Buying your first home is both a big investment and a big commitment. As with anything new, there is a learning curve with becoming a first-time homeowner. Homes need internal and external upkeep to keep things running in good condition. To help you get the most out of your investment and to help you avoid preventable problems, we have compiled a list of 10 home maintenance tips just for you.
1. Replace Your Home’s Air Filters as part of your home maintenance routine
Replacing the air filters in your house every 30 – 60 days is a simple way to avoid many problems. It will help you keep the air in your home free of allergens. It will also help your HVAC. A clogged and dirty air filter makes your HVAC system work harder and will eventually cause expensive problems.
2. Test your fire alarms and carbon monoxide alarms
Testing these two alarms takes only a few minutes, and the benefits are priceless. Your safety is important. If you have properly working alarms, you may be able to catch problems early enough to avoid catastrophic damage. It isn’t a bad idea to keep a stockpile of batteries, so you know you will never run out.
3. Check your water heater and your water softener
According to homebuyer.com, “Water softeners and heaters are pretty low-maintenance, though it’s good to check on them monthly. Check your water softener for salt bridges and mushing, and replenish salt as needed. Water heaters should have their temperatures and pressure relief valves inspected monthly. Just lift the pressure relief valve and if water doesn’t release, replace your valve. Look for cracks and leaks as you inspect the water heater.”
4. Inspect your vents and heat registers
Every month you should check your vents and heat registers. Take a minute to clean off any collected dust and remove any clutter blocking them. This will help your HVAC system be more efficient and will remove allergens like dust and dander from your home’s air.
5. Keep a clean yard to help with your home maintenace
Make sure you are mowing your yard and weeding your flower beds regularly. Keeping your yard well manicured not only adds to the curb appeal of your house but will also help keep rodents and pests from moving in. A bonus of regularly mowing will be to limit the amount of raking you have to do in the fall. Mowing your lawn will help you break down fallen leaves. Removing fallen leaves and other debris will fend off things like lawn damage and unwanted mold growth.
6. Clean your gutters and roof
Your gutters and roof serve as great catcher-mitts for falling objects like leaves and branches. Keeping them cleaned will help you avoid several high-price fixes in the long run. As your gutters and roof valleys collect debris, water will not be able to run off correctly. This can cause long-term roof and water damage as water will back up and flow in new directions. This could eventually lead to water damage in your foundation, roof, or crawlspace. If water gets stuck in clogged gutters during colder months, it could freeze and damage your gutters altogether.
7. Get your HVAC system inspected yearly
Would you believe that ½ of the HVAC service requests in the southern states happen three months out of the year? It just so happens that when summer comes to town and HVAC systems have to start working extra hard, problems begin to arise. And since the demand is so high during this time, the service gets slowed down. Summertime in the south is not a comfortable time to be without air conditioning. This is why it is recommended to get your HVAC system serviced yearly. Not only will it help you catch problems early, but if it is maintained well, it will save you thousands of dollars in the long run.
8. Check your crawlspace
If you don’t inspect your crawlspace regularly, you may not be able to catch things that have the potential for disaster. One of the main things to check for is unwanted water that can lead to damage and mold/mildew growth. Grab a flashlight and pretend you’re going on a cave-spelunking adventure. Check the corners and edges. Use your fingers to feel the dampness and keep your eyes peeled for discoloration.
9. Keep your paint looking nice
Not only is nice paint easy on the eyes, but it also adds a layer of protection to your house’s siding. Check your siding regularly to look for places that could use a touch-up to avoid problems such as rust and rot.
10. Seal your home
Green Building Advisor states that ⅓ of your home’s energy is leaking through cracks and crevices in your house. Not only are houses leaking air, but when air can move freely through your walls, so can moisture. That can lead to unwanted mold, mildew, and rot. That’s a lot of wasted energy and a lot of wasted money. You can fix this by adding caulking and weather stripping to windows and doors where you notice a draft. Another thing you might check is your home’s insulation. Adding insulation such as spray or injection foam to roofs, walls, and crawl spaces can seal up a lot of those nooks and crannies.
At Retrofoam of the Carolinas, our goal is to increase the comfort and longevity of the homes in our area. We would love to talk to you about how we can help you on your new adventure of home ownership. Contact us today for a free consultation.