Owning a home requires work to keep it looking beautiful and performing well for years to come. Here are some simple maintenance tips all new homeowners should follow:
Ducts should be cleaned once every two years. Homeowners should also consider adding insulation to any exposed ductwork, to reduce heat loss and thereby reduce heating bills.
Check your weather stripping and bottom door sweeps for wear & gaps. Excessive wear can cause air infiltration resulting in higher energy consumption.
Clean Your Gutters
Clean your gutters and downspouts. Clogged gutters can cause water to back-up, which can eventually damage the soffits located next to the gutters.
The ridge vents need to be cleaned at least annually in order to allow the house to “breathe” correctly, or air can stagnate and create an unhealthy environment.
Every year, you should inspect your home to see if any damage or wear has occurred. Spring is a great time to complete this inspection. Things to look for when inspecting your home:
Have a leak inside your house? Chances are it’s your roof. Beyond that, look for chipped or missing roof tiles or shingles. This is a good time to trim trees up away from the roof. Also make sure to check flashings, soffits, fascia and any wood trim that comes in contact with the roof for rotting or peeling paint.
Exterior Walls and Foundation
Check for any cracks, deterioration or peeling paint. If there is excessive foundation cracking, call for a professional assessment. Otherwise, you can patch it yourself with mortar patch (which can be applied with a caulk gun).
Does water seem to settle around the house rather than drain away? Check to make sure that the soil slopes away from the house (1 inch per 6 feet is recommended). If it does not, simply backfill with some top soil until you reach the desired effect.
Doors and Windows
Look for peeling or cracked caulk and weather stripping. These can be easily purchased at any home improvement store and repaired in a small amount of time. Also, clean out window wells and check that all windows and doors open, shut and lock properly.
Porches, Decks and Patios
Sealing your wooden porches and decks on an annual basis will help prevent against rotting and deterioration. Secure any wobbly rails or steps and replace or treat any rotting or deteriorating wood. Check patios for cracks or settling and repair, as necessary.
Driveways and Sidewalks
Check for cracking and fill with concrete-patch, as needed. Taking the time to seal your concrete areas will help prevent any further cracking and deterioration.
Attics and Basements:
Inspect attics and basements for any signs of water leakage and repair, as necessary. In addition, look for mildew, rot and fungus growth. Repair any loose or damaged insulation and check that attic vents are functioning properly.