Eileen's Blog

Preserve Your Home's Value With Preventive Maintenance

November 27th, 2013 2:58 PM by Eileen Denhard

  "An Ounce of Prevention
   is Worth a Pound of Cure"

 - Benjamin Franklin


You make sure your car's oil is changed on a regular basis but how often do you think about preventive home maintenance? Just like cars, homes need routine care to extend their lives, maintain

Safeguard Your Home

    Home maintenance also involves safety. Inspect the following regularly for proper functioning:
    1. Automatic garage door opener.
    2. Smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors (change batteries at least twice each year).
    3. Windows for emergency exits.
    4. Fire extinguishers.
their appearance and prevent costly repairs.

 

The prospect of caring for your home with all its square footage may seem overwhelming. But don't let that keep you from moving forward. The key is to make a list of areas that need regular attention, and then break that list into smaller, more manageable groups. Like automaker Henry Ford once said, "nothing is particularly difficult if you divide it into small jobs."

Keep in mind that the items on the list don't all have to be done at the same time. In fact, some tasks divide themselves naturally based on the time of year. For example, maintaining your air conditioner and cleaning gutters. 

A Home Inspection: To ensure nothing is left off the list, start by doing your own home inspection, including the following steps:

 

  • Walk through each room and write down all appliances, furniture, lighting and window treatments.
  • Walk around the exterior of your house and make note of the number of doors and windows. Keep an eye out for exterior cracks in the home or driveway.
  • Examine the landscaping. Are there weeds, bare patches or areas of over-growth?
  • Is there a fence on your property? Walk around and examine it for any needed repairs or painting.
  • Make note of all your home systems including appliances, air conditioning and heating units, water heater, water softener and electrical system. 

Make a "To Do" List

Now that you've done a walk-through inspection, use the inventory to prepare a comprehensive "To Do" list of needed repairs and regular maintenance. It's also helpful to pull out the home inspection that was conducted when you acquired the home and make a note of any needed repairs.

Here is a sample checklist to print out with some areas that need routine home maintenance. Some may need attention more than once a year. Add other chores at the bottom:

 

Home Maintenance Checklist

            Clean out gutters and downspout elbows and check for leaks.
Notes:

 Double-check insulation around exterior pipes that is exposed to freezing weather to be certain that water cannot seep under the insulation.
Notes:

 

Examine roof for any worn areas.
Notes:

 Repair caulking and weather-stripping around exterior surfaces as needed. Note any foundation cracks.
Notes:

 

Hose off exterior and treat any mildewed areas.
Notes: 

 

Trim any trees that touch the house.
Notes:

 

Wood decks and porches should be thoroughly treated every couple of years either with paint, stain, or water-sealant.
Notes:

 Most heating and cooling systems should be professionally maintained before winter and summer. Filters should be replaced monthly.
Notes:

 

Examine the fireplace for cracks, deterioration and creosote buildup and have flues cleaned regularly.
Notes:

 

Inspect plumbing shutoff valves, circuit breakers, septic system, etc.
Notes:

 Clean and seal tile grout.
Notes:
  

Vacuum exterior of heating registers, vents and ducts.
Notes:

 

Touch-up exterior paint and make fence repairs.
Notes:

 Check the operation of ground-fault circuit interrupter outlets by pushing the "test" button. The "reset" button should pop out, indicating the receptacle is operating properly. Press the reset button.
Notes:

 

Clean carpets and window treatments.
 
Notes: 

 Maintain appliances as instructed in their manuals.
Notes:

 Other Chores:
1.

2.
Notes:

 

When you fill out the list, note the appropriate season when some of the tasks should be done. That way you can group tasks quickly and you'll be less likely to overlook items. In the "notes" section, record the date you performed the maintenance and anything unusual you found. You also might want to note any materials you need before your next home check-up, such as new filters for your cooling or heating system. Keep up with the list, updating it with each new appliance purchase or home addition.

Once you break home maintenance duties down into manageable groups and do the prescribed chores faithfully, a seemingly enormous task becomes possible. But more importantly, you're preserving a valuable financial asset and your family's shelter for years to come.

Posted in:General
Posted by Eileen Denhard on November 27th, 2013 2:58 PM

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