- About Us
- Contact Us
- Contact Us
Whether you’ve just bought your home or you’ve been living in the same house for twenty years, home maintenance can sound like a daunting prospect. There’s a lot to remember because there’s a lot that can go wrong — clogged drains and vents, leaks in roofs, walls or windows, cracks in driveways and decks, loose shingles and plenty more.
Luckily, regular house maintenance makes it much easier to fix these problems early, before they become much larger and more expensive. The more often you check your home for maintenance issues and fix the small problems you find, the less you’ll face large bills for a big problem that you could have easily prevented.
By following these ten tips on our homeowner’s maintenance checklist, you’ll be able to catch problems before they happen, making your home as safe, clean and healthy as it can be!
The first and most important of our home maintenance tips is to inspect your house. Watching your house and learning how all of its components are supposed to work will help you notice when something stops working and know how to fix it.
Begin your inspection outside, checking windows, siding, roofing, gutters and the foundation. Inside, inspect floors, walls, basements, attics, bathrooms, plumbing and fireplaces. If anything is loose or cracked, address it right away — don’t put off fixing it until later.
Now that you’ve gotten a feel for your house and made sure there are no major problems, you can start doing more specific maintenance tasks.
Changing your HVAC filters is easy to do — and easy to forget. Typically, you should change your filters several times a year, though this number depends on a lot of factors. If you have allergies or shedding pets, if you run your HVAC system often or if there is low air quality in the area around your home, you will probably want to change your filter more frequently. Keeping your filters clean will improve airflow and air quality all around your house.
The caulk or grout that seals your bathroom is your best line of defense against bathroom water damage. If caulk becomes moldy or starts peeling loose, water can start seeping into the walls and the floor around your bathroom fixtures, and that can be expensive to replace.
A general rule of thumb is to recaulk your bathroom approximately every five years. Recaulking your bathroom can be time-consuming, but it’s a relatively simple task, and it can save you a lot of costly repairs in the long run.
Washing the outside of your house once or twice a year is a great way to keep your house looking good and keep the number of repairs down. If you don’t clean off the outside of your house, all the built-up dirt and grime will start wearing away at the paint and stonework, which will be more difficult and expensive to fix in the long run.
After you’ve closed all your doors and windows so water doesn’t get inside, you can start washing down your house. It might be tempting to use a power washer, but using too much pressure can damage the paint or the siding. Instead, your garden hose should work just fine, though you will need to spot-clean the especially dirty areas.
Even if you rinse down your garbage disposal after every use, you still might notice your disposal starting to clog up and release an unpleasant smell. This smell is usually the result of food buildup, and it’s an easy fix — you can clean your disposal using baking soda, white vinegar and citrus peels. If you use your garbage disposal often, you should clean it weekly. Otherwise, cleaning it monthly, or sooner if you notice clogs or smells, should keep it clean.
They may not receive frequent use, but maintaining your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors is one of the best ways to keep yourself and your family safe. To keep your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors well-maintained, you should test them once a month and change their batteries once a year.
Gutters direct water away from your house, keeping your roof and siding free from water damage. However, when your gutters are clogged, water may instead leak into your house, leading to costly repairs.
Generally, you’ll want to clear out your gutters at least twice a year. If your house is near a lot of trees, or if you think critters might be hiding in your gutters, you may want to clean them more frequently. For houses that have gutters on multiple floors, you may need to call a professional gutter cleaner to get the job done safely.
Downspouts are a part of the gutter system, but they’re important enough to merit their own spot on the list. Downspouts direct water away from the siding so that it won’t leak inside your home. If your downspouts have detached or developed leaks, they can no longer direct water away from your house, risking you expensive water damage in the future. Reattaching, repairing or replacing downspouts can save a lot of damage in the next rainstorm.
Your outdoor property needs regular maintenance, as well. Mowing the lawn is easy to remember, but other outdoor maintenance can sometimes fall through the cracks.
At the beginning of spring, mulch around your plants to cut back on weeds. You can also reseed any areas of your lawn where the grass has died, trim bushes and hedges and fertilize your yard. If you have trees on your property, especially if they’re near your house or power lines, hire a professional tree trimmer to see if you need any trimming done.
Although it’s usually an easy fix, a clogged or slow drain can be very annoying to deal with. When your drains are slow, use a clog remover tool to clear out your pipes. If you don’t have a clog remover tool on hand, a wire hanger will work as well.
If your drains become clogged often, you can purchase a drain protector to stop hair and other debris from entering your drain in the first place.
Becoming a homeowner is an exciting step in life! Because your home is such a big investment, it’s important to follow a comprehensive home maintenance checklist to keep your home in the best shape possible.
If you’re interested in becoming a homeowner in the Philadelphia area, Streamline can help. Contact us today for more information about making Philly your home.