For most people, your home is the largest purchase you will ever make. This is where you gather with friends and family. Where you make memories and for some build a family. Your home is much more than a roof over your head. For such an important purchase we do not maintain it like we do other purchases in our lives. We change the oil and filters in our vehicles, we winterize our travel trailers. We protect our investments from unnecessary wear and tear but home maintenance is not something that we do as frequently as we should.
So why not our homes?
Most people do not realize that by investing small amounts to ensure that your home is properly maintained you can help to prevent the costly repairs that homeowners fear. It has been said that for every $1 you spend on maintenance, you are saving approximately $100 on future repairs. Take a minute and let that sink in.
So, now that I have your attention let’s dive into some of the things that can be done to maintain your home. Understand that as a homeowner some repairs are inevitable, however by staying on top of regular maintenance you can catch and repair issues before they cause major damage to your home.
Routinely checking under your sinks, behind your toilets and around your hot water tank / exposed plumbing in your utility room. If you do see water or the signs that water was recently present find out why.
Filters and Coils
Regularly changing the filters on your furnace, humidifier and hood fan over your stove or blowing off the coils on your AC unit and fridge (fridge coils are hidden behind a panel with slots on it on the back of your fridge).
Having your eavestroughs cleaned out in the fall can prevent issues in the spring. If your gutters are full of leaves from the summer and fall when all that winter snow melts, it cannot properly drain. Instead it ends up backing up underneath your shingles and then you have a larger problem
Depending on the type of shingle you had installed on your home, shingles can last anywhere from 20-30 years. However, living in Edmonton we have some pretty severe weather. Things like cold weather, high winds, hail or excessive moisture can all cause shingles to wear out faster.
Sump Pumps/Window Wells
Spring is in the air. The birds are singing, the grass is green, and the water is pooling. Water accumulating in your yard is a common spring problem. If we had a lot of snow in the winter and a wet rainy spring, there is too much water (in some cases) for the ground to absorb. Your sump pump is designed to pump out water that builds up before it overflows into your basement. Check to make sure it is working properly! Same with window wells. They are designed with gravel in the bottom to allow water that is collecting in them to drain away. If your window well has grass and leaves in it then you run the risk of water pooling against your window and leaking into your basement.
By maintaining your home you are increasing the market value of your home. Crack free driveways, stained front porches, trees that are not overgrown, roofs that are in good condition are all perks that potential buyers are looking for. And since you have properly maintained the interior of your home as well you will be less likely to have any surprises pop up on your home inspection!
Life is busy. Things like work, family, friends, recreation, travel all occupy our time. Now regularly maintaining your home is added to the list. For some people the time needed for home maintenance is not high up on their priority list. Others feel like their set of skills does not include home maintenance. That is oaky, there are professionals who will take care of this for you, just like the oil change on your vehicle.
For those of you who do feel like home maintenance is something that you can take care of, keep your eyes open for the items listed above. If you run into something that is out of your scope, reach out to a professional.