Purchasing a home, becoming a first-time homeowner, is a big accomplishment. A home is a large investment that comes with a large responsibility. When you are a renter, you call the maintenance department to fix any problems. When you are the homeowner, YOU are the maintenance department. Here are some important maintenance duties that will allow you to prevent damage to your new home.
The Roof, Gutters & Downspouts – If you notice shingles cupping upwards or if any are missing, replacement of all or some of the shingles should be done without delay. Gutters must be cleaned at least once a year, preferably after the leaves have fallen, so that water runs freely through them. Downspouts should be directed away from the house at least a few feet, again so that water doesn’t pool against the foundation.
Exterior Drains – make sure any outside drains are kept clear of leaves and debris
Windows – inspect the caulking around the windows to make sure there are no gaps between the window and the building.
Furnace – filters should be changed often. Lack of appropriate airflow into the furnace can cause higher heating bills and could cause the furnace to quit working just when you need it the worst.
Smoke Detectors – if you don’t have any, buy some. If you do have them, and they are battery operated, change the batteries at least twice a year. I suggest changing smoke alarm batteries the two days that we switch to and from daylight savings time.
Sinks & Toilets – check periodically under every sink to look for leaks on the water supply lines. For toilets, check to see if there are any leaks on the supply line and the areas where the tank joins the bowl.
Bathrooms – these should be ventilated to prevent excess moisture build up that could lead to mold or mildew growth. If you have an exhaust fan, make sure it is working and use it when running water in the room.
Chimney & Fireplace – have these inspected and cleaned every year. Do not burn pressure treated wood, Christmas trees, cardboard or plastic. These items could cause the chimney liner to crack.
INSURANCE – WHETHER YOU HAVE A BASEMENT, A CRAWLSPACE, OR YOUR HOUSE IS BUILT ON A SLAB, ADD A RIDER TO YOUR INSURANCE POLICY FOR BACKUP OF SEWER OR DRAIN. The rider should cost about $90-$125/year and is worth every penny if a sewer or drain backs up into your home. Your standard homeowners’ policy will not cover this type of loss! (for insurance claims tips click here)