If you've lived in the South for any length of time, you know how insanely hot and humid it can be during the warm months. Not only that, but the South is known for pop-up storms with wind and rains in the spring and fall seasons. All of these various weather factors can take a toll on the exterior of your home, as well as the other features and details of your property. By keeping a close eye on the exterior of your home and performing regular preventative maintenance, you can avoid costly large-scale problems down the road. Below are some of the main areas to focus on when examining the exterior of your home.
1. Doors and Windows
If your doors and windows are poorly sealed, they can leak out conditioned air during the summer and heated air during the winter. Not only can this increase your monthly utility bills, but it can also lead to accumulated moisture and problems with insects. Be sure to check your windows and doors for proper weather-stripping and caulking to ensure an adequate protective barrier against the elements. Double-check your window sills for cracks, peeling and rot, and inspect windows for cracked panes or damaged screens. In addition, if you have double-pane windows and you observe some fog in between the two panes, this means that your seal has been compromised, and the panes will need to be repaired or replaced.
Grading refers to the slope of the land, which should ideally incline away from the home. In the South, the soil can contain quite a bit of clay, which can shrink when it begins to dry out in the intense summer heat. If this clay-filled soil is resting against the foundation of the home, it can begin to separate, creating a gap that can invite moisture to run alongside the foundation. This can cause water problems in the basement or even cracks in the foundation itself. If you notice any areas along your home's foundation that appear to be separating from the adjacent soil, be sure to fill them with soil right away to prevent any damage.
3. Air Conditioning
If there's one thing you can count on in South Carolina, it would be hot summers. This can put a lot of strain on the average air conditioning unit, so do your best to keep your unit in ship-shape. If you allow shrubbery to grow too close to the unit, or if too many leaves and other debris begin to accumulate around it, this can decrease the quality of its performance and may lead to operational issues. For best results, let your air conditioning unit have plenty of "breathing room" by trimming away shrubbery so that it remains at least two feet away from the unit on all sides.
Decks are typically a hub of activity on days when the weather is gorgeous, and you want to make sure that your deck is well-maintained and structurally intact to ensure everyone's safety. Check to make sure that all stairs and railings are secure (e.g., not wobbly or broken), and double-check the carriage bolts underneath the deck to ensure that the entire structure is firmly connected to the house.
5. Septic System
While it takes a professional to inspect the underground aspects of your septic system, you can keep an eye on things from the surface by checking the yard for signs of seepage, and be on the lookout for foul odors as well.
Keeping up with routine maintenance on the exterior of your home will help your property retain its value, and it can save you lots of money in repair costs over the long term. If you've been contemplating purchasing a home in Myrtle Beach, it's always a good idea to seek the help of a real estate professional in order to efficiently explore your options. Coldwell Banker Chicora Real Estate has the tools and knowledge to help you find the right home for you, whether it's North Myrtle Beach real estate for sale or properties on the south end of the Grand Strand. Contact one of our agents today to discover the many options that are available, so that you can start enjoying your new Myrtle Beach home!