Many people think that the central part of owning their own home is saving up for the down payment, getting a loan to pay for the rest, and picking and securing the preferred property. However, looking after a place after you’ve legally made it yours is also vital.
Read on for some of the top maintenance tasks you need to complete each year to ensure your home stays in good condition over the long term and costs you less money overall, too.
Develop a Schedule and Plan for the Work
It’s wise to devise a schedule for all the work you want to do. This way, you’re less likely to forget about tasks or think it has only been a month or two since you completed them when it has actually been a year! Create a plan of attack over 12 months with maintenance work broken down by things that have to be done annually or every two years versus twice per year, quarterly, or even monthly. Look at this checklist regularly to stay on track.
Clean the Gutters and Check the Roof
If you have any trees overhanging your property, or even if you don’t, a home’s gutters can get clogged up very quickly with dirt, dust, twigs, branches, and other debris. As such, an essential maintenance task is cleaning out the gutters every quarter or so. If you don’t do this job, the gutters can get so full up that ice dams and icicles form, and water melts and pools up. In turn, rust and holes can develop.
It’s also wise to check your roof annually to see if any tiles or shingles have broken or become dislodged. Extreme weather, vines, other greenery, and even animals can lift and wear down roof elements over time, and you can end up with leaks, mold, and other issues if you don’t address things speedily. Check and clean your roof yourself if you can; if not, hire a roofer, plumber, or other contractor to help you with it.
Maintain HVAC Systems
Many of us can’t get by without using HVAC systems throughout the year, especially in the heat of summer and the chill of winter. If you have reverse-cycle air-conditioning in your property, you typically need to get this serviced yearly. Like other appliances, these products can wear down and need some TLC every so often. In particular, air-conditioners often need filters replaced, and various elements checked and cleaned.
If you have ceiling fans in your place, they should be dusted well and checked to see if the blades are still in correctly and if the fan is balanced. Get a repair person in ASAP if the fan moves way too much, makes strange sounds, or smells funny. If the fans are old, you may have to replace them. Thankfully, look online, and you’ll see you can buy affordable ceiling fans with remote controls to suit all tastes and room sizes.
You might also have a chimney that needs cleaning out in your property or other heating or cooling elements to maintain. It’s best to organize all this work to happen in fall or spring, as this is when you’re less likely to need the units, and the downtime, if any, isn’t so inconvenient. Again, you might be able to do various jobs yourself, but if you’re unsure, hire an electrician or other specialist to maintain electrical gear for you and keep you and your family safe.
Handle Lawn and Garden Maintenance
Another top job to put on your list is lawn and garden maintenance. While you likely mow your lawn fairly regularly and perhaps water the garden often, there are other jobs that you might be putting off or didn’t realize should be done. For example, it pays to aerate and fertilize your lawn a few times per year to help all the right nutrients get down deep into the grass roots and for the lawn to thrive as a result.
You also want to chop back any big trees or shrubs that are getting out of control before they get too much to handle, relocate greenery that has become too large for its space, and remove any dead plants.
Look After Your Pool and Fencing
Lastly, spend some maintenance time on your pool and fencing. It’s a good idea to check that the pumps, filters, and vacuums used in and for your pool are in good working order. If not, they can lead to the water becoming green, murky, and unsuitable for swimming. Plus, pay attention to the fencing around your pool, especially if you have young children or pets.
You need to ensure that the pool fence closes securely and that there aren’t any parts of the fence that are falling down or where gaps have opened up between palings or rails.
Home maintenance may not be the most exciting thing on your to-do list, but it is necessary. Spend some time now working on these jobs, and you’ll save yourself lots of time and hassle in the future.