Everyone knows that buying a home is expensive but the cost doesn’t end there. Maintaining a home is a lot more costly than many people anticipate. There are substantial costs associated with repairing, maintaining and upgrading your property throughout the years. The good news is that a few home maintenance checks can eliminate many long term costs that are otherwise likely to occur.
Below we will show you 10 home maintenance tips and tricks that you can’t ignore if you want your home to stay structurally sound, maintain low running costs, and retain its full value.
- Protect your home against termites
Termites pose an especially big risk to wooden homes and without proper precautions, your entire home’s foundation could end up rotting away. Termites can’t survive sunlight, so the likely places to find them are in your basement and other areas of your home that are hidden from the sun but you won’t see them often so it is important to know what the signs of termites are. Be sure to spray these areas with termite detergent and inspect wooden areas of your home for any weaknesses or damage that may have occurred. Infestations caught early can be treated more easily. If you are not sure how to tackle the termite problem you could hire a pest control company to do an inspection and touch up any ‘weak’ areas.
- Keep your gutters in top condition
Cleaning the gutters out is a tedious task but it can save you a lot of money on gutter replacements and even rooftop repairs. Gutters clogged with debris can overflow, break and often put strain on the roof itself. These days you can get special gutter cleaning tools or you can go the old fashioned route and scoop the debris out with a small shovel and then hose the gutter down.
- Check for mice nests near wiring
Cold weather drives most animals to find warmth, which could lead them straight to your house. Some people might think that a couple of mice isn’t a big deal when in reality, just two mice in your home can do a lot of damage. They can chew through electrical wires and cause an electrical fire! They can also gnaw through any wood in your home, including furniture, doors, cabinets and even your house structure. Repairing the damage they cause can be very expensive! You should inspect regularly to ensure that your home isn’t under attack.
- Seal leaky doors and windows
Outwards facing doors and windows are prone to water damage, which could cause the seals around the frame to rot away. Air leaks cause a number of problems and are often the main cause of aircon or heating system defaults. To check for air leaks, you can hold a lit stick of incense near closed window or door frames where drafts may sneak in. Watch for smoke movement. You can attend to any leaks by caulking and adding new weatherstripping.
- Clean everything on a regular basis
Whether it’s sweeping the sidewalk, dusting off the fans or wiping down the air conditioner, keeping things clean reduces wear and tear. Dust can shorten the lifespan of anything with a vent or filter. Cleaning your home regularly can help catch small issues before they become big problems.
- Plumbing system
Taking care of your homes plumbing is essential to keep the clean water flowing in and flushing your home’s waste out. Most people don’t think about their plumbing until a big problem arises and by then they are left with a huge mess and large bill. Plumbing maintenance is something that you should do regularly to catch small problems that could turn into large, expensive problems later on. This means checking for small leaks periodically. Leaks that go undetected could lead to wood rot, mould growth and pipe corrosion.
- Paint the exterior
Keep the exterior of your home in top condition by regularly painting when it’s starting to look worn down. Before painting use a pressure washer to remove all the grime – you don’t want to be painting dirt into the wall. Exterior paint not only keeps your house looking sharp but also keeps water away from damaging key structural components beneath.
- Clean and seal outdoor decking
The weather has a serious effect on outdoor decking. It’s very important to seal and treat your decking on a regular basis. Regular maintenance means that you eliminate the chance of much bigger repairs needing to be done later on. Wood needs to be periodically cleaned in order to remove fallen leaves, dirt and other debris from its surfaces. Before adding any sealant, ensure to remove dirt, debris, dry rot and any old paint or sealant. You can then sand the wood to remove rough spots and splinters. Sealant should be reapplied every 12 to 18 months and is excellent in protecting your wood against both moisture and sun damage.
- Drainage and landscaping
Landscaping is not only about making your home look pretty, it also plays a key role in draining water away from your foundation. You can solve drainage problems and create an attractive landscape feature at the same time with a dry creek bed. There are a number of ways to achieve better yard drainage but building a creek bed is possibly the most effective.
- Create a home maintenance fund
Planning for potential expenses is a great way to ensure that you don’t find yourself in a position of not having the funds to pay for home maintenance. Planning for expenses just makes good financial sense. If you have funds in place, you will always be in the position to fix potential problems. If you budget for your expenses, you have the option to bring in a pro for some of those home maintenance projects that you either don’t like or aren’t comfortable with. Having savings in place ensures that you are able to maintain your home before minor repairs become major problems.