Exterior Features

Your home’s exterior has functional and decorative features, each with its own purpose. Dryer vents channel your laundry exhaust, corbels provide architectural support and unique character, and flower boxes offer a way to change your home’s exterior style by the season. Keeping these features well maintained will keep your outside looking good in the short term, and help prevent damage to your home down the line.

The light fixtures and other features on your home’s exterior need maintenance to keep them looking great and to prevent leaks and other problems.

Care and Maintenance

Follow these care and maintenance suggestions for your home’s exterior features.

Light Fixtures

Avoid leaving porch lights on all night; the light will attract bugs, which will enter your home when you open the door. Use yellow lightbulbs in yard light fixtures. Insects are less attracted to yellow light.

Check exterior light fixtures for defective bulbs once a week.

Clean light fixtures with a mild soap detergent. Before cleaning, cut the power to the light fixtures by flipping the circuit breakers to OFF. After cleaning, allow the fixtures to dry thoroughly, and then reset the breakers to ON.

Inspect and repair any holes around the light fixtures with an elastomeric caulk.

Before cleaning a brass fixture, make sure the fixture is actual brass and not simply brass-finished. A brass-cleaning product can damage a brass finish.

For more information about exterior lighting, visit the manufacturer’s website.

See also Exterior Caulking.

Dryer Vent

Make sure your dryer vent isn’t blocked.

Remove lint from the dryer’s lint filter after every load.

Remove any accumulated lint from the exhaust duct running between the back of your dryer and the dryer vent once a year.

If the dryer vent exits on the roof, have a licensed roofer clean it out.


Maintain the corbels to prevent early deterioration of the wood and loss of aesthetic appeal.

Check and repaint the wood annually.

Inspect the wood surfaces annually for signs of early deterioration. Paint them as needed.

Maintain the caulking around the corbels.


Once a year:

  • Clean the flowerboxes.
  • Make sure the boxes are properly fastened to prevent water from dripping or leaking onto the exterior facade.
  • Clear the weep holes of any obstructions.
  • Check the caulking around the brackets.

If Your Home Is Part of a Homeowners Association (HOA)

Check with your HOA regarding maintenance, and be familiar with all HOA documentation.