“That crack has been in the drywall for months. It’s no big deal.”
Don’t let these be your famous last words when it comes to finding rot and mold inside that cracked wall, all because water was allowed to leak in—bypassing routine maintenance turned out to be a costly idea. Ten thousand dollars later, you’re wishing you began regular home maintenance a long time ago. But it’s never too late. Begin now by addressing these very important home maintenance tips for homeowners looking to safeguard the longevity of their home.
Basic Monthly Maintenance
Check air conditioning and heating unit filters and change them out if necessary. These are often the cause of all of that sniffling and sneezing going on in the house. Filters can be changed out every 2-3 months depending on your home’s ventilation needs.
Look for leaks in faucets. This simple step can help prevent water damage headaches in the future.
Test GFCI outlets. After about 10 years, their sensitivity circuitry can wear out. Get a tester from a hardware store to test your GFCI, recommends Family Handyman.
Ensure that the fire extinguisher is accessible. Most manufacturers say that the typical lifespan of a fire extinguisher can range from five to 15 years. Create a family fire escape plan and educate your family about where the fire extinguishers are located in your home.
Biannual and Seasonal Maintenance
Test that smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are in working order. Replace smoke detector batteries or you’ll be in for a rude awakening when they die out, nobody likes that irritating beeping.
Check the gutters. Twice a year, clean exterior gutters and drainage systems of leaves and other seasonal debris.
Maintain the lawn. Clear dead shrubs and cut back plants so they aren’t resting on the house to avoid growth of pesky molds and mildews. Also, tree limbs can damage paint and trim if allowed to brush the structure of the home.
Inspect exterior and interior walls for cracks. Identifying cracks throughout your home may mean that you have a big foundation problem. Look for red flags like cracks in walls, doors that fail to latch, and windows that begin to stick when identifying a foundation problem.
Check and replace light bulbs. Make the switch to energy efficient alternatives like CFL or LED bulbs.
Check weather stripping around doors and windows. Ensuring that the stripping around your doors and windows are sealed will keep energy costs down.
Vacuum refrigerator coils. Yearly maintenance will increase the lifespan of your refrigerator.
Inspect and clean fireplace chimney. A dirty fireplace and chimney can lead to problems including creosote fire hazards, smoke danger allowing carbon monoxide to enter your home.
Clean your hot tub, pool, and spa filters. Keep your spa chemicals balanced and completely change out the filter at least once a year. Old, dirty filters are the top reason for service calls.
Service air conditioning and heating systems. While servicing your units you might find yourself saving money on your future utility bills.
Be sure roof has no damage or leaks. Locations that experience harsh weather conditions such as hailstorms, monsoons, ice and extreme temperatures should consult a roofing professional after spurts of damaging, unexpected weather.
Check for termite infestations. Hollow sounding wood and cracked paint surfaces on wood are some of the warning signs of a potential infestation. Basements and attics are often the most vulnerable to wood-eating termites.
Home Maintenance Resources
Get a home maintenance app or software, and create a spreadsheet highlighting the chores that can make a huge difference around the house.
It’s essential to get organized and take care of your home for many reasons—ROI, money savings, and overall happiness. Take pride in ownership by keeping your home properly maintained.