When buying a home, very few homeowners imagine themselves clad in work boots and a tool apron performing maintenance works around the house. And nobody tells you that homeownership comes with major responsibilities that can feel overwhelming at times.
Ignore these minor tasks, and they could end costing you thousands of dollars down the road. Perform regular preventative maintenance, and your house will run like a well-oiled machine. Here’s are seven important preventive maintenance steps you might be ignoring.
Cleaning Your Gutters
Your gutters control the flow of rainwater on your house, channeling it away from structural components. If the gutters are clogged with leaves, dirt, and debris, the water will overflow and infiltrate your roof, siding, and foundation. Whether you have trees or not, get up there at least twice a year to clean them up and inspect their condition. If your house is surrounded by trees, clean the gutters more frequently.
Inspecting Your Roof Regularly
Inspecting your roof from both inside and out can give you key insights into its condition. Use a ladder to inspect the roof for signs of missing, loose, buckling, or broken shingles. Look for wet or dirty areas and mold or moss growth. Check the condition of seals around skylights, chimney seals, and vents. If you discover any damage, let a professional handle the repairs.
Servicing Your HVAC System
Most HVAC systems will last from 15 to 20 years–but only if preventative maintenance is performed regularly. To prolong the lifespan of your unit, schedule a professional tune-up at least twice a year. There are also tasks you can do on your own, such as changing or cleaning the air filter once every three months, cleaning the vents, and trimming vegetation around the outdoor unit. Remember that ignoring these steps can actually inflate your energy bill and aggravate allergies or breathing problems.
Repairing Small Plumbing Leaks
At least once a year, give your pipes, toilet, and faucets a good inspection. Damaged pipes can cause dampness on the walls and floors, compromising the structural integrity of your home. Dripping taps are known to waste nearly 10,000 gallons of water a year. To protect your home from water damage and avoid astronomical water bills, inspect the pipes in your basement and under sinks, repair or replace leaky faucets, and get your running toilet fixed.
Protecting the Exterior with Paint
Chipping, peeling, and cracking paint and is bad news for your home's exterior. It may even be an indicator of something more serious happening beneath the surface of your walls. Fixing paint failure on time allows you to repair hairline cracks on your walls and identify underlying issues before they get out of control. Ensure you repaint and repair home siding and trim that is loose or where paint has begun to peel.
Testing Your Smoke Alarm and Carbon Monoxide Detectors
A smoke detector is one of the most overlooked pieces of equipment around a home. Yet, it provides life-saving warnings whenever a fire breaks out in your home. Make sure you change the batteries of all smoke detectors at least twice a year and test whether the alarm works.
If there any small cracks developing where your driveway meets your home, spring into action. Neglect the issue, and you could end up paying $10,000 to excavate and waterproof a damaged foundation. At the start of each season, look for small hairline cracks around the exterior floors and window areas. Monitor and fix them before they widen and soak in water.