Your home is your refuge, your base, your oasis. It reflects your tastes and priorities. It needs you.
While you’re busy making a living to keep your household clicking along, forces are at work that could derail that smooth operation. Sound sinister? It is –things like moisture, insects, and just plain dirt and debris can do major damage to the important systems and structure of a house. Staying on top of home maintenance tasks can be time-consuming, but it’s essential. Ignore them at your financial peril.
Just being aware of some of the routine home maintenance tasks that any home requires can be helpful. It’s not something we have to think about every day, but being consistent and regular is key. Some jobs just need to be done annually, while others should be monthly.
Here are some important home maintenance tasks that your home is likely begging for:
Your Home’s Annual Maintenance
This is one of the most underappreciated appliances in the home. We take for granted our instant access to hot water, until the day the heater fails and our morning shower is an arctic adventure. Stimulating, yes, but not optimal.
Water heaters generally last 10-15 years, and their lifespan is extended through very simple maintenance. The tank should be drained annually to get rid of any sediment that has settled in the tank. It clears the tank and flushes out impurities. Otherwise, minerals and sediment can build up and cause the unit to fail prematurely.
Here are some other tasks to be done annually:
- Re-caulk showers, tubs and sinks to prevent water damage to walls
- Pest control inspection/treatment
- Check and clean septic tanks
- Clean out clothes dryer vent from the back of the unit to the exterior of the house
- Check roof for leaks, loose shingles, or broken tiles
- Professional inspection and service for HVAC system
- Check that water is not getting to the foundation; the ground should slope away from the house
Your Home’s Bi-Annual or Monthly Maintenance
One of the easiest ways to avoid costly repairs is to replace HVAC filters regularly. These are easy to find and inexpensive (around $20-$40) and the task takes minutes. In return, your heating and cooling system will run more efficiently, saving energy costs and extending its life.
The air quality in your home will also be improved. For allergy sufferers, there are special hypoallergenic filters that can bring great relief. Replacing the filters cuts down on the dirt that gets into the system, which can cause it to break down and require more costly repairs later.
Some other tasks that should be done a few times a year:
- Clean faucet aerators and showerheads with vinegar to get rid of mineral deposits
- Inspect dishwasher for leaks
- Clean kitchen exhaust fan filter of grease buildup
- Vacuum heat registers, vents and refrigerator coils
- Clear gutters to prevent water damage to the roof, siding, and foundation
This final consideration really warrants constant vigilance. Water causes more damage to homes than any other element. The damage often occurs over time, as leaks go undetected and saturate materials, leading to damage and encouraging the growth of mold.
Maintenance of pipes and plumbing is the way to avoid more costly repairs later. It’s important to keep your eyes open around the house and regularly inspect these areas of the home. A drip that seems minor can be causing rot and mildew to occur, and water can destroy wood, fabric, and other seemingly sturdy materials. Just look at the Grand Canyon…
Fixing drips can involve replacing a washer or mending pipes, both relatively uncomplicated and inexpensive home maintenance tasks. Remember outdoor faucets and hoses as well. A drip here can eventually create problems with the foundation, resulting in very expensive repairs. This is one of those jobs where delay can be costly, so taking care of leaks should go on the urgent list.
Taking a Stand Against Disrepair
Your home is a complex place, but an organized approach to maintenance helps keep it running smoothly with fewer unpleasant surprises. Keeping up with all of these routine tasks is often more than homeowners can do on their own – or want to do.
Glasshouse lets you leave it to experts to monitor and maintain your home base. You’ll have a personal home manager, so you can spend more time living in your house and less time maintaining it. Learn more today at Glasshouse.com.