Do you know that the average American spends $20,000 on home repairs in their lifetime? Unfortunately, countless unforeseen circumstances can be prevented with simple upkeep.
Whether you’re a first-time home buyer looking to buy your first investment property or an entrepreneur who wants to avoid unnecessary headaches when investing in commercial real estate, it’s essential to have these maintenance checklists must-haves handy.
Replacing a Storm Window
Summer is the perfect time for open windows. Some homeowners take this a step further and replace their storm windows with screens. This is an excellent idea if your winter weather allows fresh air without snow and cold blasts in through cracks. If you have to leave your window open in the winter, be sure to have a screen that completely covers it.
Changing Plumbing Fixtures in the Bathroom
Leaky faucets and pipes are suitable for your wallet but not so great for the environment. Don’t be surprised if the bathroom sinks and tubs are clogged with mineral deposits that can cause all sorts of issues. Replacing these fixtures with low-flow, water-efficient options will save you money in the long run while protecting our planet’s most precious resource.
Fixing a Toilet
Don’t let the porcelain throne become a “water hog” in your home. A running toilet can waste about 200 gallons of water per day! If you have already bought a new fix-it kit, don’t be afraid to do some handiwork and replace the old parts yourself. This not only saves you money but also helps the environment by saving water.
Cleaning Your Chimney
If you’re not using your fireplace frequently, it’s a good idea to clean it and your chimney before the fire season begins in earnest. Even with minimal use, ashes can pile up and cause fires that damage your home and destroy your property. Consider getting an annual inspection done to prevent more significant problems down the road.
Have your HVAC system inspected and serviced twice per year by a professional technician.
Keep the air clean and fresh in your home with regular maintenance. A dirty filter, for example, can cause a buildup of bacteria and allergens that can trigger symptoms like asthma and hay fever.
Replacing the HVAC system is one of those dreaded home maintenance costs that you’ll eventually have to deal with. However, it’s better to put in the money and deal with a bit of discomfort now than to ignore it and risk further damage that will end up costing you more.
You can also improve humidity levels indoors with a well-maintained HVAC system.
Get an annual water heater inspection and service (or replace if necessary) to prevent water damage in your home.
Is it time to replace that old water heater? Most homes have had water heaters for 10+ years, so it’s a good idea to inspect these annually and replace them if their insulation is rusted or damaged. Also, be sure that the cords holding the unit are still securely fastened–you don’t want your home’s most important system to give way and cause significant water damage.
Sealing the Roof
If you’re not afraid of heights, you can save on annual roof maintenance costs by climbing up on the roof and performing a visual inspection. Look for torn or missing shingles and make sure that the gutters and downspouts are free of debris. If possible, inspect the chimney to ensure no problems with fire leakage or blockages.
A lot of professionals claim that sealing your roof will prolong its life and protect you from leaks. If you’re not up to the task of climbing on your top, ask a friend or family member for help.
You can also have gutter cleaning services come out and inspect them for potential damage.
No matter how often you clean them, gutters clog with leaves, sticks, and dead bugs over time. This will affect their ability to drain and can lead to water damage inside your home. Use a leaf blower to clear them out and make sure that the downspouts are free of debris as well.
Check insulation levels annually for leaks or gaps.
If you live in a colder climate, it’s important to have thick enough insulation for your home. More importantly, be sure that any new insulation was installed correctly and is securely fastened where needed. A poorly installed insulation system can result in leakage and massive damage to your home.
While you’re looking for potential problems, also check the exterior walls of your home to make sure that they are weather-tight.
Don’t let these yearly maintenance costs scare you–they will protect your home from more significant problems down the line and keep it running properly for years to come.
It’s always best to have a professional take care of your home, but you can also save money by doing the tasks yourself.