One of the biggest mistakes that homeowners make is letting small problems turn into big ones.
Proper home maintenance can alleviate the need for large and often costly repairs
According to HouseMaster, the oldest and largest home inspection franchisor in the U.S., the following maintenance projects can typically be performed by a homeowner for less than $25 each but will save far more than that down the road.
Photo courtesy of Design Studio West.
Re-grout the bathroom/bathtub tile.
Keeping the tiles well sealed prevents water seepage to the underlying surface, which can eventually lead to costly problems.
Regularly change your furnace and air conditioning filter.
Clogged filters reduce heating and cooling efficiency and the useful life of the appliance.
Clean the kitchen exhaust fan.
A grease buildup will tax the fan and increases the potential for a fire.
Clean out your clothes dryer vent.
Vent ducts clogged with lint reduce drying efficiency and present a fire hazard.
Vacuum air ducts covers.
This simple cleaning can minimize the spread of dirt through the house.
Clean sluggish drains.
This reduces the potential of leakage, pipe damage, or overflow.
Check toilet for cracks in bowl or tank cover and verify the toilet is properly secured to the floor.
Check for proper venting in attic and soffits.
Flush out water heater through the drain valve to flush out sediment and allow gas or oil water heater to operate more efficiently and safely.
Check interior and exterior stairs for any possible tripping hazards. Also make sure all handrails are properly secured.
Seal roof flashings or replace missing roof shingles.
This helps prevent the little roof leaks that over time can cause expensive damage to the roof and underlying elements.
Extend or install downspouts or splash blocks.
Extensions help divert water away from the house, avoiding basement leaks, flooding, and soil erosion.
Fill in low spots at foundation with soil.
Addressing these gaps will help prevent basement leaks and flooding down the road.
Clean the gutters.
Maintaining a clear path for rain runoff from the roof helps prevent expensive water damage to the house and its structures.
Caulk exterior trim, windows, and doors.
Water easily finds its way into cracks and crevices. Keep it out by sealing all gaps.
Apply deck preservative regularly.
Avoid premature wear and tear by periodically applying a sealant to protect the wood from the elements.
Trim trees near house and roof.
Falling branches and wind-blown limbs can damage the roof and siding. Overhanging branches can be an invitation for wood-destroying insects.
Keep an eye out for termite tubes or carpenter ants.
A regular, visual check of your home’s structure may give you a chance to call in an exterminator before significant damage occurs.
Move stored firewood away from the foundation.
This reduces the potential of wood-destroying insect infestation
Clean debris from exterior A/C unit.
Unlike most systems in your home your central A/C system is generally housed on the exterior of the home. Keep free of debris at all times so the system is properly vented.
Make sure all exterior drains are free and clear of debris and are draining properly.
Water that does not drain properly can cause seepage into lower level or basement.
Test ground fault circuit interrupters – special outlets designed to reduce the potential for electrical shock.
Seal asphalt driveways.
This reduces water-related deterioration
Test auto retract feature of garage doors to ensure they stop/reverse immediately if something blocks their movement.
Remove vegetation growing along the foundation.
Overgrown vegetation is an invitation to rodents, insects, and moisture. In addition, large roots can cause pressure on the foundation.
Apply deck preservative to wood decks.
This reduces potential rot and deterioration.
Home maintenance should not be a mystery, and if homeowners follow a simple maintenance checklist on a regular basis, they can keep their home in working order for many years to come.
A little regular attention every year can help increase the enjoyment of your home, reduce the potential for major repairs, and protect the value of your home.
Remember, these tips are only general guidelines. Since each situation is different, contact a professional if you have questions about a specific issue.
More home safety and maintenance information is available online at www.housemaster.com.