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If you've noticed cracks or damage to the exterior render of your home, it's important to address the issue before it leads to more costly repairs. Homeowners often underestimate the importance of repairing cracks or exterior damage to their homes, but neglecting simple repairs can lead to much greater consequences down the road. For instance, cracks in a home's foundation can cause water leakage, leading to structural damage and mould growth. Similarly, ignoring exterior damage like chipped paint or missing shingles can result in more costly repairs and decreased property value over time.

Identify the damage

The first step is to determine the extent of the damage and whether it requires a professional to fix it. Start by doing a visual inspection of the exterior walls, roof, gutters, and windows. Look for any signs of cracks, holes, or loose pieces. Check for water damage or rot, which may indicate a bigger issue. Water damage to the exterior of a building can look like a range of issues, from rotting wood to peeling paint, mould or water stains on the walls. Other signs can include rusted metal elements like gutters or flashing that have begun to deteriorate over time.

Dealing with small cracks

To fix small cracks on the exterior of your house, you'll need a putty knife, a wire brush, and a tube of exterior silicone sealant or caulk. Use the wire brush to clean any loose débris and dirt from the crack, then apply the silicone or caulk into the crack with the putty knife. Alternatively, cover the hole with the tape and spread a layer of joint compound over it, smoothing it out with a putty knife. Allow the compound to dry completely before sanding it down and applying a second coat, if necessary.

Handling larger cracks

If you have identified larger cracks on the exterior of your building, it may require a bit more effort to repair. One option is to use a patching compound, such as hydraulic cement, to fill in the cracks before applying exterior paint. To do this, you'll need a chisel, wire brush, patching compound, and a trowel. Start by removing any loose débris from the crack with a wire brush and chisel. Next, apply a concrete patching compound with a trowel, making sure to fill the crack completely. Smooth out the surface with a flat-edge trowel, then allow the compound to dry for several hours. It's important to ensure that the patching is allowed to dry completely before painting to prevent any moisture from being trapped.

Why it's important

Ignoring these issues can lead to more severe structural issues, such as weakened walls or roofs that can become a safety concern. Any evidence of water damage on the exterior of a building should be taken seriously and inspected by a professional to mitigate any potential risks. Regularly inspecting and fixing any small cracks or holes in your exterior walls not only maintains the appearance of your home but also prevents further damage and potential expensive repair costs in the long run.

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