Regular home maintenance is one of the most important responsibilities of home ownership. It prevents costly damage to your home, increases your home resale value, makes your home safer, and increases the overall quality of life you have living there. While it can feel daunting to keep up with the work, creating a home maintenance plan can make things more manageable.
One of the best ways to break down home maintenance projects is by the frequency at which you need to do them (i.e. monthly, annually, every 5 years, etc.). In this article, we’re going to focus on larger home maintenance projects that aren’t on your common to-do list, but that are essential to keeping your home in good shape.
Home Maintenance Plans for Every 1, 5, and 10 Years
Clean out your gutters
Clogged gutters may not seem like a big deal, but they can lead to serious issues down the line. Gutters keep water away from your home, and if they’re clogged, that water will overflow and damage your foundation. When gutters get too heavy from having so much material inside, they can fall and damage the exterior of your home (often requiring pricey repairs).
Many homeowners choose to outsource gutter cleaning, but you can also DIY if you know what you’re doing. Here’s a guide from Home Depot that walks through the process:
Visually inspect your foundation
Your foundation protects your home from deterioration. It’s a good idea to inspect it visually at least once a year, but many do it every few months to be safe. Weather conditions play a big role in our foundation’s stability — soil shifts from oversaturation and dehydration, potentially weakening the foundation built on top.
Inspecting your foundation is easy to do on your own. Start by walking around the outdoor perimeter of your home. Look for water damage, cracks, or leaning foundation walls. Look for cracks again inside, as well as warped floors or ceilings and issues with opening or shutting doors and windows.
If you see anything concerning, hire a professional to inspect it as well. It’s better to be safe than sorry in this scenario, as foundation damage is not only costly but also dangerous.
Touch up exterior paint
Giving your home’s exterior a facelift by touching up the paint is more than a cosmetic upgrade — it also prevents mold and mildew buildup, water damage, and potential rotting. You don’t have to give it an entirely new coat of paint every year, but an annual touch up goes a long way.
Deep clean your house
No one likes to clean the hard-to-reach nooks and crannies of our homes all the time, but doing so annually keeps your home feeling fresh, organized, and enjoyable to live in. Some tips for a good deep clean: declutter your entire home first, then start with high surfaces (ceilings, high shelves, walls, etc.) and work your way down to the baseboards and floors.
Use this deep clean checklist as a guide:
Replace caulk and grout
Caulk is a necessity to keep your bathroom fixtures from leaking, but they can develop mold and mildew over time and usually become discolored, too. You should change your caulk every few years (and definitely do it at least every five) to keep your bathroom clean and prevent leaks.
Get a termite inspection
Termites cause a whopping $5 billion in home damage every year. They act in colonies and eat away at your home’s structure, causing dangerous and costly damage that many home insurance companies don’t cover. You can check your woodwork (especially in areas that don’t see a lot of foot traffic — like your attic), but it’s a good idea to have a professional inspection done every five years or so.
Clean and reseal heating ducts
When dust, dirt, and other debris collect in your heating ducts it can become hazardous by restricting airflow. Call an HVAC professional every few years to clean and then reseal your heating ducts.
Repaint the exterior
While we recommend an exterior paint touch up annually, giving it an entirely new coat is beneficial every few years for the same reasons touch ups are helpful — prevention of mold and mildew, water damage, and wood rotting.
Replace the sump pump
Sump pumps are usually located in crawl spaces or basements to keep them dry and prevent flooding. Not every home has one, but if yours does, it’s a good idea to clean it about every 10 years.
Replace the hot water heater
Hot water heaters have about a 10-year shelf life (give or take). Problem signs include: no longer heating, odd noises, or rust build-up. When you begin to spot these signs, call a professional to inspect and potentially replace your water heater.
Replace the carpets
Carpets experience natural wear and tear over the years (like matting, staining, and fraying) that reduces their visual appeal. Plus, even when you vacuum and shampoo them regularly, carpets retain a certain amount of dust and dirt particles that build up over time. Replacing your carpets not only gives your room a facelift, it can eliminate allergens and even improve your indoor air quality.
Check your windows
Poor insulation from old windows can significantly increase heating and cooling costs for your home. If you have wooden frames, you may also see rotting that eventually lets air in and out of the house. While windows are expected to last longer than 10 years (most manufacturers say 15-30 years), you may need to do it sooner if they were already there to move in.
Creating a home maintenance plan takes the stress out of maintaining your home. You can plan to take important steps well in advance — steps like budgeting and saving, researching service providers, and setting aside time to get big projects completed. Keeping your home in great shape ensures you can enjoy living there for years to come, and if or when it comes time to sell, you’ll get the highest return value possible.
Moving to the Dayton area? Oberer Homes can help you find (or build!) a home you love. Contact us today to get started.
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