It’s both good and bad that most problems that end up requiring expensive repairs can be prevented easily with some home maintenance. Most modern homeowners are too busy to be proactive in their maintenance tasks and often pay the price tenfold when the warning signs become critical failures.
Luckily, almost all neglected home maintenance checks can be easily incorporated into other routine tasks, so the next time you’re washing your windows or heading outside to do some yard work, keep the long-term health of your house in mind.
Wash your windows—and watch out for water damage.
The next time you wash your windows, inspect the interior and exterior trim and caulking for signs of moisture, leaks, and wood rot. While most homeowners eye for a streak-free shine, they often miss glaring issues that could cost them thousands in repair costs. “We often see wood rot around exterior windows, fascia, and soffits,” says Todd Kennedy, carpenter apprentice at JM Construction. “Most homeowners only find it when they go to upgrade the windows, and then find out that so much more needs to be done.”
Do your laundry—and clean out your dryer vent.
Clothes dryers are one of the leading causes of residential fires in the United States, and it’s not because they are inherently dangerous appliances. It’s because we forget to maintain them—and their vents. If you’re noticing your dryer is taking longer than usual to dry your clothes, a plugged vent is likely the culprit. Clean it out at least twice a year for optimal performance and safety.
Enjoy spring and fall weather—and clean your gutters.
Most people think that fall is the only time gutters get clogged, but in our neck of the woods, spring makes just as much of a mess. With oak catkins and maple “helicopters” flying through the air, it’s surprising our downspouts even work most of the time—and they probably won’t, if you don’t clean them. Make a point to do this every six months to avoid water leaking into your home or damaging your foundation.
While you’re up there, inspect the roof.
While most asphalt shingles are meant to last 15 to 30 years, harsh weather, hot temps, and high winds can accelerate their deterioration. “Most homeowners wait too long to replace their shingles,” adds Kennedy. “Many don’t know exactly how old their roof is, and new shingles aren’t always on everyone’s remodeling list. Without a good protective layer, though, things can go wrong in a hurry—and it won’t matter how much you’ve saved up for your kitchen.” Look for curling and separating shingles, bare spots, and places where the asphalt is thinning.
Do the dishes—and check for drips.
Dripping faucets and running toilets can waste a surprising amount of water. Keep an eye (and an ear) out for your faucets, showers, and toilets that are misbehaving and make sure to check the floors and inside cabinets for signs of moisture.
Quick disclaimer: The above list is just a fraction of what you should be doing to inspect, maintain, service, and keep your home in good working order. We often see this home maintenance neglect during our remodeling projects, and we’d much rather you spend your hard-earned dollars on renovation projects you want versus repair projects you need.
If you find yourself in need of a larger repair or want to incorporate a repair into a larger remodeling project, we’d be happy to help you make the most of the situation. Contact us here to get started.