Just like when a car reaches a certain amount of miles, your home requires periodic maintenance to ensure all is running smoothly under the hood. Whether you are a recent homeowner who just purchased an older house, or a long-term homeowner wondering if there’s anything that needs fixing you may not be aware of, it’s important to stay educated. What are some routine maintenance steps you should be taking in your home?
Statistics indicate that homeowners will spend between 1-4% of a home’s value annually on maintenance and repairs. This percentage tends to increase as the home gets older. That means that if a home costs $300,000, the owner is spending at least $3,000 in repairs every year.
The reason why this cost is so high is because oftentimes the homeowner ends up paying more for a repair because they did not identify that it needed fixing before it got worse and damage occurred. This means the damage could have been avoided had the homeowner identified it earlier, thus saving themselves some money and a headache in the long run.
In today’s blog, we’re covering 7 routine maintenance steps you should be taking in your home to ensure there are no costly damages that could come to haunt you somewhere down the line. Let’s get started!
1. Fire Sprinkler Testing
When was the last time you conducted a fire sprinkler inspection in your house? It is important to ensure the fire system equipment in your is running properly, as this can be a safety hazard. Is your fire extinguisher easily accessible? Does it work?
You should also have your smoke alarm checked, ensuring the battery doesn’t need to be replaced. This should have a test button that emits an alarm sound if working. If it doesn’t, it’s either time to replace the battery or time for a new smoke alarm. Your home should also come with a carbon monoxide alarm that works in a similar way. Test this to ensure it is working properly; since carbon monoxide is a silent killer, you cannot smell or see it and so an alarm will be the only way to notice it.
2. Replace or Clean Refrigerator Coil
Did you know that you can save up to $100 a year by cleaning your refrigerator’s coil? Be sure you do this at least twice a year to save up to 15% on your home’s power. When a refrigerator coil gets dirty, it spends more energy, and could eventually stop working altogether, resulting in a replacement and some damaged food in the fridge. Replace or clean your refrigerator coil to avoid any headaches.
3. Clean Gutters
When it rains, are you sure the water will fall away from the house? If you’re seeing puddles around your home a day or two after rainfall, there could be a problem with your gutters. This is why it is important to routinely check your home’s gutters and clean them at least once a year.
Some common problems with gutters include a loose connection or bad spout. Your gutters oftentimes accumulate leaves, dirt, rocks, and other debris that clog them up and prevent them from working efficiently. Be sure to inspect your gutters and clean them so you don’t end up with a flooding issue in the rainy season!
4. Inspect HVAC Filters
When was the last time you replaced your HVAC filter? How often you do so really depends on the type of quality of the filter and whether you have a lot of people in the home, are prone to allergies, or have pets. Some experts say you should replace monthly, but this can vary to 2-3 months. If your filter is dirty, you should replace it with something new.
5. Check Out Roofing for Damage
It’s always good to take a look at the roof at least once a year to inspect for any damages that may have been caused by debris or weather. You should have an inspector make note of damaged shingles, mold that needs to be pressure cleaned, and any clogged spaces that could cause flooding.
6. Maintain A/C Unit Yearly
Your A/C unit should be inspected by a professional once a year to make sure it is working properly and blowing cold A/C as it should be. It should also be heating the home at the right temperature and have no leaks. If it is not working properly, your A/C unit may take up more energy as a result.
7. Pressure Clean Driveway
Your driveway accumulates dirt and grime over time. To keep your home looking fresh and to protect its face value, you should pressure clean the driveway every six months.