So, you have bought your first home– or you are considering it. By now you have probably heard a million times that a home is the biggest investment you are going to make. What they do not tell you is how to care for your new investment. If you are a new homeowner, there are a lot of little things you will want to keep track of to keep your new home at its best.
At Inside & Out, we see hundreds of homes each year – we see what most home sellers tend to neglect and what new buyers need to do once they get the keys.
Here are twenty maintenance tips for new homeowners.
1. Check Your HVAC Filters
Your HVAC filters are an important part of helping your heating and cooling systems function at their best by preventing dust and debris from getting in and slowing things down. It is a good idea to change them regularly.
2. Caulk Your Windows.
Caulking around your windows and doors can help you cut down on heating and cooling bills by preventing air leaks.
3. Check Your Weather Stripping.
Making sure that you have adequate weather stripping around windows and doors is just as important as maintaining the caulk for keeping utility bills in check.
4. Check Your Crawl Space for Moisture.
Moisture in your crawlspace can turn into moisture in other parts of your home. Moisture in your home only causes trouble like mold and deterioration. Here’s what you can do about it.
5. Reseal Your Deck.
Your deck should serve you for a long time. In order to make that happen you should check the sealant to make sure moisture does not get into the wood. If the sealant is not doing its job, then you should reseal your deck.
6. Touch Up Exterior Paint.
Your exterior paint does not just keep up your home’s curb appeal. It also acts as a moisture barrier. If you notice peeling or chipping in your exterior paint, give it a touch up as soon as possible. You could also consider pressure washing your home prior to painting.
7. Make Sure the HVAC is Serviced Regularly.
You should have your HVAC system serviced at least once a year to keep it running at peak performance.
8. Check the Bathroom Caulk.
The caulk in your bathroom helps to create a watertight seal. You should find it around fixtures like the bathtub and toilet. Maintaining it will prevent water damage and costly repairs.
9. Clean Your Gutters.
Your gutters help to direct water away from your home. This is one more step in keeping your home moisture-free.
10. Seal Your Driveway.
As the ground expands and contracts with the freezing and thawing of the seasons, so too does your pavement. Cracks in your driveway will give weeds an opportunity to take root and destroy your pavement. Sealing the driveway will stop weeds before they start.
11. Clean Your Garbage Disposal.
Food and debris get stuck in your disposal with regular use. As that food begins to decay it can cause an unpleasant aroma. Cleaning it will help to eliminate the stink.
12. Visit Your Attic.
Visiting your attic from time to time can ensure that everything is functioning as it should up there. It is better to find out about leaks sooner rather than later.
13. Insulate Water Heater and Pipes.
Insulating your water heater and hot water pipes will help to cut down on energy costs.
14. Install a Programmable Thermostat.
Heating and cooling your home only when you are there will cut down dramatically on your bills. Having a programmable thermostat will help.
15. Flush Your Water Heater.
Because sediment can build up in your water heater and wreak havoc, it is important to flush it regularly. Here’s how.
16. Clean Your Refrigerator Coils.
Cleaning your refrigerator’s coils will keep it running more efficiently and can extend its life.
17. Clean Your Dryer Vent.
Lint can clog up your dryer and prevent it from working properly. To keep things running smoothly, it is important to clean your dryer vent.
18. Extend Your Downspout.
Your downspout is a part of your gutter system. It helps to direct water away from your house. If it is not long enough to get water away from your house, then it is useless.
19. Check Your Smoke Detectors.
Smoke detectors are your first line of defense in dealing with a fire. If they do not work, your best case scenario is losing your home. Worst case: you could lose your family, too. Make sure that they are well maintained.
20. Make Sure You Know Where Utility Shut-Offs Are Located.
In the case of an emergency, you may need to know how to turn off the water, gas or electric supply to your house. It is a good idea to know where those shut-offs are located and how they work.
When you buy your first home, the list of maintenance can seem overwhelming. Most items on your list only need to be done once or twice a year. Creating a list and how often maintenance is performed can help you to keep track so that you can keep your home running at its best.
As your home inspection experts, please feel free to reach out to us with any questions and especially if you’ll need a home inspection in the future!