History tells us that the first barns were, for the majority, built by their owners. Of course, these barn owners also maintained their own barns. To not do so was to neglect an investment in a multi-purpose building that certainly enhanced lifestyle. The value in a sturdy, well-maintained barn far outweighed the investment of time or materials necessary to keep it so, both then, and now.
Windows and window sills should be sealed from the outside with paintable exterior weatherproof caulk. Windows should also be coated along all edges and both sides with a quality exterior stain, paint or sealer. Cracked or loose window glazing should be removed and replaced.
Siding end cuts at foundation must be kept well-sealed to prevent wicking moisture. Use a quality exterior stain, paint or sealer and always maintain siding height at a minimum code distance from grade.
Keep tree foliage and ground shrubs off siding surface to prevent constant moisture. Cut back branches and limbs that don’t allow a portion of siding to dry in normal weather conditions and could be hazardous to the weather-tight integrity of your roof. And, don’t leave items leaning against exterior walls for extended periods of time. Constant moisture promotes rot and simple measure can be employed to avoid it.
Flower boxes should be lined and not filled directly with soil. Planter liners are readily available at many stores. If rain drip line from roof washes out a flower box a simple rain diverter installed at the roof eave will keep the flower box much drier.
Patrol the perimeters of your barn regularly, inside and out. Keep an eye out for pests, or nuisance animals and their signs as well as any part of the barn in need of update or repair. A quick inspection can give early indication of areas that may need attention before they become bigger projects.
Remember, with any wooden structure moisture is the enemy! Simply purposing to eliminate constant moist areas on your barn can prevent rot indefinitely. So, be vigilant with basic upkeep and don’t put off small repairs which only become larger with time. The return you receive for your diligence will be enjoyed for generations.
Maintain a good coating of quality stain or paint on all exterior surfaces and recoat as color begins to show oxidation or as needed. Frequency will vary dependent on color, sun exposure and numerous other factors. A light washing of exterior surfaces before restaining or repainting is recommended to remove any mildew.