Maintaining your home needs to be done for the same reason you should have regular car maintenance. A small problem can be caught and repaired. If it’s not caught and repaired, it can grow into a major outlay of cash, time and annoyance later on. Regular home maintenance will also ensure that you keep things up to date. When replacement time comes, you’ll know because of maintenance, not because you’re suddenly without heat.
Many maintenance tasks can be done in spring or fall. The important piece is that many need to be done when snow isn’t on the ground and before it’s too hot to work outside comfortably.
Here are x tasks that will allow you to enjoy your home to the fullest, year in and year out.
1. Inspect the Concrete Around Your Home
If you have a concrete drive, concrete walkways or concrete around outdoor areas, inspect it during the spring for cracks or plant growth. Small cracks don’t go away; they just become bigger ones. Have the cracks repaired. Then power wash your concrete and have it sealed.
2. Examine the Deck
After winter is over, examine your wood deck for any sign of warping, stains or discoloration. You should also check to see if the seal is still good. Pour a bit of water on the deck to see if it forms beads. If it doesn’t, your deck is ripe for a resealing before the rainy season starts.
3. Inspect the Roof
Roofs are always subject to wear and tear, and letting them go can result in major expense later on. In the spring, it’s a good idea to inspect your shingles, chimney, vent pipes, gutters, eaves and flashing. If anything needs to be replaced, have it done as soon as possible.
4. Check the Water Heater
Water heaters will last 8 to 12 years. After five years, though, it’s important to check periodically for leaks or rust around the bottom. If you find evidence of either, it’s time to replace your water heater.
5. Look at the Basement and Attic
If you have basements or attics, give them a thorough examination once a year. In the attic, you’re looking for signs of leakage through the roof and pests. Ditto the basement, except the water would be leaking in, not falling through. In both, look for pests such as silverfish and rodents, especially if items are stored in either place.
6. Have Your Heating and Cooling Systems Inspected
To run at peak efficiency, your heating, ventilation and cooling (HVAC) systems need to be inspected periodically. In the spring for cooling and fall for heating is the most prudent. Here, too, all these systems need to be replaced eventually. Better to be forewarned by regular maintenance than by a sudden fail in the system.
7. Clean Hard to Reach Places
Spring is the time for thorough cleaning, especially of places that are hard to reach. Your refrigerator coils, for example, should be vacuumed at least once a year. Ditto the hood of you range.
8. Replace Batteries in Detectors
The batteries in both smoke and carbon monoxide detectors need to be replaced periodically. Because spring is such an inspection-and-replacement time of the year, it’s a good time to check and replace if need be.
9. Move Your Firewood
If you had cords of firewood stacked near your house during the winter, it’s time to move them. Firewood should always be kept a minimum of two feet from any building, even if it’s an unused barn or shed. Any spark from a structure can be spread even more if it catches your firewood on fire.
10. Clean the Fireplace
Fireplaces need to be thoroughly cleaned periodically as well. Hire a professional to clean and inspect your fireplace. This is usually done in the fall.
11. Prepare Your Soil
Even if you’re not an avid gardener, it’s a good idea to turn the soil over once spring comes. Hoe to turn the earth. Clear any debris from the lawn and garden areas. Weed. Prepare your mulch.
12. Clean the Patio Furniture
Now’s the time to start going through the patio furniture to see if anything needs to be refurbished before summer comes. Any wicker or cushions damaged? Any teak need to be oiled? Doing this in spring means you’ll have plenty of time to spruce it up.
Your home should be a place you can enjoy all year around. It should also be safe and well maintained. Enjoyment, safety and maintenance all work together if you follow this easy dozen tips to ensure that your home is up to date.