Your home is your safe place. It is where your family can get away from the pressures of the world and feel peace. It is your sanctuary. That means you want the very best for your home. You want it to be beautiful, functional, and durable. Here are some ways you can upgrade your home so that it can stay strong and secure for decades.
Your driveway takes a lot of abuse, day after day, and while asphalt is a tremendously durable material, it does need regular maintenance to last. You need to keep it clean, free of debris, and sealcoat it once every two to three years. This is important, because sealcoating protects the asphalt from corrosion and damage that is caused by sun, rain, leaks, spills, and even oxygen. Additionally, cracks in the asphalt should be filled in to reduce spreading and expanding.
Weather-Resistant Doors and Windows
While standard doors and windows are less expensive, they are generally made of two wooden or aluminum slats with filler inside. Because they are essentially hollow, they are far lighter than weather-resistant doors. This means that normal doors are both less energy efficient and easily damaged. The most durable doors are called impact-resistant doors. These doors can withstand both the winds and the projectile debris of hurricanes. Unlike normal doors, impact-resistant doors are not hollow. A heavy-duty polyurethane core is surrounded by strong and flexible fiberglass. Similarly, weather-resistant windows can endure the heavy winds, rain, and flying debris of hurricanes. With impact-resistant doors and windows, your home will be virtually impenetrable.
Use Stone or Brick
As the three little pigs learned, brick (or stone) is the heavyweight when it comes to home durability. Along with steel and concrete, brick and stone are sturdy and reliable materials for the exterior of your home. Stone and brick require very little maintenance, and they look beautiful and classic for the life of the home. If your home already has siding, consider switching to fiber cement, or Hardie Board, siding. Fiber cement siding is stronger than vinyl or wood siding, it has a longer life expectancy, and it is both water and fireproof.
A Metal Roof
Nothing must stand up to the elements like your roof does. While there are pros and cons to each type of roof, metal roofs are the most durable. Metal roofs last longer and offer better fire protection than asphalt shingles. Slate and clay roofs also provide good fire protection, but are significantly more prone to breakage. Metal roofs also provide superior insulation, making them an eco-friendly choice. And metal roofs boast a life expectancy that is double that of many other materials.
Proper Foundation Care
You probably don’t even think about your foundation, but it provides stability and structure for every other part of your home. As the groundwork for your home, it needs to be cared for. Your foundation needs for the soil around it to maintain a relatively steady level of light moisture. This means that both sitting water and parched earth are your foundation’s worst enemies. Create a drainage system that directs water away from the house. And during the hot summer months, keep the ground around your foundation moist. Also, clean your gutters twice a year, or whenever they fill with leaves and sediment. This will keep rainwater flowing out and away from the home.
Consider Your Landscaping
Your landscaping choices can either fortify your home or create problems. If you live in a windy spot, it can help to plant a row of sturdy evergreen trees or bamboo to the side of the house that is most exposed. Shade trees can protect your home from the driving sun and help keep utility bills down. Hedges and thorny plants placed beneath windows serve as deterrents from would-be intruders. However, sometimes plants can invite trouble. Keep trees trimmed away from the house so that squirrels can’t climb onto your roof and wreak havoc. This will also keep down the amount of foliage that ends up in your gutters. Plant trees far enough from your house that their growing roots won’t creep in on the foundation. Trim hedges away from the house as well, in order to deter pests from invading your home. And give any large trees on your property an annual check-up. Tree doctors can determine the health of your trees and notify you if any are at risk of falling onto your home.
Seal it Up
Drafts produce the same basic idea within your home as a wind tunnel, which increases your house’s exposure to gusty gales both inside and out. Check your home each year for gaps and holes. In addition to making your home a wind tunnel, these gaps and holes also make your home less energy efficient and open the way for invasive insects. You can seal trouble spots with a caulking gun and use weather strips around windows and doors. You want your home to be completely watertight.
Don’t Forget the Interior
Just as there are sturdier building materials for the exterior of your home, there are sturdier building materials for the inside as well. Hardwood and concrete floors are extremely hardy. Nylon and wool carpets are among the most durable. Quartz, granite, and concrete countertops are both tough and trendy. Glass shower doors are far more resilient than plastic shower curtains. Ceramic toilets with metal hardware will last much longer than their plastic counterparts. And wooden blinds will significantly outlast aluminum ones.
When it comes to your home, remember that the most economical choice is not always the cheapest one. Your home is your fortress, and you want it to last. When you fortify your home, you are investing in the value of your property, and the security of your family. As you do, you will have greater peace of mind knowing that your home can withstand just about anything. Create a home that will last as long as the memories you share within those walls.
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