Why should you do regular home maintenance?
- 1. To maintain the value of the property.
- 2. A well-maintained home usually sells more readily and usually brings a higher price.
- 3. A well-maintained house is more comfortable.
- 4. Regular care minimizes unexpected repair work and expense.
- 5. Regular small repairs keep costs from becoming larger.
What is involved in home maintenance?
Cleaning roof and gutters, cleaning or paint-ing outside wall surfaces, cleaning floors and walls, keeping sink and shower drains running freely, etc.
What is involved in home repair?
Replacing broken glass in windows or doors, replacing warped or worn shingles, repairing a cracked or heaved sidewalk or driveway, replacing worn out faucets, repairing a broken stair rail, etc.
How often should you do maintenance and repairs?
Maintenance and repairs should be done as soon as the need appears. This sooner-the-better practice helps prevent further damage and keeps repair costs down. At least once every 6 months, inspect your house and yard thoroughly to identify items needing work.
The checklists below can help you identify areas where work may be needed:
FOUNDATIONS, BASEMENTS & YARDS
- Water that strikes the house or drips down from the roof drain away from the foundation walls. The gutter and downspout system should keep water from pooling around the foundation where it can create a moisture problem. Be sure gutters and downspouts are kept open and in good repair.
- Trim shrubs and bushes away from the foundation walls. Clearance space should be at least one foot.
- Check masonry foundation walls for cracks or weakened, crumbling mortar.
- Examine main support beams, support columns, and floor joists for evidence of bowing or warping.
- Check wood structural members, such as joists, beams, and columns, with a screwdriver or pocket knife to be sure wood is solid and free from decay.
- Check the inside and outside of all foundation walls and piers for termite tubes and damage. You may choose to have an insect-control company to do this each year.
- Check that the crawl space vapor barrier is in good condition and placed correctly. A vapor barrier is usually a polyethylene material (6-mil) that covers 70 to 100 percent of the crawl space, depending on the severity of the moisture problem.
- Examine the inside of basement walls for dampness or water stains indicating seepage or a leak.
- Clean leaves and debris from around an outside heating/ air conditioning condenser and trim back shrubs that may block air movement around the house.
- Yard care power equipment should be drained of fuel in the late fall or early winter and serviced according to manufacturer’s instructions.
- Doorways, below grade window wells, and storm drains should be cleaned of debris or leaves.
- Driveways and walks should be checked for cracks, breaks, or erosion that may damage them. If asphalt surfaces need repairing, be certain you have the equipment and skill to do a lasting repair job. Otherwise, choose a reputable contractor. Unrepaired cracks in concrete can lead to further damage.
- Clean and repair garden equipment after the last use of the season. Remove dirt and rust, then store in dry area. Thoroughly rinse pesticide and herbicide sprayers to prevent clogging, and rinse fertilizer spreaders to prevent corrosion.
- A septic tank needs periodic attention. Learn how to check for sludge and scum accumulation in the tank, and have solids pumped out of the tank as needed.
- Fences, gates, and retaining walls should be checked for ease of operation, condition of structure, and materials. Make repairs as needed.
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- Trim back tree branches that scrape against or overhang the roof. Keep branches away from chimney to avoid fire hazard and allow proper draft for safe and efficient operation.
- Check for curled, damaged, loose, or missing shingles.
- Check the lower edge of roof sheathing for water damage.
- Examine all roof flashing and the flashing around chimneys, vent stacks, roof edges, dormers, and skylights.
- Make sure that the chimney cover (cap) in good condition, and that it is tall enough to prevent creosote build-up.
- Check vents and louvers for free air movement. Clean screens and remove bird nests, spiders, insects, and dust.
- If there are wind turbines on the roof, check ball bearings. Clear gable vents of bird’s nests and other obstructions.
- Check for damaged gutters, downspouts, hangers, and strainers. If needed, clean out gutters and downspouts. Make sure they are free from leaks and rust.
- Check the condition of paint on gutters.
- Examine television antenna guy wires and support straps.