Brick and stone have a reputation for
durability and low maintenance.
Minor chipping, cracking or mortar
shrinkage are normal and should not
Since no two bricks or stones are exactly
the same, variations in size, color and
placement are to be expected.
Do not allow ivy or any other ground cover to grow on brick or
stone walls. The tentacle-like roots of the ivy will work their way
into tiny masonry cracks, promoting deterioration.
Trim back any encroaching foliage.
Keep the "weep holes," located at the bottom of brick and stone
walls, open. If they get plugged or sealed, water will not drain
properly and may cause damage to the structure.
To retain the natural appearance of brick or stone, apply a coat of
clear silicone finish or water-repellent solution to prevent water
from being absorbed into the brick.
Ask a professional masonry contractor for the best product to use
on your masonry.
Vinyl siding gives the exterior of your new home the look of wood
but with less maintenance. Vinyl siding does expand and contract
as the temperatures changes. "Waviness" is considered normal
with vinyl siding and cannot be prevented.
If your vinyl siding is moderately dirty, wash it with soap and water
from the garden hose.
Use a soft bristled, long handled brush to gently clean the siding.
To minimize streaking, wash from the bottom to the top.
Immediately rinse the surfaces thoroughly with water from the hose.
Avoid vigorous rubbing to prevent glossy areas over the finish.
Mildew, which appears as black spots, can grow on vinyl siding.
Remove it according to the manufacturer's instructions.
Refer to your manufacturer's instructions for cleaning aluminum
siding. Aluminum siding may be cleaned with a hard spray of water.
If the siding requires heavy-duty cleaning, use a solution of water
and non-abrasive household cleanser.
Wash with a sponge.
Refer to your paint manufacturer's instructions for cleaning
Refer to your manufacturer's instructions for cleaning, restaining,
repainting, and caulking wood siding.
The easiest way to clean wood shake siding is to brush it with a
stiff-bristled brush on a warm dry day.
Use putty on joints between siding boards and caulk any open
Do not allow vegetation, especially vines, to grow on the siding.
Vegetation growing between joints may cause deterioration.
Moisture from trees and shrubs planted too close to siding may
Paint applied over raw woods such as rough cedar may bleed
allowing characteristics of the wood to show through. This is
Stain acts as a preservative and keeps wood sidings from
cracking. Check your manufacturer's specific instructions for
staining and painting.
Select quality stain or paint.
Do not over-apply paint. Thick layers of paint will crack and peel.
Stucco is a brittle cement product that is a durable home finish.
Stucco finishes are subject to expansion and contraction. Minor
hairline cracks in the outer layer of stucco are considered normal
Inspect the exterior surfaces of your home annually.
Caulk all areas where stucco meets a dissimilar material as
Avoid spraying water onto stucco surfaces. It can cause
permanent damage to stucco.
Hairline cracks should be repaired to prevent moisture infiltration.
A white powdery substance, called efflorescence, may accumulate
on stucco. It is a natural phenomenon and cannot be prevented.
Efflorescence can be removed by scrubbing with a brush and
Ask a hardware salesperson for recommendations for commercial
products that remove efflorescence.