Homeowners take pride in their investment and want to ensure that their home is in the best shape possible. This is not only for the sake of resale value but also because a tidy and well-maintained home is a source of pride and community. There are several chores that must be attended to on a daily basis, such as general housekeeping items. Some events are weekly, such as trash or recycling efforts and lawn mowing services. Monthly reminders might be set to check smoke alarms and replace furnace filters. There are also a few home maintenance items that should be performed annually.
- Gutter Maintenance
- HVAC maintenance
- Power wash surfaces
- Foundation inspection
- Landscape updates
While cleaning the gutters is probably not a favorite job, it is necessary for the proper functioning and maintenance of a home. Gutters or rain spouts ensure that rainwater is quickly guided away from the home, rather than pooling on the roof or eaves. When this happens, water can create damage by leading into the home or between outer walls. Leaves and other debris can clog gutters, creating unsightly water backups and making room for possible flooding. While cleaning the gutters annually, it is a good idea to perform a cursory roof inspection. Repair or replace any loose shingles and identify areas that may need to be patched. This proactive step could save homeowners the cost of an entire roof replacement in the future.
While filters should be replaced monthly or quarterly depending on the HVAC unit, the entire system should receive general maintenance annually. This type of maintenance is typically done by a professional and will include an inspection of the ductwork, heating, and air conditioning units, and replacement of worn parts. The annual HVAC maintenance is often a covered item in the TotalProtect Home Warranty package and should be performed at least once per year.
Deep cleaning walls, windows, and flooring throughout the home are typical during a period of spring cleaning. Many homeowners tend to update interior furnishings during the same time and perform other DIY projects such as painting and redecorating. This is also a good time to power wash the exterior. Professional or DIY power washing keeps homes looking their best by removing built-up debris from porches, decks, sidewalks, and the exterior of the home. A thorough cleaning will also reveal any cracks, loose boards, scrapes, or other items in need of repair from normal use.
During the exterior power washing exercise, it makes sense to have a look at the foundation. Any visible cracks typically appear near corners and joints. Inspect where stone or concrete meets another material such as vinyl siding, wood, or brick. Also observe shaded areas for any signs of mildew, moss, or discoloration on the foundation. This could be an indication of interior cracks, leaks, or mold growth. As homes settle through the years, the foundations give a little to make adjustments for the weight of the house and the pliability of the ground beneath it.
Curb appeal is more than a buzzword or selling point for real estate professionals. Taking care of the surrounding property is equally important as the interior upkeep and minor renovations. Think of curb appeal as the first impression a home makes. Ensuring that a home looks its best begins with the front yard. Planters, flower gardens, and even ceramic gnomes or walkway lighting can become dingy throughout the changing seasons. Performing an annual check up on these seasonal items, including holiday decorations and outdoor furniture, will keep homes looking inviting and clean throughout the year. Clean or replace items as needed.
Homeowners Insurance and Home Warranty
A final word on annual maintenance in regard to home protection options. Keep in mind that homeowners insurance protects the property from damage caused by fire, wind, and property damage caused by nature or another individual. Policies can be upgraded to include theft and flood protection. A home warranty can be purchased to cover incidentals not covered by other warranties or homeowner insurance. This can include appliances, HVAC systems, and much more. Review these policies and warranties annually and consider if changes are required.