You can ensure your outdoor building retains its like-new luster for years to come by performing timely maintenance tasks. These important procedures allow you to rectify small issues before they escalate and cause irreparable damage. In fact, you can actively prevent the need for huge overhauls or total structure replacements by completing maintenance tasks on a yearly schedule. Although you will need to inspect your structure for specific areas in need of attention, almost all outbuildings require the seven following tasks performed each year.
Exposure to sunlight, rainfall and constant temperature fluctuations take a serious toll on the health of the seals around your outbuilding’s windows and doors. Without these seals, moisture and drafts would easily enter the structure. You can replace the seals quite easily, however, by scraping away the old caulk and applying a new bead. With proper application around window and door gaps, the caulk will provide another year’s worth of protection against the elements.
The hardware used for your outbuilding, including door locks, hinges and window mechanisms, require regular attention to remain functional through the years. You can use a can of petroleum based lubricant to oil up the moving parts and add a layer of protection against moisture in the air. The lubricant will actively prevent rust from forming and locking the moving parts stubbornly in place.
Constant weathering can strip away the sealant or paint from your siding materials. If your siding looks worn or discolored, consider applying a new coat of stain or paint to renew its outer surface. When you refresh this layer, you not only improve the appearance of your outdoor building, you also restore its shield against rain, sunlight, wind and other destructive elements.
As the ground settles beneath your outbuilding, cracks may appear in the concrete foundation. Take the time to fill in the cracks as they appear to keep them from going through the entire slab. If the cracks push all the way through the concrete, you may need to have the slab replaced outright to protect your outdoor structure.
When the vegetation around your outbuilding starts to grow out of control, it could cause damage to the entire structure. Plants with strong, fast growing branches can actually push through your siding or foundation and split the building materials. Prune or remove the offending plants to keep them from leaving immense destruction in their wake.
At the very least, your roof will require a visual inspection to check for damage caused by storms, trees and wildlife. You should take a look at the flashing and shingles to check for wear or damage around the edges. If you find any loose elements, examine the underlayment for rips or tears. Promptly repair all damage to this layer before securing your shingles and flashing back down or your roof may leak when it rains.
If you spot just one pest in the vicinity of your outdoor building, you can safely assume there are many more lurking in the shadows. Spiders, field mice, squirrels and even raccoons will start to search for warmer ground as the winter season approaches. Take the time to close up entry points and set traps to protect your outbuilding from potentially costly damage.
Creating a Maintenance Schedule
When you choose to stick to a strict maintenance schedule, you continually rejuvenate your structures, inside and out, to protect your investment for the long term. To ensure you always complete your maintenance procedures on time, write out a yearly task list and hang it on the inside of the door to your outbuilding. Each time you complete the scheduled maintenance, sign and date the paper to check it off your to-do list. Your commitment to timely maintenance will keep your shed looking new far longer than you ever imagined possible.