Your home’s exterior has a big impact on its curb appeal and its overall value. Keeping your home’s exterior clean and in good shape is one of the best things you can do to protect your investment. However, cleaning and maintaining your exterior can take its toll on the environment over time. Paints, sealants and cleaners all have harsh chemicals that can leach into the soil and the water supply.
Options are available to help you home look great without damaging the environment. Here are a few eco-friendly choices you can make:
Vinyl siding is an eco-friendly choice because it requires almost no maintenance. You don’t have to paint, stain or seal vinyl siding, so you won’t be subjecting the environment to toxic materials. Vinyl siding also won’t warp or rot, so it lasts 50 years or more. It is an eco-friendly choice because you won’t have to replace it as often and increase demand for more resources.
The only thing you will need to do to maintain your vinyl siding is clean it. You can do that by simply spraying it down with a garden hose or rubbing it down with a soft cloth. You don’t need to use harsh cleansers.
Metal roofing is eco-friendly because it can be recycled and it is highly energy efficient. The metal panels can be made from recycled materials, and it can be recycled when you are finished with it. The metal will last for several decades, so you will be reducing demand for natural resources by choosing it.
Metal roofs are also eco-friendly because they reduce the energy you need to heat and cool your home. Energy usage is one of the biggest drains on natural resources, so everything you can do to reduce your home’s energy consumption will help you reduce your environmental impact.
Natural Stone Patio
Natural stone is a great choice because it doesn’t have to be treated. As it ages, it can break down and slowly become part of the environment without harming it. You can also clean natural stone with a simple pressure washing. You don’t need to use any cleaners — just water.
Natural stone pavers allow water to seep into the ground between the cracks instead of running off and creating an erosion problem. By choosing them, you’ll be helping to maintain balance in the ecosystem and reduce the chances of chemicals being washed off surfaces and into the soil.
Of course, not all materials on your exterior can be cleaned with just water. For some surfaces and stains, you might need stronger cleaners. For example, you’ll need the right cleaner to take care of mildew or algae growth or stains.
You can still make an environmentally friendly choice with your cleaners. Look for options that don’t include toxic chemicals. You can find an eco-friendly cleaner for everything in your home.
Eco-Friendly Paints and Stains
Most commercial paints and stains contain VOCs, or volatile organic compounds. You can make an environmentally friendly choice with paints and stains that have no VOCs or that have very low levels. The product will be marked with this information, so you can make the right choice.
For wood stains, look for water-based options. These will wash away easier and won’t be as damaging to organic matter.
You can do a lot for your home by making the right landscaping choices. Placing plants that need a lot of water around areas that are prone to erosion will prevent run off and limit damage to your walkways and foundation. Planting shade trees around your home will help to keep it cooler in the summer and reduce the demand on your air conditioner. However, it is important that you keep a safe enough distance with the trees so that branches don’t fall and damage your roof or your siding.
You’ll need to work with a landscape designer to make the best choices for your home and your property.
When you hire professionals to clean or maintain your home, ask for eco-friendly options, like green cleaners and materials. Professionals will have a greater range of options and can give you pointers you might not have known about otherwise. You’ll be able to keep your home looking great while also feeling good about what you are doing to make the world a better place. Going green is also good for your wallet since it will save you on energy and maintenance costs.