines will slowly degrade the parts of the exterior they’re attached to. For the health of your building’s exterior, the facade should be kept vegetation-free.
Taking good care of your building’s exterior will save you much money and headaches in repairs. As fall approaches, this is a great time to give your exterior a once-over and repair any damage before winter arrives.