How to Prepare Your Exterior Surfaces for a Southern Summer
It won’t be long now until summer is in full swing, and we could all use some backyard barbecues, beach days, and poolside hangouts. While you might be good and ready for summer days, however, your home might not be so well-prepared. If you live in the southern United States, summertime can be particularly harsh on your property’s exterior surfaces. So, while you might still be in the process of fixing up your exterior after a nasty winter, don’t forget to also prepare it for a sweltering southern summer.
The Primary Threats of Southern Summer Weather
In order to defend your home against the elements, it helps to know which regional, seasonal factors threaten your exterior surfaces and what they might do to them. In Nashville, TN, and similar surrounding areas, summertime often brings forth oppressive humidity, regular rainfall, blistering temperatures, ample sunlight, and a fair amount of pesky pests. Each of these environmental realities can harm your exterior in different ways.
Moisture, for instance (from rain and vapor in the air), can make its way into gaps between paint and underlying surfaces, cracks between joints, and porous surfaces like wood and concrete. If this water is allowed to linger, it can promote the growth of rot, mold, and/or mildew, fracture materials from the inside out, and otherwise deteriorate your exterior (and interior) structures. High temperatures can cause exterior materials to expand and warp, and the blaring sun can cause coatings to fade, peel, and flake away over time. As for pests, wood-boring insects like carpenter bees, ants, and beetles can eat away at and/or burrow inside your wooden exterior features, weakening their integrity -- rodents like roof rats and mice can also consume and damage your exterior surfaces, creating and exploiting weak points. Unfortunately, these pests are in greater abundance during summer.
Protecting Your Exterior Surfaces from Harsh Summer Conditions
So, there’s no denying that a summer in Nashville, Franklin, or Brentwood, TN, can pose a major threat to your property inside and out. The question is: how can you guard your home against all of these pernicious factors? After all, you can’t control the weather or habits of regional pests. That said, there are many things you can do to protect your exterior surfaces this summer and beyond. In fact, many of the following actions provide multiple forms of protection in one, all while enhancing your home’s curb appeal. Let’s explore some crucial ways to prepare your exterior surfaces for a southern summer.
Inspect and Repair Your Roof
Your roof is a good place to start when looking to prepare your exterior for the season to come (securing your roof will protect your interior as well). Not only is your roof an important exterior surface in its own right, but it also helps keep moisture away from your siding and foundation while also shielding your property from the sun’s harshest overhead rays. Try to inspect your roof at least twice a year, looking for loose or missing shingles, damaged insulation and eaves, warping, etc. When your roof is in good shape, the rest of your exterior stands a better chance against whatever summer has to throw its way.
Clean Your Gutters
Your gutters deserve attention, too. Without functional gutters, the water that slopes down your roof won’t be diverted further away. In our recent blog, “Why Spring Is a Great Time for Gutter Cleaning,” we lay out the importance of this task and how to go about it. Simply put, removing debris from your gutters and spouts before summertime will allow you to make necessary repairs, prevent rain from running down your siding and into your foundation, discourage animals from nesting there, and more.
Waterproof Your Exterior
No matter how secure and efficient your roofing and gutters are, moisture is still a threat to your outdoor surfaces, especially during those muggy summer days so common in the south. Therefore, holistic exterior waterproofing is key. There are many ways to waterproof your property and exterior surfaces, depending on your needs. At the most basic level, make sure all exterior seams are thoroughly caulked to prevent moisture, air, and small pests from entering your home from the outside. If your exterior surfaces feature larger cracks, holes, and gaps, these should be repaired and/or properly patched. Beyond caulking, various waterproof sealers can be applied to your surfaces much like paint -- indeed, you might use waterproof paint if you plan on repainting your exterior or simply apply a waterproof topcoat to create an additional seal. Whatever the case, it’s important to perform thorough surface preparation for waterproofing before applying these coatings. You might also hire contractors to dig a new trench next to your foundation and install piping and a sump pump to discharge water far away from your home.
Clean Your House Exterior
Maintaining a pristine exterior isn’t just important for keeping up your curb appeal -- it’s also another way to prepare your home for a southern summer. When your home is caked with dirt and grime, it becomes more susceptible to damage (namely from pests and in the form of rot, mold, and mildew) and harder to see areas that need attention. As such, it’s a good idea to hire pressure washing services to give your exterior a nice cleaning shortly after winter, once the weather is temperate enough for the task. Ideally, you’ll have your home cleaned this way twice a year, but try to do so at least annually.
Paint Your Property
Depending on your home’s current condition and the length of time that’s passed since your last residential exterior painting project, this spring might be the right time to paint your exterior surfaces in preparation for summer. Maintaining durable coatings is key in shielding your underlying surfaces from harm of all kinds. If your exterior house paint is peeling from the surface or otherwise deteriorating, your surfaces are open season for moisture intrusion, pest infestation, erosion, sun damage, and so on. Only repaint your exterior surfaces after you’ve thoroughly cleaned them, removed the old, peeling coatings, repaired and sanded them, and performed all other necessary surface prep duties. When it’s time to paint, use products that are formulated to resist ultraviolet (UV) radiation (i.e., sunlight), moisture, and pests, if possible. Also, consider applying lighter colors to your exterior surfaces to keep them cool and minimize paint damage and fading (this will help make your home more energy-efficient as well).
Seal Your Deck
Lastly, if your property features an outdoor deck, don’t forget to also repair and prepare its surfaces for the coming season. Performing deck sanding and staining will defend it from moisture, pests, and sunlight and provide you with a beautiful, secure, safe outdoor area for all those summer gatherings.
Surviving the Southern Summer Weather
There’s so much to look forward to this summer, especially after such a challenging year. Making sure your home can handle the extreme conditions will allow you to enjoy the upcoming season to the max. Allow the local experts at Nash Painting to perform the crucial surface preparation and exterior home painting your property needs and deserves. To learn more about us, our hassle free painting services, and our values, call us at 615-829-6858 today!