Your home means so much to you. It is your shelter from the outside world, the place you rest and relax after a hard day’s work, where you raise your family, and so much more.
While we would all love to just sit back and relax when we have time at home, there are times when we’ll need to work. Homes need care and maintenance over time. If we fail to perform the necessary maintenance, the components can degrade over time.
However, many of us are not sure of all the steps we need to follow to keep our homes in good shape. This post will cover some of the basic steps you need to take to maintain your home.
It Starts With Cleaning
Cleaning is the foundation of maintaining your home. A clean home will be safer and healthier. Regular cleaning can also make it easier for you to catch small maintenance issues as they arise. You should already have a routine for things like cleaning the floors, wiping surfaces, dusting, cleaning the bathroom, and more. Beyond that, you should also make plans for an annual deep cleaning. Most people do it in spring, but you can plan the deep cleaning for any time of the year.
Keep Up With Yard Care
Home maintenance doesn’t end inside the four walls of the house. You also have outdoor space that needs care. Some of this care can also affect the structure. The basics include cutting the grass and trimming bushes. You might also need to look into cutting large branches from trees or managing drainage in the yard.
Clean and Care for the HVAC System
Don’t take the heating and cooling system in your home for granted. It needs routine maintenance and cleaning. For example, you should be checking and possibly changing the filter on the furnace monthly. You should also get the outdoor part of the air conditioner cleaned and inspected annually. This work not only makes the system more efficient, but it can also prevent the need for HVAC repair and replacement.
Inspect Your Roof
Homeowners should inspect the roof once a year. One way to do this is to get a pair of binoculars and look at the surface of the roof. See if you can spot any missing, damaged, or worn shingles. You can also go into the attic to look for signs of leaks. If you see water dripping from the trusses or sheathing, you have a problem. You might also want to consider a professional inspection every 3-5 years.
Plumbing issues can cause significant problems for your home. However, an annual inspection can do a lot to help you catch these issues early. For example, you should test every drain in the home once a year. You should also look under sinks to see if any pipes are leaking. Inspecting exposed pipes in basements, attics, and crawlspaces can also help.
You can’t forget about fire safety. Homeowners should test the alarms in smoke and CO detectors once a month. You should also change the batteries right away when you hear the low battery indicator. Beyond that, your home should have a fire extinguisher that you keep in an accessible location. It is also a good idea to learn basic home fire safety.
The gutters are another maintenance issue many homeowners forget. They are up by the roof, so people might not think of them. However, functional gutters do so much to protect your home. You should clean the gutters and downspouts at least once a year. Beyond that, it is also a good idea to inspect them for damage and to make sure they are secure.
The large appliances in your home are expensive. However, you can extend their lives by performing a little routine maintenance. For example, you can make your refrigerator more efficient by cleaning the coils. You can also prevent fires by cleaning the vent from your clothes dryer. Check the manuals for all your large appliances and follow the recommended maintenance. You can also contact service technicians if you are unsure of what to do.
Don’t Let the Small Stuff Slide
Some homeowners tend to let small repairs slide for a while. However, these small issues can get worse over time. In some cases, they can also cause damage to other parts of the home. It also becomes easier to ignore significant problems when you have a bunch of small issues waiting to be fixed. Instead of letting these issues go, you should address them right away. It includes things like slow drains, windows that stick, doorknobs that jiggle, and more.
Build Out Your Toolkit
Having the right tools will allow you to do more maintenance and repairs at home. Even if you are not that handy, there are certain tools every home should have. For example, every home should have a hammer, screwdrivers, an adjustable wrench, pliers, and a ladder. Beyond that, it can be useful to have a tape measure, level, cordless drill, and some saws. You don’t have to buy all this stuff at once. Start with the basics and build your toolkit over the years.
As a final tip, put together a home maintenance schedule. You can’t do all the work at once, and it is a lot to remember. Plan different maintenance tasks for different times of the year and write them in the schedule so you don’t forget. You could even add them as reminders on your phone to make it easier.