Every homeowner knows the importance of maintaining the exterior of their house. In fact, from increasing the property’s overall value to protecting it from future damage, it’s arguably one of the most effective ways to get optimal use out of your residence. However, one key section of the home exterior tends to go overlooked, and it needs regular maintenance, just like any other component—your exterior shutters. Exposed to the harsh elements day-in and day-out, these fixtures need their own level of care for them to last a lifetime. This is how to care for your exterior shutters to keep them looking great and meeting your household needs.
The standard yard debris that tends to collect on your property is one of the primary things diminishing the appearance and effectiveness of your shutters. These items, like twigs, dirt, and leaves, can stick to the shutters’ surface and even get stuck between the slats, potentially damaging your shutters and making them look older than they actually are. So to best maintain them, your first step should be to brush this debris off your shutters and cut down any large shrubs that could scratch them.
Once you’ve cleared the debris away, you can get a better idea of how much damage your shutters have sustained. This involves performing a thorough inspection of each of their components to determine whether they merely need a thorough cleaning or if they’ll need repair. During this process, make sure that you’re checking both sides of the wood paneling, all hardware, and the point where your shutters affix to the siding. Regularly inspecting the wooden frame and hardware will allow you to make sure that everything is still in working order and functioning as it should.
The next step of caring for your exterior shutters should be to wash them with a solution that will depend on the materials they’re composed of. If you own metal exterior shutters, this might just involve wiping them down with mild soap and water. However, if your shutters are wooden, like most fixed louver and exterior Bahama shutters are, then you may need to purchase specialized cleaning solutions to wash them properly. Since wood is very susceptible to water damage, wood cleaners are necessary to reduce the amount of moisture these surfaces encounter.
Maybe you’re looking for something new, or maybe your shutters are a little worse for wear—either way, a fresh coat of finish or paint can do wonders. This step is entirely dependent on how you want them to look and the exterior design you want your home to have, so you can update them as often as you’d like, as long as they aren’t damaged.