Why Should I Bother with Preventative home maintenance, and What Should I Do?
Preventative home maintenance is the key to preserving a home’s safety, function, and beauty while saving money. The time required to maintain your house varies greatly. It depends on the home’s size, age, and building quality. Home inspectors can discover present or prospective issues, but they cannot forecast the future. As a professional Home Inspector, I advise my clients to spend between $1000-$1500 each year for repairs and upkeep. Also, when I assess a house, I give a specific home maintenance checklist.
Your automobile has a maintenance plan that if you don’t follow (changing oil, etc.) may severely reduce its life, performance, and even cause early failure (ever been stranded?). Your house is the same; you either maintain it regularly or you pay higher running expenses (electricity, gas, etc.) and higher repair expenditures afterward. This does not include the shock of a leaking roof on your head during a family Thanksgiving dinner.
Many home inspectors provide yearly or semi-annual examinations for homeowners who can’t or won’t undertake certain responsibilities! If you fall into one of those groups, have a trained inspector assess your property to avoid difficulties.
Things to do daily to preserve your house!
Look for leaks in the attic after rain.Roofing systems should be inspected annually.If you can’t directly inspect your roof, use binoculars.This is where most issues arise. They are protected from the elements by flashing and rubber boots.Take a close look.Clean your gutters!Roof openings created by hanging trees allow squirrels and other animals to enter.Trim as required (recommend a least a six-foot clearance).Trees approaching the roof should be removed promptly.
Examine your siding and trim. Consider painting siding seams and trim joints and repairing broken caulking (as necessary).This prevents waterproofing and permits appropriate drainage.Repair caulking and paint around doors and windows.Window and door washing is prohibited. As a result, just the siding needs to be installed.Close loose handrail/gate bolts. Rebuild any stairways that require it.
The Base and Structure
After a heavy rain, check for standing water and poor drainage.Then grade or fill in. Proper grading keeps your home’s “feet” dry. In extreme cold, foundation vents may need to be closed.Open them if the temperature is continuously above zero. As a result, the crawl space will be dryer.Regularly clean the crawl space drainage system.
Check the HVAC
Change your HVAC filter monthly (all forced-air systems).Consult a specialist every heating and cooling season to ensure your system is working properly and efficiently. (Not for DIY.)Monthly clean and examine condensate lines throughout the cooling season.
Drain one gallon of water from the water heater’s base every spring and autumn.Watch out for leaky pipes.
A clean range hood or microwave vent fan and filter is recommended.Update counter-top and sink caulking.
Examine and repair washer hoses and connections.Examine your dryer exhaust vents and clean them as required.Lubricate garage door and track moving components.