Experts say that a little home maintenance goes a long way and saves you money. For example, trimming away tree branches near or touching your roof can extend the life of your shingles. This example and many other items also happen to be the minor issues that can make or break the value of your home. Did you know that poor home maintenance can signify lack of pride in ownership, which can lower the value of your home and legally is a breach of your home insurance contract?
Contractors recommend seasonal detailed inspections of your home along with a regular routine of simply paying attention to the little things. (Regionally the things you need to check may vary. Most property insurance companies offer regional checklists for homeowners.)
Here is a recommended list of things you should check out on your home regularly as well as seasonally:
Check your roof for leaks or damage
Check for things like peeling shingles or holes. Be sure to check around vents, skylights and chimneys carefully to be sure there are no gaps or leaks. If you discover any issues, resolve them as quickly as possible. If you can’t resolve immediately, patch the area to protect from further damage while you await repairs. Also, if you discover damage, be sure to check the interior of your home in the same area for ceiling damage
Keeping the air moving in your attic is a must!
If you don’t have a ridge vent, be sure you keep your gable vents open year round for proper ventilation.
Keep your gutters clean!
Clogged gutters and drain pipes can also result in damage to your home. Make sure downspouts drain away from your foundation and are clear of debris.
Replace your Air Conditioning filters!
Filtering the air is only a small part of the necessary filtering for home maintenance. Not only should you replace your Air Conditioning filters once a month but also check your dryer ventilation and stove ventilation to make sure passageways are clear without obstruction and working properly. Check these both internally and externally. Most of us don’t think about this until a problem occurs, but with light maintenance you can extend the life of your unit and avoid possible home damage from flooding units. Keeping your dryer vent clean saves energy and extends the life of your dryer as well.
Detectors are critical!
Ensure that all your smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors and fire extinguishers are in good working order. Replace batteries as needed.
Regularly check your plumbing
Feel the pipes for leaks and looking underneath. If you find a leak, do your best to prevent damage and repair. Often pipes spread or loosen over time as your home shifts and most of us don’t think to check this on a regular basis. You will be surprised at the minor leaks you can discover under a sink. And, though a leak can be minor, the damage can be major over time. While checking your plumbing, be sure to check the hose connections for your washing machine and dishwasher and the tubing connections for your ice maker.
Check for Mold!
In the bathrooms, be sure to check shower and tub surrounds for any signs of damage or mold as well as your toilet supply/shut-off valve.
Window Seals Needed!
Regardless of the season, drafty doors and windows cost money! A large enough draft invites damaging rodents into your home, but even a small draft can suck away energy costing you hundreds! Replace seals as needed.
No Holes Allowed!
Check the exterior of your home for cracks or holes in your siding or paint. Replace caulk immediately if you see areas where it has cracked or fallen away leaving a gap without a seal. Also, when you discover any damage – verify that it is caused by wear and tear instead of rodents.
Know Your Water Heater Condition!
Check your water heater thoroughly to verify that it is in proper running condition without leaks. At least once a year you should drain the water heater and remove sediment from the bottom of the tank. This will also extend the life of this very expensive appliance.
No Pests Allowed!
Check your home for termites and other rodents by doing a full walk around inspection of the exterior of your home and also checking your attic if able. Signs would include droppings, heavy dust piles, and holes. Remember, never store firewood within 2 feet of your home and always store it at least 18″ above ground to prevent termites.
Check the Sockets!
Electrical fires remain one of the main reasons for total home losses due to house fires. Prevention is key and takes little effort. Walk around your home to check all of your outlets for proper hot, neutral and ground. Check all electrical cords to ensure there is no damage. Remove outdated electric air fresheners from outlets and do not leave active air fresheners in outlets when not in use.
Staying on top of regular home maintenance helps you avoid costly repairs or worse! Scheduling seasonal inspections is a great way to start doing what you can to prevent hazards and expenses that you don’t need while also making your home a better place to live. Now is the time to get your home back to 100% so you can relax and enjoy your family and friends!