Owning a home is exciting! You have your own space to decorate and show your style the way you want to. You aren’t bound by rules like neutral paint colors, no nails in the walls, etc. You can have fun! But, with home ownership comes responsibility. Your home very well might be the biggest investment you will ever make and you want to make sure that you take good care of it. This requires a little time and work on your part. Home ownership = home maintenance. Let’s look at a few home maintenance tips that, if done routinely, won’t take a lot of investment on your part but can pay off big time in keeping your home in tip-top shape.
Simple Things Can Make a Big Difference
Obviously things aren’t going to last forever. There will be some big ticket items that need to be replaced occasionally in your home and you will want to save for those. You will also want to plan for those things you can’t plan for. That makes sense, right?! Emergencies are going to happen…the air conditioning system goes out, a pipe freezes or bursts, etc. You need to be ready to call a professional for those big items. But, there are little things you can do as a home owner to keep your house running smoothly.
It is always good to have a checklist for home maintenance. Just like you prefer a schedule, your house does too. For example, it is recommended that batteries in smoke detectors be replaced every 6 months. It is a common practice to perform this task when we have a time change in the Spring or Fall (either going onto or coming off of Daylight Saving Time). This is also a good time to check your Carbon Monoxide detector. By having a set schedule for this very important and potentially life-saving task, it doesn’t get forgotten as easily as if we just put it on some “to do” list that never really gets a second glance.
Some other recommended scheduled home maintenance issues are as follows:
• Check to see that your fire extinguisher is fully charged – monthly
• Check your water softener salt drum and replace the salt if needed – monthly
• Clean your gutters and downspouts – Spring and Fall
• Clean your dryer vent and check that your exhaust ducts are clear – Spring and Fall
• Check for damaged cords – every 6 months
• Look up at your roof for any loose shingles or flashing – every 6 months
• Replace your air filter per the user’s manual recommendations
These are just a few home maintenance items to get you started keeping your home in great shape. The National Center For Healthy Housing has a great fact sheet for all of your home maintenance needs. With a little effort on your part, you can help protect your investment. There will be times when you need to call a professional and you will want to plan for those times. But it is nice to know that as a home owner you can do some of the home maintenance yourself. So, get busy. Your home will thank you!